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  • elisesmith929

My favorite place for smoothies and juices is hands down, the GEM, in Dallas. They also have an incredible jalapeno pesto hummus that lasts about 1 day in my house when I bring it home, which inspired me to give it a try with my own spin! Creamy hummus with herby, spiced pesto makes for the perfect refreshing snack. And if you like things on the milder side of the spice scale, don't be afraid to try this one! It is super mild sans seeds!

For the pesto:

3 green onion, roughly chopped

1 jalapeño, deseeded and small diced (no seeds for mild or add some seeds for a kick!)

3 tablespoons pine nuts

1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the hummus:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup tahini

2 garlic cloves, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 teaspoons salt

2-3 tablespoons water


  1. In a blender, combine all the hummus ingredients and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides once or twice as you go to make sure it’s fully blended. Season to taste. Spread the hummus onto a platter or bowl and set aside. Rinse and wipe your blender clean. You’ll use it again to make the pesto.

  2. Toast the pine nuts on medium heat in a small sauté pan for just a few minutes until golden and fragrant. Keep an eye on them as they can burn fast! Once finished, add them directly to the blender.

  3. Add all remaining pesto ingredients to the blender and pulse until well combined. With a small spatula or spoon, add a few tablespoons of the pesto to the center of your hummus and carefully spread the pesto around the center. You can also get a little jazzy here and make some swirl patterns with your spoon if you’re feeling it. Finish the hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top. Cut up some veggies and pita and you’re ready to go!

*Note: the pesto makes more than necessary, so make sure to freeze what you don’t use for next time or add it to pasta or in addition to your next charcuterie board!

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  • elisesmith929

I love a make ahead dish, but the make ahead breakfast just hits on another level for me. There's no better feeling than waking up to a luxurious breakfast ready to pop in the oven. Perfect for a lazy weekend or weekend guests. This breakfast sammie strata hits all the

traditional sandwich notes with savory bacon, juicy tomato, creamy eggs, cheese and spinach. A total crowd pleaser and couldn't be simpler. Would love to know if you try this one!

Ingredients-Serves 6-8:

  • 6 slices bacon, diced

  • 1 loaf ciabatta, 1"diced

  • 8 eggs

  • 2 cups whole milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 3 heaping handfuls spinach (optional)

  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced


  1. In a sauté pan, cook diced bacon on medium heat until it's just crisped up, around 5-6 minutes, being careful not to burn.

  2. While the bacon is cooking, slice the ciabatta into 1" cubes and add to a 9x13 baking dish.

  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk until fully combined. Then add the whole milk, ricotta, and 1/4 cup of parmesan, salt, and pepper and whisk again until fully incorporated. Set aside.

  4. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon over to a clean paper towel and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the sauté pan. To the same pan, add the spinach (if using) and 1/2 of the cherry tomatoes. Toss the spinach and tomatoes in the bacon fat on medium heat for about 3 minutes until well coated and softened.

  5. Add the tomato mixture and diced bacon to the baking dish with the bread cubes and toss until well combined.

  6. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and lightly press the bread crumbs down to absorb the liquid. Top with reserved tomato halves and parmesan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

  7. When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350F and bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Add sliced avocado and enjoy!

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I am currently having a reawakening with romaine. For years, I thought it was boring, watery and basic. No longer! This zesty, creamy, herby lemon dressing is just the thing to level up that lonely bag of romaine sitting in your fridge! This recipe is super simple, flavorful and will make for an impressive addition to your meal!

For the dressing (Serves 4 sides):

  • 1/2 cup mayo

  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested (reserve zest for breadcrumbs)

  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons dill, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Large pinch of salt

  • 3 hearts of romaine, rinsed


For the dressing: combine all ingredients in a blender and combine for about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the blender halfway through to ensure it's mixed fully.

For the breadcrumbs, heat a small sauté pan on medium low heat. Add the olive oil, then breadcrumbs, reserved lemon zest and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Toast the breadcrumbs for about 3 minutes until the panko turns lightly golden then take off the heat.

For the salad: while the breadcrumbs cool, prepare your romaine. Cut off the roots of the romaine and spread the romaine leaves across the platter. With a marinade brush, brush the romaine with the dressing. Sprinkle generously with the zesty breadcrumbs. Garnish with additional dill and lemon wedges and enjoy!

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