Homemade Rye Crackers with Chickpea and White Bean Hummus

rye crackers and hummus n

We can’t wait for lunch this week! Creamy and smooth garlicky hummus smeared on homemade savory rye crackers. Hurry up, Monday!

Instead of making bread to go with our lunches this week, I opted for homemade crackers. My last attempts at cheese crackers (see this link) were highly successful and ridiculously addictive. Maybe that’s why I’ve stayed away from them for awhile. I had some rye flour left from my Swiss Farmer’s bread recipe. The mix of rye flour and caraway seeds are always a winning combination. These crackers are also flavored with garlic, onion, and a bit of salt.

To go with these delicious crackers, I made a hummus with the ingredients I had on hand. I find that the canned white beans add a nice smooth texture like tahini, but do not have the sharp flavor of tahini. What I like best about this hummus is the zing of the cumin and garlic.

Join me for lunch this week? Here are the recipes for both the crackers and the hummus.

Homemade Rye Crackers


  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup water (as needed)


  1. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine first six ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  3. With a fork, stir in canola oil.
  4. Continue to stir with fork and add water by tablespoons. Dough will come together into ball.
  5. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  7. Divide dough into 4 pieces.
  8. Roll out dough, one piece at a time, until it is about 1/8 inch thick (3 cm).
  9. Cut rolled dough into serving-sized pieces. Prick each cracker several times with a fork.
  10. Place crackers on parchment-covered baking sheet.
  11. Bake crackers for 12 minutes. They will be lightly browned on edges when done.
  12. Allow to cool completely on wire racks.


Chickpea and White Bean Hummus


  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
  • 1 15 oz. can white beans
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a few dashes hot sauce, we like Cholula
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • pepper


  1. Rinse and drain beans.
  2. Combine beans, lemon, cumin, garlic, hot sauce, salt and half of the olive oil. Place combination in bowl of a food processor in a regular bowl with stick blender at the ready.
  3.  Process mixture until smooth, adding more olive oil in order to reach desired consistency.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a crack of black pepper.

Lemon Tart for Two (or One)

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Tart and sweet, just like a lemon tart is supposed to be. Bites to remind of us of Spring in the middle of Winter.

I’ve noticed that lemon tart recipes are showing up on some of my feeds. Deep in the heart of Winter (a low of negative 30-something Fahrenheit in Ulaanbaatar today) , I think many of us are longing for Spring. The bright yellow zest and the taste of fresh lemon does seem to bring the feeling of Spring into the house, even if only momentarily.

Last summer, I found some four-inch baking dishes that are the perfect size for the two of us to share. And if I happen to eat the whole thing (ahem), I shouldn’t feel too guilty. Tiny tart – tiny guilt. As a nod to my friends who can’t eat gluten, or eggs, or milk, I created this recipe without any animal products or wheat. I really wanted to see if I could make a tasty crust with a nut and oat combination. The tart filling turned out nice and custard-like with a lovely sweet and tart lemony flavor. The crust had a nice nutty crunch to it which paired perfectly with the filling. This dessert turned out delicious!

Lemon Tart for Two



  • 1 1/2 tbsp oats
  • 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • tiny pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbsp applesauce


  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • tiny pinch salt
  • ¼ cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • juice of one lemon juice (about 3 tbsp)
  • zest of one lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190C). Grease a 4-inch tart pan.
  2. Put the oats, pecans, and sugar into a food processor or blender and process until finely ground.
  3. Add the remaining dry ingredients and blend well. Transfer to a bowl and add the vanilla and apple sauce. Stir well until completely combined.
  4. Put the mixture into the tart pan. Press mixture with moistened fingers until it evenly covers the bottom and extends up the sides of the pan as far as possible.
  5. Put it in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes, until it is crisp but not overdone. Set aside to cool before filling.
  6. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small saucepan.
  7. Stir in the soy milk and water until completely combined.
  8. Heat until thickens over medium heat stirring constantly.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and zest (reserve a tiny amount of zest for garnish).
  10. Return to heat and continue whisking over heat for 2-3 minutes. Mixture should be smooth and lump-free.
  11. Pour mixture into the tart crust. Sprinkle reserved lemon zest on top of tart. Chill until set, about an hour.



Going Nuts! Two Ways to Do It

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Sweet or salty? Or a little bit of both. Two quick recipes to satisfy your sweet or salty tooth.

When we’re tired of nice crisp apples or sweet Satsuma tangerines as an between meals snack, or when we need a quick protein pick-me-up after a workout, we’ve been snacking on nuts. Almonds in particular are noted for healthy oils, vitamins, minerals, and fiber content. They are tasty raw. But they are even better when glammed up with salty or sweet accouterments. Both recipes, for cinnamon almonds and garlic almonds, are delicious snacks by themselves. These tasty morsels can also be added to breakfast cereals, salads, or vegetable side dishes to add a flavor and a nutritional boost. Today I give you the salty – Garlic Salt Almonds, and the sweet – Cinnamon Sugared Almonds.

Garlic Salt Almonds


  • 3 cups almonds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated


  1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (145 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk egg white and water until they are nice and foamy.
  3. Whisk in salt and grated garlic.
  4. Stir almonds into egg mixture ensuring all almonds are covered in the mixture.
  5. Spread the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure almonds are in one layer.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven.
  7. Stir almonds, breaking up any clumps.
  8. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  9. Let cool and store in airtight container.


Cinnamon Sugared Almonds


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups whole raw almonds


  1. Combine water, sugar and cinnamon in medium pan over medium heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Stir in almonds.
  4. Continue stirring mixture until liquid evaporates. Almonds will have a sand-like coating.
  5. Pour almonds onto parchment paper. Spread almonds out, breaking apart large chunks. Allow to cool.
  6. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
  7. Store leftovers in an airtight container.


Heart Healthier Tangerine Dark Chocolate Scones

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Slightly sweet and packed with chocolately flavor. Our “bakery” turned out delicious, satisfying scones to start our day.

Scones are delicious. We like their slightly crunchy exterior and dense buttery interior. I’ve made them without cream, with local berries, and have even stuffed them with chocolate chips.  On my current quest to amp up the health factor, I swapped out some of the usual ingredients with others that are more heart healthy. This recipe used only one egg white as a binder. The cocoa powder boasts healthful antioxidants. Part of the white flour has been substituted with whole wheat to add more fiber. How did the recipe come out? Delicious! These scones are just sweet enough and are full of flavor. If you wanted more sweetness, you could sprinkle another tablespoon of sugar on top or even fold in some dark chocolate chips, but I really don’t think it’s necessary.  This turned out to be a good base recipe which could be tweaked by adding dried fruit and other spices. Definitely a keeper.

Tangerine Dark Chocolate Scones


  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup tangerine juice
  • 1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest from one tangerine
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar and chopped nuts for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using a cheese grater, grate frozen butter into flour mixture. Gently mix with your hands making sure butter is coated in flour mixture. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white, tangerine juice, yogurt, vanilla and tangerine zest.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix with rubber spatula.
  6. Gather dough into a ball and pat into a 10″ circle on the prepared baking sheet. Cut dough into 8 wedges, but do not separate.
  7. Sprinkle top of scones with granulated sugar and chopped nuts.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Let scones cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet atop a wire rack before cutting.