Smoky and Spicy Black Bean and Chickpea Dip

August 14, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Snacks/Appetizers


Faced with feeding a hungry group of people some snacks, I decided that rather than heading out and buying store-bought hummus, I just threw together stuff I had in the pantry. As a result, I ended up with a smoky-spicy hummus-like dip. Perfect for vegetables, pita and crackers.

I left out the oil but if yours is coming out dry, you can add about a tablespoon into the mixture and you should be good to go.

Recipe: Black Bean and Chickpea Dip

Summary: A “better than store bought” version of hummus.


  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons liquid aminos (or tahini or soy sauce)
  • dash cayenne, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper


  • Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.
  • Refrigerate before serving.

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)



Product Review: Cava Mezze Harissa

September 29, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Product Review

I have yet to make it to Cava Restaurant in Washington, DC but had a chance to sample their take home items at the Local Foods event in Arlington. After a free sample, in no time I had loaded my cart with both a container of their harissa and their hummus ignoring the $6 price tag for an 8.5 oz container. (Unfortunately, the hummus was consumed before I had a chance to take pictures of this review. Perhaps, however, that will attest to the deliciousness of it.)cava mezze harissa

The harissa is hot hot hot but oh so good. It’s the kind of hot that has that has a great zing of red pepper that doesn’t drown out the rest of the flavors of the tomatoes, garlic and spices.

cava mezze harissa

The Cava Mezze line of products is made through Potomac Fine Foods which is located in Rockville, Maryland. Beyond the harissa, they also make tzatziki, eggplant and roasted red pepper dip, traditional hummus, spicy hummus, and crazy feta. Potomac Fine Foods products are, right now, only found in Maryland, Virginia and DC at this time.

cava mezze harissa

The Potomac Fine Foods website has some great recipes. I’ll have to try the Portobello Mushrooms with Harissa and Fresh Mozarella or perhaps the Sautéed Sweet Corn with Harissa recipe…decisions, decisions.

Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip

June 01, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Snacks/Appetizers

I learned the hard way that this is not a make ahead dish. More specifically, by making this dip the night before it was going to be consumed meant that while in the refrigerator the tomatoes and greek yogurt exuded a lot of liquid. As a result, this dip ended up being a little juicy albeit it was still delicious. However, if you are going to just make and serve it, it’s actually pretty durn good.

Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip
From Healthy and Green Living

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (I used fat-free)
2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives
1 cup hummus
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup oil-cured or Greek-style olives, sliced
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup green onions, white and green parts, chopped
Fresh or dried oregano, for garnish

Mix the yogurt and chives together and spread in a 10-inch glass pie-plate.

Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip

Spread the hummus evenly over the yogurt.

Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip

Sprinkle with cucumber…

Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip

then with tomatoes…

Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip


Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip


Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip

and green onions.

Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip

Sprinkle top with oregano. Serve with pita chips. May also be used in wraps or pita pockets as a sandwich, or served with grilled eggplant.

Mediterranean Layered Veggie Dip

Serves 4 to 6.

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

May 16, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Sandwiches

Despite the fancy name, this sandwich does not take a lot of preparation time. I’ve made this sandwich several times and it tastes slightly different each time I make it…but all versions of this have been delicious. Because you let it sit in the fridge to marinate all flavors have a chance to meld together and the layers make it a pretty to look at sandwich to bring to picnics and get-togethers.

The recipe originally appeared in the July/August 2005 edition of Vegetarian Times. I changed the order of preparation. (Basically, letting the vegetables marinate while working on the bread. These changes are reflected below.)

Vegeable Pan Bagnat
Vegetarian Times
July/August 2005

1 8-inch round loaf of crusty bread, preferably with rosemary
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic (+1 for bread)
2 Tablespoons low-sodium tamari soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 6-oz zucchini, ends trimmed
1 8-oz tomato and basil hummus (Note: This time I used red pepper hummus.)
3 roasted red peppers or 1 12-oz jar, drained
1 packed cup arugula leaves (Note: This time I used a leaf lettuce.)
1 large ripe yellow or red heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Squeeze garlic clove through press into bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, tamari and mustard, and whisk to blend. Pare zucchini lengthwise with vegetable peeler into paper-thin slices, omitting seed center. Cut mushrooms on diagonal into wide paper thin slices. (Note: I used pre-sliced portabella mushrooms and cut each slice in half.) Add zucchini and mushrooms to dressing; toss. Marinate 10 minutes; drain.

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

While vegetables are marinating. Halve bread horizontally, using serated knife. Starting 1/2-inch from edges, remove about 1 inch soft bread from center of each half, making hollows for filling. Lightly brush cut surfaces with olice oil and rub with garlic clove.

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)
Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

To assemble sandwiches:
– spread bread hollows with hummus

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

On bottom layer layer zucchini slices…

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

Half of the red peppers…

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

Mushroom slices…

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

Arugula (or lettuce)…

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)


Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

And, remaining peppers and grind on black pepper.

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

Replace top. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap; place on large plate and top with heavy pot lid.

Vegetable Pan Bagnat (Layered Vegetable Sandwich)

Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, unwrap and cut sandwich into 6 wedges.

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