Friday after dropping Annaliese off at school I scooted down to the Bulk Food warehouse to pick up some more hemp hearts and to check out prices on chia seeds and other of my favorites. I had told Luke that if he was extra well behaved and didn't grab at anything or whine I would let him pick what he wanted. He choose chocolate covered pretzels. I was ok with that! Actually it was kind of cute, the store had these mini buggies and Luke was pushing Patrick around and Patrick just sat so well the whole time, no doubt looking at all the visual chaos of such a jam packed store. While we were at the checkout, unlike the regular grocery store which has tons of junk food and chocolate bars, the health food store had fruit bars and bacteria gum (or something like that idea- digestive enzyme gum) . So when Luke asked if he could have a seasame snap treat, I said "sure", and then when he grabbed a green fruit leather bar (which had spinach and dates listed as first two ingredients, I said "grab one for Patrick too!" I opened the green fruit bars as I was leaving the store and was amazed to see that both boys were hoovering them! So I grabbed the package and read closely the ingredients. Literally veggies and fruit, so that gave me the idea that I could make my own bar with even more veggies. Oh and as a side note, Luke didn't like the chocolate pretzels and wanted to throw them out, since I only bought him 5, I was ok with that too :)
All I can think is that, see I don't deprive my kids that much, because even when they have the option of eating junk food, they will choose the tastier alternative! Green fruit leather and sesame snaps!
So once all the kids were tucked in bed, I contemplated how I would make fruit leather. I don't have a dehydrator but I remembered that two summers ago Mark had dehydrated tomatoes (making sun dried tomatoes) with all the Roma's we had gotten out of our garden. I remembered that he had placed them on my cooling rack on a baking sheet in a very low temp, for a very very long time. So I briefly did a check to see if you could make fruit leather in the oven, checked out some recipes ( most had only fruit and added sugar) BLAH!!! So I decided to do what I do best and make up a recipe. So here goes...
1 large carrot (cut up and softened - either steamed or nuke
1/2 large raw beet
3 hand fulls of raw spinach
1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce (more or less to taste)
juice of half a lemon
In food processor, pulverize everything and decide if it tastes ok then spread it thickly and evenly (1/2 to 1/4 ") on parchment paper. Carefully place parchment paper on a cooling rack that fits on a baking sheet. Leave in oven at lowest setting (160-170F) for 8 to 12 hours.
I had to take some of the dryer pieces off and flatten out some of the thicker parts because my kids were so antsy to taste this treat, but that I probably a function of me not evenly spreading it. I also read that if you have a convection oven it takes less time.
So now, you must be wondering what in heaven's name is pink humus. Well, what else was I supposed to do with the other half of the beet. So here was my diner, since the kids had eaten the veggie/fruit leather and then brown bag popcorn earlier, and they were sleeping. I decided to be creative once again. I love playing in my kitchen. So here is pink humus on Ezekiel bread, topped with an apple/cucumber salsa(ish) topping.
1 can of chick peas (I use the Eden- no salt, BPA free lining) Best trick ever is to heat these up for a minute before adding them to the food processor.
1/2 sweet potato (softened)
1 small carrot (softened)
1/2 beet (softened)
juice from 1/4 of a fresh lemon
5 Tbsp of tahini
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Kelp granules (instead of salt)
curry powder to taste ( I like mild because I just started using it, but you could go as bold as you like)
Mix everything together in food processor and watch as the humus turns an awesome shade of pink.
Apple/Cucumber salsa(ish) topping
1/2 to 1/3 of a finely diced apple
1 pickling cucumber (or any kind, you only need a few inches worth)
some sliced fresh green onion (just the green part)
(option of adding finely chopped spinach)
fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
Mix ingredients and add to humus. Garnish with finely cut carrots.
I do realize this is a strange diner to be eating in the middle of winter (well almost the end of winter), and it would be much better in the summer. But I did follow this meal with a piece of Mark's birthday cake and some more brown bag popcorn. (literally just corn kernels in a brown paper bag in the microwave with the edge folded down). Sometimes I just crave things that aren't usual and I go with it! I was in the mood for a fun, playful diner! Not your typical comfort food. However now I have lots of leftover pink humus and I can't wait to see what my daughter thinks of it :)
ps. the kids loved the raw brownie :)