Mediterranean Seven-Layer Dip

A dish so good I made it twice!

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Seriously, this dip is that good. I had a potluck to go to a couple of weeks ago and wanted to bring something that everyone could snack on, and that was easy for me to throw together. This dish accomplishes those two goals and so much more: it is also beautiful to look at (you have to admit even though it’s in Tupperware those layers are gorgeous), and healthy to boot! Plenty of vegetables in this powerhouse of a party food. And it looks so fun and festive that people will enjoy eating it without even realizing that they are making a nutritious choice.

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I know it does not necessarily look fancy in plastic but we must take a moment to admire the pretty layers!

It was enjoyed so much the first time that I made it again for my brother’s graduation party the next week. And it looked even prettier in the serving bowl my mom had on hand. Served with some multigrain pita chips or fresh pita bread, this appetizer is certain to be a crowd-pleaser that everyone enjoys.

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Mediterranean Seven-Layer Dip (adapted from Jackie’s recipe at Domestic Fits. All of her recipes are amazing and I highly recommend checking out her blog )

Ingredients:IMG_4448

  • 16 oz. hummus (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 of a large red onion
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato
  • 1 large cucumber (or package of smaller cucumbers)
  • 1/4 cup olives (Kalamata olives are the best for this dish)
  • 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts
  • Feta cheese (how much you add really depends on how much you love Feta-and how large you want that layer to be…I used 3/4 cup)IMG_4423
  • Bag of pita chips, or slices of pita bread, for serving

Directions

  1. Dice the tomato into small pieces and set them on a paper towel. Lay another paper towel over them a lightly press to release juices. This will get rid of excess fluid and keep your hummus layer from becoming watery. (Another option: put the tomato pieces into a colander and let the juices strain into a glass. Now you have fresh tomato juice!)
  2. Pit and dice the olives.
  3. Dice all the ingredients into small pieces. You want your pita to be able to withstand the weight of all seven layers!
  4. Assemble the dish (I recommend this order from bottom to top: hummus, cucumber, tomato, onion, artichoke hearts, olives, and feta).

 

Summer Rolls for Summertime

It’s starting to feel a lot like summertime!

And with the sunshine comes a yearning desire for smoothies, frozen yogurt, and plenty of fresh salads. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the fact it’s swimsuit season, regardless I like to keep my summer meals fresh, tasty, and light. Which is why my boyfriend and I made summer rolls last weekend.

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Summer rolls are rice paper wrappers than encompass heaps of fresh vegetables, rice noodles, herbs, and sometimes chicken or shrimp. These rolls are usually served with a dipping sauce, and they taste incredible.

What I love about summer rolls is that they are versatile. You could put anything you would like into your summer rolls when you make them yourself! Another great thing is that the basic supplies of summer rolls (rice wrappers and rice noodles) come in large quantities. So you could buy these 2 items and have multiple nights worth of summer roll supplies. And if you’re changing up the ingredients going into the summer rolls you’ll never get bored.

Making the summer rolls is really fun too! My boyfriend and I were cracking each other up with our summer roll wrapping skills (or lack thereof). Once we got the hang of it the rolls started looking normal, but there were definitely some blooper moments since softened rice paper sticks to itself fairly easily.

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I hope I have convinced you to try making summer rolls during this summer season. They’re a unique and refreshing way to eat your vegetables, so go ahead and starting rollin’!

Summer Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 package rice paper wrappers
  • 1 package rice noodles
  • Vegetables of choice, cut into match sticks (examples: cucumber, scallions, carrots)
  • Protein of choice (optional; suggestions: chicken, shrimp, tofu)
  • Mung bean sprouts; can also use other sprouts (for example: alfalfa)
  • Herb leaves (mint, cilantro, basil, parsley)
  • Lettuce (Boston or Romaine work well)
  • Fruit (optional; we used mango)
  • Dipping Sauce (I used House of Tsang’s Bangkok Peanut Sauce)

Directions

  1. Cook rice noodles according to the directions on the package.
  2. Rinse and pat dry all vegetables, fruit, sprouts, lettuce, and herb leaves
  3. Cut vegetables into thin strips
  4. Slice protein of choice into thin strips
  5. Create an assembly line for the ingredients. Having them all within arms reach will make it easier to create your summer roll.
  6. Fill a pan with warm water and set it on the counter near you assembly line. One at a time, soak a spring roll wrapper in the warm water for 45 seconds (it will become translucent), then remove.
  7. Lay the softened wrapper on a clean, flat surface. Place a whole leave of lettuce on top of the wrapper, then top with ingredients of choice (including the rice noodles).
  8. To create the roll, first  fold the sides, and then roll the wrapper forward while tucking the ingredients inside the summer roll.
  9. Repeat until you create the desired number of summer rolls. Dip rolls into sauce and enjoy!