Loaded Hummus Dip

loaded hummus dip

This summer has been unusually dry and hot for the Seattle area! Climate change? Al Gore would say so! Whatever the case, it is often too hot to cook and bake. I find myself looking for a quick dinner using the tomatoes and cucumbers from my little patio garden πŸ™‚


The quickest dinners in our household consist of grilled chicken breast, a large salad and fresh baguette from one of many favorite bakeries. Some days, I would be okay with a bowl of cereal for dinner but Hussein says “that’s not dinner” and “has no protein”.

This recipe was developed on a super hot day. It was 90 degrees and I was not feeling the heat in my kitchen πŸ˜› I grilled some chicken and decided to make a salad and hummus. Then it hit me; we often dip the chicken into the hummus, and add salad to the top for a perfect bite, so why not make it a loaded hummus!

I made my hummus using canned chickpeas, but feel free to use a premade hummus for an even easier dinner! I served this dish with Stacy’s Pita chips πŸ˜€


3 cans chickpeas, rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup cucumber diced
1 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup Kalamta olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced



  1. Reserve 1/2 cup chickpeas.
  2. In a food processor combine remaining chickpeas, tahini, garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh lemon juice.
  3. While on low speed, slowly stream in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, parsley, mint, oregano, and 1/2 cup chickpeas.
  5. Using a mason jar make dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and red onion. Shake until emulsified. dressing
  6. Pour dressing over salad and toss until well coated.
  7. Smooth hummus over serving plate.
  8. Top with salad mixture and sprinkle feta crumbles over the top.
  9. Serve with fresh pita, pita chips, or whatever you like!
  10. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Loaded hummus, easy hummus, hummus and salad

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So Many Ways to Toast

Eggplant toast, eggplant and jalapeno toast,

Many often ask where I find inspiration for my recipes or what my process is for developing new recipes. I sometimes have an idea after seeing something at the farmer’s market or on the web. But most of the time, I have no idea what I am going to do until I actually start doing it! I just get in my kitchen and start working.

My husband does not like this! In his words, he “needs to know what’s for dinner” so that he can “get excited about it”! I think he’s learned to accept that my menu planning is non-existent and this is the best way for me to be creative πŸ˜›

I know which flavors I like and which flavors and ingredients work well together; this helps a lot! I rarely have a recipe that is totally off!

I’m also inspired by all of you! When you tag me in your beautiful culinary creations, it inspires me to create something using those flavor profiles! So keep tagging me: Twitter andΒ Instagram and by using #TeamAmandaSaab

My best friends mother, Mona Elhelou send me a picture of her eggplant toast! I loved it so much, I created my take on an eggplant toast! πŸ™‚ These make for a great appetizer! I served them with a BBQ chicken salad πŸ™‚

How do you toast? Tell me on Instagram




1 large eggplant
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted
2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
1/2 cup micro greens
2 jalapenos, sliced thin
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar



1. Placed jalapeno slices in bowl. Heat vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons sugar until boiling. Pour over jalapenos and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Roast eggplant on open flame, until skin is charred.

Eggplant and Jalapeno Toast
3. Peel away skin and mix eggplant flesh with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons lime juice.
4. Brush bread with olive oil and toast until broiler until brown.
5. Toss micro greens and pomegranate arils with remaining olive oil.
6. Drain jalapenos.
7. Assemble: spread eggplant over toasted bread, layer on jalapenos, sprinkle on micro green mix and almonds!
8. Enjoy πŸ™‚


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Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Serve up a warm bowl of broccoli cheddar soup and you’re serving up a bowl of comfort. There are many recipes for this soup but mine differs in that is packed with broccoli, carrots and cheese. Every spoon of my soup is full of creamy cheddar cheese and broccoli, which come together in a beautiful melody of spice, cream and a slight tang.

When making this broccoli cheddar soup recipe, it is important to grate your cheese by hand, as pre-grated cheese is coated in corn starch (to prevent it from sticking together) and does not melt as smoothly.

Also, it is a bit therapeutic to grate cheese by hand πŸ™‚ But you can also use a food processor to speed up the process.



Here is my recipe:Β 

Super Cheesey Broccoli Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2½ cups vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 2½ cups broccoli florets
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 oz cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a heavy bottom pot, cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. In the same pot, make your roux using the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons flour. Melt the butter and stir in the flour.
  3. Add in the cream and the stock.
  4. Add in your vegetables, spices and cheese and simmer for another 35-40 minutes. Until soup thickens.
  5. Top with additional cheese and serve with croutons, if desired.
  6. Enjoy πŸ™‚




Ingredients cream and stock




veggiesΒ  broccoli


Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate



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One Pot Sesame Noodles

As promised, I will continue developing easy dinner recipes.

Some days there is nothing more challenging than figuring out what to make for dinner; particularly when the following factors are present:

1. Exhaustion after a long day at work

2. Minimal brain function due to factor one

3. A spouse who wants “I don’t know” to eat

After much success with my first one pot pasta dinner, I wanted to continue with this. I decided on Asian style and came up with this delicious super easy sesame noodle dish. If you don’t have sugar peas, feel free to omit them. Feel free to add other vegetables. Also, use any type of pasta or noodle you have in your pantry πŸ™‚


Here is my recipe:

Serves 4



1 1/2 cups sugar peas

1 cup carrots, chopped

8 oz spaghetti

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3 cups water



2 tablespoons green onion, chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

lime wedges





1. Add ingredients in pot. Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes until pasta is al dente and liquid has thickened into a sauce.

One Pot Sesame Pasta

2. Place on plate and top with chopped green onion, cilantro, sesame seeds and limes.

3. Enjoy πŸ™‚


Sesame Pasta




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One Pot Pasta!

I have had many requests for easy dinner recipes and I thought I also could use some really quick dinner ideas myself.

Right on cue, the queen herself, Martha Stewart, posted a photo on Instragram with the hash tag “JustOnePot”.

My life has been forever changed.

I mean, a complete main course in just one pot? Not only that, there is just one step: throw everything in said pot and cook.

Some of you may not be a fan of the queen; she is a convicted felon. But did she really do something THAT bad?

Anyways, so I decided to adapt Ms. Stewart’s recipe and make it my own.

I made a traditional Italian style pasta and an Asian style pasta (recipe in subsequent post).



Here is my recipe:


Serves 4

8 oz spaghetti (half box)

1/2 cup basil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried Italian season

Cheese of your choice



1. Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. Cook on medium high heat for 10-12 minutes. Until pasta is al dente and liquid has thickened and mostly evaporated.

One Pot Pasta

2.Remove from heat. Plate. Sprinkle with your choice of cheese.

Just one pot pasta Photo in the middle of the cooking process

3. Enjoy πŸ™‚


One pot pasta



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Fiesta Chopped Salad

I am very much enjoying all of summers succulent fruit and vegetables. I have been fortunate enough to be able to go to many local farmers markets and buy the freshest of this seasons harvest.

As I looked at my fridge and pantry looking for inspiration for dinner, I decided I need to use as many vegetables as possible. As you already know from my guacamole post, I love Mexican cuisine. I came up with this easy, filling, flavor packed chopped salad with a cool avocado lime dressing. My husband, who typically does not consider a salad “dinner”, was full and satisfied with this one. πŸ™‚

Feel free to add or omit any of the ingredients. Cooking should be fun and you should create something you will enjoy!


Fiesta Chopped Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ cup tomatoes
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 1 cup tortilla chips or strips
  • ¼ pound strip steak, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon each garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, paprika and salt
  • ¼ cup Mexican blend cheese
Avocado Lime Dressing
  • 1 large avocado
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Combine steak with garlic powder, cumin, paprika, black pepper and salt. Cook in olive oil. Sprinkle cheese over top. Set aside.
  2. In food processor, blend together avocado, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice and salt until smooth.
  3. Chop vegetables. Drain beans.
  4. Arrange veggies and meat on plate. Toss with dressing before serving.
  5. Enjoy πŸ™‚

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Lebanese Tabouli Recipe

Tabouli is a Middle Eastern dish that originated in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria. It is generally served cold, as part of a mezze platter. I love make a large bowl of tabouli and enjoying it on a picnic during the hot summer months.Β 

lebanese tabouli

Seattle has experienced a bit of a heat wave over the past few weeks, making it impossible to use your oven. Okay, according to the National Weather Service what we have experienced would notΒ  be consider a heat wave; but it sure feels like it to me. Did you know that most homes in the Puget Sound do not have central air conditioning? Well neither did I. It was on a 90 degree afternoon in July that I discovered our condo did not have air conditioning.Β  Along with the rest of the city, we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase a cooling device.

Using ripe but firm tomatoes is important, to ensure they are able to hold their shape πŸ™‚ In the Lebanese version of this dish, there is more parsley than bulgur wheat. Ratios vary across the region. Feel free to put your own spin on this favorite!Β 


Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • 3 cups curly parsley leaves, stems discarded
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup fine bulgur wheat
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Romaine lettuce, for serving
  1. Make dressing by combining lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium size bowl, pour dressing over the bulgur wheat in order for it to soften.
  3. Using a food processor, pulse parsley until fine.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together parsley, tomatoes, mint and green onions. Toss with bulgur wheat.
  5. Serve with romaine lettuce.
  6. Enjoy πŸ™‚








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