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Pizza Hummus Pizza-flavored hummus? As a lover of hummus, this recipe caught my eye. I thought of all the wives and mothers out there who constantly battle to get their loved-ones to eat a more healthy diet. Why not be clever and sneak this healthy dip onto the table under the guise of a tasty “PIZZA” dip? It’s worth a try!

Pizza Hummus
Food Network Magazine

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 to 3 cloves garlic
3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the tomato paste, oregano and basil and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
3. Transfer the tomato paste mixture to a food processor. Add the garlic, chickpeas, chickpeas liquid, tahini, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt.
4. Purée until smooth and creamy.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. To learn about the “Nutritional Facts for Roasted Sesame Tahini,” read this article from SFGate.

2. Two 15.5 oz. cans of chickpeas equaled 3 cups of drained and rinsed beans for me.

3. I used 2 cloves of garlic, but the next time I make this, I will try adding 3 cloves of garlic for a little bit more flavor.

4. Next time I will also add a little bit more basil and oregano. I may even try adding fresh basil and fresh oregano. The conversion for dried to fresh herbs is about 1 teaspoon of dried to 1 tablespoon of fresh.

5. I also will try sprinkling a little bit of diced sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil) on top of the hummus before serving.

6. Obviously it is more nutritious to serve this dip with vegetables, but pita chips would be great with it, too.

ENJOY!

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When is a recipe more than just a recipe? If the mere thought of a particular recipe opens a floodgate of memories, then it transcends its written words. For me, this recipe for Pizza Spread falls into that category. This recipe, with only a few ingredients and very brief instructions, has been in my family for quite some time. No one in the family can remember the original source, but all can remember coming home from school and munching on mini pizzas made from Pizza Spread and English muffins. During my happy-but-poor years of marriage, I presented almost everyone I knew with jars of homemade Pizza Spread for Christmas. Fast forwarding to another decade, I remember the excitement in my children’s faces, when I’d make Pizza Spread for them. Later, when they left home for college, they did not leave empty-handed. One hand held a jar of Pizza Spread and the other held a bag of English muffins. Now my children make Pizza Spread on their own and I see mini pizzas in their children’s futures. One thing all Pizza Spread lovers agree on is the number of mini pizzas that are eaten: tasting just one mini pizza is impossible; nibbling on two is highly unlikely; eating a mere three is more probable, and devouring four to six is most likely!

Pizza Spread
Recipe from Linnell’s mom
pizza spread

Ingredients:
1 two-pound block of Velveeta Cheese
2 cubes of butter, room temperature
2 – 6 ounce cans of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
8 stalks of green onions, sliced into thin rings
Salt
English muffins

Directions:
1. Cut Velveeta into small cubes and then put into a large mixing bowl, food processor bowl, or electric mixer bowl.
2. Cut butter into small cubes and add to mixing bowl.
3. Add the two cans of tomato paste and dried oregano.
4. Wash and slice the green onions and add to the cheese mixture.
5. Blend all ingredients thoroughly together.

To Serve:
1. Turn on oven broiler.
2. Cut English muffins in half.
3. Spread English muffin halves with Pizza Spread and place them on a cookie sheet.
4. Broil until spread is melted and bubbling slightly.

Linnell’s Notes
1. Although any type of bread can be used, English muffins work particularly well with this recipe. The melted Pizza Spread flows into all the nooks and crannies of the muffins!

2. I do not add any additional salt. The Velveeta is plenty salty for me. In addition, I use unsalted butter.

3. Keep a watchful eye on the muffins when they are under the broiler, because they can burn quickly!

4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

ENJOY!

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