Tag Archives: hummus

Sandwich Roll-Call

30 Jun

It’s summer and let’s get real… it’s hot outside and I am not cooking a lot these days.

I am still eating… but a lot of sandwiches. I am a sandwich lover and I’m not afraid to admit it. Here’s a recap of my favorite sandwiches from my kitchens and the kitchens around me:

Veggie Cuban Sandwich

This is my staple sandwich every time I visit a Cuban panadería. A few weeks ago I got to meet President Obama because I had a craving for this sandwich and scheduled a meeting at Kasalta do I could work and eat simultaneously.



President Obama as he arrived at Kasalta Bakery in Ocean Park, Puerto Rico on June 14, 2011.

Tostón Sandwich

My friend Tania taught me how to make these… not something to eat every day, but DELICIOUS!!!



Avocado and Tomato Sandwich

This was a sandwich I have eaten for 5 days straight until I was out of the ingredients… I am not kidding you!!!


TunoFish Sandwich

When I was hospitalized a few years ago, all I wanted after I got out of the hospital was to eat this sandwich… on criollo bread. Yum!!!



Hummus Sandwich

This combination of hummus and grain mustard is unusual, but so freking delicious.  Do not critizice until you’ve tried it.



Veggie Party Sandwiches

This is my staple at kids birthday parties… and I just got a request for an adult birthday party too. They’re just delicious at any age group…


Asparagus Party Sandwiches

These are a bit of a pain to make, but the rewards are so gratifying…


What are your favorite sandwiches???  Please share…  I am always looking for inspiration from you.

Mediterranean Eggplant Stacks

28 Apr

Has it ever happened to you…  that  when you wish on something hard enough, the answer to your request will come to you automatically.  I am a firm believer in that…

Well, the other day I was feeling so-so, because my fridge was full of little somethings.  To the OCD part of me, that just drives me crazy.  I like order in my universe and that includes a clean, organized fridge.  I had some hummus left, I had eggplants that would start to spoil soon, I had an opened jar of roasted peppers, among others…  so, I sat down to watch my afternoon fix of Food Network and here comes Rachael with this 30-minute recipe for Mediterranean Eggplant Steaks – a vegetarian recipe good enough for meat-eating company…  my kind of recipe!!!

I tried the recipe that same night I learned, in fact, that I missed the olives in the original recipe…  and it turned out great.  I shared it with my neighbors and they were impressed.  They asked me to make this at an upcoming neighborly get-together…  nice, huh?   And if the Israeli neighbor liked it… it must be good, if not authentic.

Try it tonight…






1 medium eggplant, cut into 4 steaks lengthwise, about 1-inch thick
1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, defrosted
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup of hummus, home-made or store-bought
1 cup whole-wheat or spelt bread crumbs
2 tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Defrost spinach.    Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high with about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive in it.  Add roasted peppers and garlic to skillet.
  3. Squeeze the spinach dry and separate as you add it to the skillet. Season the spinach with salt and pepper and heat through.   Set aside.
  4. Brush the eggplant steaks lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.  
  5. In the same skillet you made the spinach and peppers, pan roast the eggplants 3 to 4 minutes for small eggplant, turning occasionally, until the steaks begin to become tender but are not fully cooked.
  6. Place the eggplants on baking sheets. Top each steak with a few forkfuls of spinach mixture.
  7. Spread a few rounded spoonfuls of hummus evenly across the steaks on top of the spinach, covering it completely in a thin layer.
  8. Toss the bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and parsley. Divide the bread crumbs and scatter them over the steaks on top of the hummus.
  9. Bake for about 5 minutes or so,  to brown bread crumbs.


A note about eggplants:

I learned once from Martha Stewart and a guest on her show, Eleonora Scarpeta, that you should always buy the lightest eggplants you can find.  They should be light for their size – kind of like the opposite you would think, no?  The reason being that the lighter the eggplant, the less seeds it has and therefore the less bitterness it will have.  This fact is particularly important in this recipe where we cut the eggplants and cook it straight.   

Hummus Pastelón

11 Apr

These days I am trying to eat less cheese…  And it’s difficult because  I truly love cheese.   I believe the tag cloud on the right is a testament to the amount of recipes I make with cheese.  But the thing is that I should not eat as much cheese as I do. 

Ever since I was 21, I was diagnosed with a chronic IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome) condition.  Most people react to different things… my main culprit is stress.  So when I am stressed and on top of that, eat too many dairy products, things get ugly.  I promise I won’t go into the details.

My condition was partly why I became a vegetarian…  I started noticing that by eating healthier I could manage my condition without the need of traditional chemical medication.  I would focus on eating as naturally as possible and see what effects that would have on my condition…  the results were positive, to say the least.

April was designated IBS Awareness Month… so in an effort to educate my palate to think outside the boundaries of cheese-laden dishes and to raise awareness of IBS, but more in particular, the fact you CAN BE a vegetarian and thru diet manage your IBS condition you’ll see more and more recipes without using  cheese.



Hummus Pastelón

2 potatoes, washed well and cut into quarters or eights
½ cup of hummus – it can be home-made or store-bought
Juice of ½ a lemon
5-6 grape tomatoes
1 tbs butter or canola margarine
1 tbs olive oil
Garlic salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbs slivered or sliced almonds



  1. In a medium saucepan, boil the potatoes.  I cover the potatoes only half way with salted water.  I find they cook faster this way.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the hummus filling.  You can use my recipe for hummus here or buy it from the store.   If you’re using the store-bought kind, I like to “revive it” by adding a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of ½ a lemon.  I like the tangy lemony taste in hummus.   Set aside.
  3. When the potatoes are done, drain them and return to the same pot.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil, add the butter, buttermilk and mash to desired consistency.  It can be as chunky or as smooth as you prefer it.  Season with a bit of garlic salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Now we assemble the pastelón…  in a medium casserole dish spread ½ the mashed potatoes creating the bottom layer of the pastelón.  Spread the hummus layer as evenly as possible.  Place the cut grape tomatoes on a layer on top of the hummus. Add the remaining mashed potato layer and smooth out the top.  Sprinkle the almonds on top.
  5. Place in 350 degree F oven for about 20-30 minutes, basically to brown the top a bit and for all the flavors to combine and meld.


This dish, with its great flavors and all, turned out  a bit monochromatic for me…  so next time I will make sure and include something that will impart some added color to the hummus filling… stay tuned.


Hummus Sandwich

19 Nov

This is my favorite sandwich right now by far…  It all started with a hummus sandwich I order at a bagel place near my work.  And you can add a few extras… and because I love grain mustard so much, I started ordering the hummus sandwich with grain mustard, and take it from me, it gives it a really nice kick.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I make my own hummus, and the recipe will follow.  But just in case you want to try this and are strapped for time, just take some store-bought hummus, brighten the flavor with some squirts of lime juice and call it a day.



1 can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans – I still have not been able to figure out how to make the garbanzo beans from scratch
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
juice of one lime
about 1/2 cup of olive oil – enough to make the mixture as creamy as possible
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of paprika
Whole -wheat bread – choose your favorite, pita, baguette, bagel, it will work with any
Whole-grain  mustard
Lettuce or any other greens – optional

 For the hummus:

  1. Rinse the garbanzo beans. 
  2. Place garbanzo beans, cheese, garlic, lime juice salt, pepper, paprika and some of the olive oil in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until the mixture is creamy.  If the mixture is not as creamy as it should be, keep adding olive oil in small increments until you reach a smooth texture.

The Parmesan replaces the tahini sauce… because I can’t bear to buy a huge jar of tahini just to make hummus.  I need to be more versatile with the limited refrigerator space I have.  And the lime juice gives it a nice kick… I does not taste like the typical Middle Eastern restaurant hummus, it tastes better!!! 

To assemble the sandwich:

  1. Toast the bread
  2. Smear hummus on one side and mustard on the other.
  3. Add tomato and lettuce.

Enjoy…  I hope you like it as much as I do.

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