Farmstand Curry Hummus

I have really been missing the farmer's market lately for the fresh produce but especially for the curry hummus I got addicted to.  I believe it was from Island Farm Kitchen.  I recently decided to recreate my own version and I haven't stopped making it since.  It has a slightly spicy, warm curry flavor that is fresh and lightened up by the lemon juice.  
Hummus I have made in the past always tasted great but it also seemed to get really thick after it was refrigerated.  With this recipe, I add water for the liquid and hold the olive oil to drizzle on when I'm ready to serve it.  That way, you don't miss out on any of the rich flavor and the hummus stays spreadable!
This recipe is a great dupe for the farmer's market hummus I love.  It stays good in the refrigerator for a week, if you can make it last that long!  Not to mention so, so easy to whip up.  You won't want to go back to store-bought!

Farmstand Curry Hummus
Recipe by Ali Caron, RD
Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 16-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ tsp coarse salt
1 ¼ Tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp curry
1½ -2 Tbsp. tahini paste
1½ tsp minced garlic
1-2 Tbsp. water
Optional: Garnish with drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sesame seeds

Directions: Add all ingredients and 1 tablespoon water to food processor.  Blend until smooth. Scrape down sides as needed.  If hummus is too thick, add additional tablespoon of water.  When ready to serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and sesame seeds.

*Tip: Traditional hummus recipes call for olive oil blended with the chickpeas.  If you plan to refrigerate this hummus, it works best to use water and not oil.  The oil will harden and thicken the hummus once refrigerated.  By just adding a little oil on top when ready to serve, you add flavor and richness but also save additional calories!

Nutrition Facts: (Per Tablespoon) 45 Calories, 1g Fat, 7g Carbohydrates, 2g Protein, 2g Fiber, 28mg Sodium, 104mg Potassium


Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sauce and Crispy Sage

I have to say, this year I have really been in the Christmas spirit!  No joke, I am almost done buying all my Christmas presents and it's mid November.  But first things first, Thanksgiving is next week and I decided to put my leftover pie pumpkin from Halloween to good use with this dish.  I simply cut the pumpkin in half, removed the seeds and baked each half cut side down for an hour in one inch of water.  Voila! The result is fresh pumpkin that can be used immediately or frozen for future recipes.  

These vegetarian shells are a festive twist on your typical stuffed shells with marinara sauce that everyone will enjoy.  They can be served as a side dish or as a main.  I sent half to my family for dinner and brought the rest to work for lunches throughout the week!  (Pictured below is only about half the recipe).  The real star here is the crispy sage leaves sprinkled over the top as they add crunch and the extra bit of flavor needed to round out the dish.  

Be sure to keep this one in mind for upcoming holiday parties!  These stuffed shells with pumpkin sauce add an air of class to any gathering.  See you all back here soon!

Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sauce and Crispy Sage
Recipe by Ali Caron, RD
Serves 8-10

1/2 box of jumbo shells (about 20)

Pumpkin Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt

15oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano

10 sage leaves
1/4 cup walnuts

Directions: (For fresh pumpkin puree, cut baking pumpkin in half and remove seeds.  Place cut side down in baking dish with 1 inch of water and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour.  Allow to cool and scoop out pumpkin from skin with a spoon.)
1. Cook pasta to al dente according to directions in a large soup pot, about 10 minutes.  Strain and set aside.
2. Add olive oil and chopped onion to soup pot and cook on medium-low heat until translucent.  Add pumpkin and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add vegetable broth and stir.  Remove from heat and using an emersion blender (or regular blender), puree until very smooth.
3. Spray 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Spread about 1/2 cup of pumpkin sauce on bottom of dish.  Using a small spoon or ice cream scoop, fill each shell with about 1 tablespoon of ricotta filling.  Place shells in baking dish and cover with remaining pumpkin sauce.
4. Cover dish with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, place sage leaves and walnuts in small sauté pan and cook on low heat until fragrant and leaves are crispy.  Remove from oven and garnish with walnuts and sage.

Nutrition Facts: 235 Calories, 10g Fat, 24g Carbohydrates, 13g Protein, 3g Fiber, 439mg Sodium, 190mg Potassium


10 Minute Creamy Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Hope you all had a great Halloween and welcome back!  I recently had foot surgery and took a little time to recoup.  As I have been getting back to my old self this dish is one that even I could make (insert joke about making it standing on one leg).  My 10 Minute Creamy Tomato and Shrimp Pasta is one of those great weeknight dinners that is made from ingredients you probably have in your pantry or freezer already.  And (bonus!) it only takes ten minutes to whip up.  The cream cheese makes this simple dish extra decadent however, you can make it without.  Behold, quick and easy comfort food, perfect for any night of the week.

Creamy Tomato and Shrimp Pasta
Recipe by Ali Caron, RD
Serves 4

2 cups penne pasta (uncooked)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
15-20 large shrimp
2 cups marinara sauce
2 tablespoons 1/3 less fat cream cheese

Directions: In medium sauce pot, cook pasta according to package.  Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and butter.  Add shrimp and cook until golden on both sides.  Remove shrimp and roughly chop.  Add tomato sauce and cream cheese to sauté pan and stir until combined and heated through.  Strain pasta and add to sauté pan, along with shrimp.  Toss gently to coat all the pasta with sauce.  Serve!

Nutrition Facts: 372 Calories, 13g Fat, 49g Carbohydrates, 15g Protein, 636 mg Sodium, 532mg Potassium, 3g Fiber