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Lunchbox recipes

Beet Hummus

2 large or 3 medium raw beets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

Zest and juice of a large lemon

Juice of 2 large lemons

2 garlic cloves, sprinkled with salt and mashed in a mortar or with flat side of a knife

1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)

Olive oil, as needed (optional)

Wash the beets, then trim off leaves, leaving an inch of stems. Break off long root if needed, but don’t trim it close. (Beet juice can stain, but leaving top and bottom intact reduces problem.) Wrap each beet loosely in aluminum foil, closing top to hold in juices, and place on oven rack. Roast at 400 F for about an hour. Open foil and poke with a knife to make sure each beet is tender.

Cool beets until you can handle them, then trim away tops and pull away thin skins, using a paring knife or vegetable peeler to help it along. Cut into chunks.

Place beet chunks and the remaining ingredients in bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. (You may need to stop motor and push some of beet chunks toward blade with a rubber spatula.) Add the olive oil, as needed, if more moisture is desired.

Makes about 2 cups.

— Recipe adapted by McClatchy News Service from “Taste of Beirut,” by Joumana Accad.

Avocado Hummus

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for covering

1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)

Place all the ingredients in bowl of a food processor and puree until completely smooth. (Stop processor and scrape down sides of bowl if needed to get all avocado pureed.)

Scrape hummus into an airtight container and cover with a little olive oil. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe from Catherine McCord, Weelicious.com.

Red Quinoa Salad With Black Beans and Avocado

1 cup red quinoa

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup finely minced red onion

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained

1 fresh avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup minced cilantro

Rinse the quinoa well, then put it in a saucepan with 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed (for about 15 minutes). Quinoa is done when grain appears soft and red becomes translucent. Germ ring will be visible along outside edge of grain. Allow to cool to room temperature.

While quinoa is cooking, mix the lime juice, olive oil, salt and cumin in a small bowl. Toss cooked quinoa with the onion, black beans, avocado and cilantro. Add dressing and toss until evenly distributed. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings.