I’m back! Salt Lake City was a wonderful getaway (I ate at Zest twice in three days if that tells you anything about how much I liked the 100% gluten-free + vegan/vegetarian restaurant – highly recommend the stuffed mushrooms!) but there is NO place like home! Doesn’t it always take getting away for a bit to appreciate where you live? There’s nothing like Midwestern air, I tell ya. ;)
It was a steamy 76 degrees yesterday so the boys and and I spent as much time outdoors as we could, including cutting my tulips which bloomed while I was out of town. Is there anything more perfect than a vase full of homegrown tulips? I think the next time you’re supposed to plant bulbs (someone help me and my black thumb out,) I’m going to put dozens more into the ground. They are such a wonderful springtime treat. Next up, lilacs!
In other, non-floriculture (thanks Google) news, last week I scrolled past the most brilliant idea from Melissa at Bless This Mess on Instagram (Melissa is a domestic goddess by the way, and pretty much everything she does is brilliant, but this idea in particular really inspired me.)
Each week she prepares a “vegetable box” – a big tupperware container filled with fresh cut vegetables that she puts out for her family at snack and meal times to graze and nibble on all week long. From carrots to radishes, cherry tomatoes to peppers, everything is washed, trimmed, cut and READY TO GO. I thought this was such an great way to encourage families to snack on fresh foods between meals versus reaching into the cupboard for potato chips because, let’s be real, in a weak and hangry moment, the majority of us are going to choose chips over taking the time to trim and cut celery stalks!
I made my own vegetable box the same day I saw Melissa’s post and between Ben, Lincoln and myself, we ate nearly the whole thing in two days during “unofficial mealtime.” (Note to self: make a bigger box next week!)
If you’re anything like me and my boys, you like to eat a meal before you eat your meal – especially before dinner. Our fridge and pantry are always stocked with healthy snacks like Sabra hummus (who is sponsoring this post!) popcorn, fresh fruit, and now prepped vegetables, that we’ll munch on while I’m cooking dinner to tide us over until the table is set. It’s a time when Ben’s just got off work, I’m closing up shop for the day, and we’re snacking on anything and everything while I cook dinner and we catch up on each other’s day.
Ok, ok, sometimes unofficial meal is Ben shoveling handfuls of popcorn into his mouth over the kitchen floor while I look at him with a murderous look in my eyes that communicates “get. a bowl” without having to say a word, but honestly it’s one of my favorite daily happenings, and it just got a whole lot more delicious because Shortcut Bruschetta Hummus is involved.
Sabra has a whole line of hummus topped with things like olive tapenade (my God, the olive tapenade!) roasted red peppers, and roasted pine nuts, but their plain hummus is so easy to jazz up with your family’s favorite flavors. Ben and I are nuts for bruschetta, which is just a combination of tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper so I whipped up a batch then scooped it onto a tub of plain hummus and, you guys, it is THE BEST hummus topper we have ever tried!
After one hefty scoop Ben asked, “why the heck do they not have bruschetta hummus yet?” and I agree. The fresh and summery combination of tomatoes, basil, and garlic, paired with the smooth plain hummus is out. of. this. world. good, and all you have to do is mix it together in a bowl.
No cooking, no baking, just a few chop chops and unofficial meal time featuring Shortcut Bruschetta Hummus is ready to be scooped up with anything and everything inside your fresh vegetable box (ok, a few chips and crunchy crackers are always welcome too!)
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Shortcut Bruschetta Hummus
Shortcut Bruschetta Hummus is a quick and easy way to jazz up store-bought hummus. This fresh and healthy snack is absolutely delicious!
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 3/4 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic, microplaned or minced
- salt and pepper
- Combine ingredients in a bowl then spoon on top of a fresh tub of store-bought regular hummus. Enjoy with fresh vegetables or crackers.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
In the spirit of trying something new like the vegetable box and Bruschetta Hummus, I dug around my fridge to see what else I could top a plain tub of hummus with. Turns out giardiniera, a mixture of pickled vegetables packed in oil, is sensational when scooped up with a strip of fresh red pepper (and honestly, a fork.) Highly recommend!
What about your family? Do you partake in “unofficial meal” time? What are your favorite foods to nibble on?
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Emily @ Robust Recipes 04.20.2016
What a great idea! Love hummus and love bruschetta, I will be making this soon! :)
They will love it! It’s so yummy ; ).
I love love love tampenade!!!!
Remember that one time you linked to me and COMPLIMENTED me on your blog. I’ve been a huge fan of yours for years (you taught me how to cook a killer chicken breast and I make you chocolate lava cakes way too often). I’m totally fangirling it out over here. Thank you friend, you totally made my day!
Remember how you ALWAYS knock it out of the park!? You are the best, Melissa, keep inspiring!!
Do you have a favorite store bought gluten free bread?
Canyon Bakehouse (found at most regular grocery stores in the frozen gluten-free section, and Super Target in the bakery area,) is the most similar to regular bread that I’ve found!
What a great idea, Kristin! Trying this soon with the roasted red pepper hummus we usually have.
Amy @BellyFull 04.18.2016
This is so smart, Kristin!
I typically plant tons of bulbs in the fall, you can plant them pretty late here in MN and over the years I’ve found that the more I plant, the better the “fullness” looks in my garden meaning there is a big patch of them and not just one here or there. I’ve added more and more each year. More than I actually thought I’d ever need to plant!!!!
Sounds like fall is the best time to do it then – I thought so, but thanks for confirming. I but your garden is stunning!
Lindsay | BluegrassBites 04.18.2016
Love this idea! I have plans to enjoy this app by the pool all summer long!
Sabra used to be my go-to hummus – it’s SO good! But now I have a nursing baby with a soy sensitivity and they use soybean oil so I have had to find other brands. So, Sabra, if you’re listening (reading) this – any chance you can make your fabulous hummus with another type of oil?!
I second that call to Sabra! Everyone raves about it but as a lady with a serious soy-intolerance I can’t get near it.
They definitely read your comments and will get your message!
cookbook queen 04.18.2016
Yep, I call “unofficial mealtime” our “witching hour” since it seems to hit around 4:30 and the kids get grouchy and bored. I usually make everyone a small snack and pour myself a (small) glass of wine and sit down with a load of laundry to fold. I need to try this as our next witching hour snack. I love that it’s healthy!!
I like your style! Wine is always a good idea to pair with unofficial meal!
Vivian | stayaliveandcooking 04.18.2016
Shortcuts are ALWAYS a good idea. I love hummus on my sandwiches or with veggies, so this is a definite yes for me!
Emily @ Life on Food 04.18.2016
Some days are all about snacking. I try to bring hummus and carrots to work for my snack. If I forget the alternatives are never healthy.