Tag: fun

Roasted Cauliflower: Plus 6 Other Ways to Use Once Again Organic Tahini

I have recently shared some recipes that included Tahini as an ingredient. My family really enjoyed taste testing the recipes as I worked on them, and I have made some of the recipes a few times already for second trials. I was so inspired with my new found love for Tahini that I went a little overboard and stocked my pantry with a few jars. Which lead me to further explore how else I can use this delicious sesame seed butter. I turned to my trusted friend “the internet” for some answers.

I’ll go through some of the ideas I found, and which ones I have tried so far. Through my research I confirmed that tahini can serve as a replacement or alternative to most nut and other seed butters in recipes. Since tahini has a consistency similar to that of peanut butter, it is very versatile.  It does not have the sweetness of nut butters and can be more easily used in entrees and soups. So here are a few suggestions, and since we love new ideas and challenges, share yours if you have one to add to this list!

  • Simple but often overlooked: Just spread it on crackers or toast! My kids approved and enjoyed tahini paired with fruit jam as a sandwich. It can be used instead of mayo on a turkey and cheese sandwich, a veggie wrap, falafels or on a chicken Panini.
  • As a dip of course! When tahini is mixed with a little lemon juice and herbs it becomes a great dip for raw veggies, pita chips or any other chip. It is also perfect to drizzle over roasted veggies. (see recipe below)
  • As a salad dressing. In addition to the lemon juice and tahini add a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, some salt, a little garlic or ginger and you’ll have a thick and creamy salad dressing that is far more nutritious than cream based dressings. It is perfect for Greek Salads, but will also go well with any salad combination. Here is one I have tried at home and thought it was a winning combo: ½ cup tahini, ½ cup olive oil, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp lemon juice and 2 tsp of ginger. Mix in blender and save left overs in refrigerator.
  • Thicken your soups. I tried this one too! Instead of heavy cream on my broccoli and cheese soup recipe, I added a few tablespoons of tahini and achieved the same thickness with less dairy. If you are trying to cook without any animal product, but have been missing creamy soups, this may just be your answer! Start by adding one tablespoon at a time until you achieve the creaminess you prefer.
  • Tahini is most commonly used in hummus recipes. Traditional hummus calls for garbanzo beans, but this is not the only way to make hummus. I was adventurous to try all different kinds of hummus lately. The tahini and olive oil should be used in the same proportion as usual, but you can vary the legume/vegetable variety in your recipe to make a brand new hummus. So far I experimented with edamame, pinto beans, eggplant, lima beans and white beans.
  • Use it in cookies and cakes recipes in place of nut butter. I have not tried this one yet! I found several recipes online suggesting you can substitute one to one on any recipe that calls for a nut butter.

As you can imagine I will have no trouble going through my stash of Once Again Organic Tahini, and will probably be stocking my pantry on a regular basis! Have fun discovering your family’s favorite way to enjoy tahini!

… get creative and have fun,

 Carolina

 

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini  cauliflower tahini

1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp Tahini
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Wash and cut your cauliflower, then toss it in 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil, place in oven (400F) and roast for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Once out of the oven, while still warm toss it in the mixture of Tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic and left over olive oil. Ready to eat!

Peanut Butter: Smooth versus Crunchy

Let the arguments commence!

It’s almost as controversial as chocolate versus vanilla, more scandalous than hot versus cold, and much more interesting than fat free versus whole fat debates. People have opinions, and they all must be heard!

american pbI’m not entirely qualified to write about this dilemma, as I was only introduced to peanut butter at the age of 16! Yes, my parents deprived me of such delectable food until my mid teenage years. In their defense, I was raised in South America, Brazil specifically, where peanuts are abundant, but no one ever thought of making butter out of them. They did however add them to the food processor with sugar, amongst other ingredients, to make “paçoca”. If you are a proud member of the “peanut gallery” (ha! Pun intended) add that food to your list of “must-try-before-I-die” because it is simply divine!

However, I will proceed by first looking at the question of nutrition, since after all, that is something I am qualified to talk about. Looking at the numbers, crunchy peanut butter has the slight edge since it has a tiny bit more fiber, folate and less saturated fat than smooth. But in the end, both kinds are winners because that they are a great source of plant based protein, have lots of vitamin E, and they are an awesome source of B vitamins, as well. So whichever side of this debate you are in, rest assured you have already made a great choice!

Now in terms of practicality, I am a working mother .  I have two kids under the age of 6.  I  have  to pack lunches, make snacks, and often prepare last minute party requests. I believe I am also a qualified observer. The smooth just works better. Now, no offense to you crunchy-siders, but how do you get it to spread it on a soft slice of whole grain bread without ripping it to shreds? Or better yet, how do you get it to blend it so effortlessly into a yogurt parfait, or smoothie for a quick breakfast favorite? So there you go this one goes to the creamy peanut butter fans.

In the end, it seems like a split debate in which we are all winners. I personally prefer smooth for everyday use, but I am known to appreciate the crunchy for recipes such as muffins, cakes and stir-fry dishes. So, I rule a tie; let’s take a break from this exhausting and delicious controversy and enjoy an American Classic peanut butter and __________ sandwich (fill in the blank with your favorite pairing, oh boy… I think I just started a new debate!)

… life is short, laugh out loud!

 

Carolina Lima Jantac, MS,RD,LD