A soulful hummus to warm your soul

Soulful Hummus made with black-eyed peas and red beans.

There is nothing like the dutiful humming of a well-used food processor.

I love Beatrice – that’s my faithful food processor. She’s been with me for over 10 years.

Old Beatrice got down in the kitchen the other day and at the end of her soulful solo, she whipped up the most amazing hummus I have ever had.

And her timing could not have been better. So many of us across these United States are safe at home, quarantined, and snug as a bug in a rug as we observe the directives from our local, state and federal officials to cool our heels at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19 or Coronavirus.

Listen to me in the kitchen on my new podcast on 94.7 The Wave.

With so some many of us at home, we are eating an array of in-between meals, crunchy, salty and deliciously fat filled snacks.

Well put down that bag of chips and sour cream onion dip! My tasty and Soulful Hummus recipe is not only a healthier alternative, it’s creamy and savory deliciousness will warm your soul. You will love the marriage of black-eyed peas and red or light kidney beans in this hummus remix.   The easy to make tortilla chips are a bonus (you are welcome) and they are figure friendly too.

Stay home, stay safe and be well my foodie friends.

Soulful Hummus

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Difficulty: Very easy
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This recipe is not only easy to make, it will warm your soul.

You will need a food processor for this recipe. If don’t have one, try a blender but be sure to smash your peas and beans in a mixing bowl with a potato smasher before adding them to the blender.

Ingredients

1 heaping teaspoon jarred minced garlic or 2 fresh cloves finely chopped
1 (16-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (16-oz.) can red beans or light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ to 1 teaspoon salt (I used a teaspoon)
¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (use 1/4 teaspoon if you love the heat)
¼ teaspoon dried thyme (not ground thyme)
Lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh chopped parsley, cilantro, chives or green onion (your choice- optional)

Directions

  1. Gather all your ingredients before you start.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a food processor.
  3. Grate a little lemon zest over the top of the mixture in the processor.
  4. Process until smooth.
  5. Spoon hummus into a lovely plate or individual sized pasta bowl.
  6. Smooth out the surface and in a circular motion, drizzle 2 tablespoon over the hummus.
  7. Lightly sprinkle top of hummus with smoked paprika or sumac.
  8. Top with fresh chopped herbs of your choice (parsley, cilantro, chives or green onion) or lemon zest.
  9. Serve with pita chips, vegetable strips like bell peppers or my easy oven tortilla chips below.

Easy Oven Tortilla Chips
You will need a parchment lined baking sheet for this recipe

Ingredients
4 tortillas
Non stick cooking spray
salt – pain, seasoned or Cajun

Directions

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Gather all your ingredients before you start.
  3. Stack tortillas on top of each other.
  4. Cut them in half, quarters then eighths.
  5. Spread the cut tortillas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Spray the tortillas with non-stick. Turn them over and spray the other side.
  7. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake 9-10 minutes.
  8. Remove when done and season with salt right on the baking sheet.

A Taste of Little Amsterdam

Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery store front. Photo credit: Little Amsterdam.

Cool.

No super cool.

That’s how many describe the vibe at Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery in mid – City, Los Angeles.

The little coffee shop that almost wasn’t is fast becoming a hot spot for those who love a cup of coffee in a joint that elicits that Amsterdam feeling of freedom, passion, art and culture.

Entrepreneur and Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery owner Josh Mock serving a repeat customer.

The once art gallery has been revived with a permanent exhibit of some of the most provocative art pieces from local artist and  imbibed with CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana touted for its inflammation and pain relieving properties.

Upon request, owner and entrepreneur Josh Mock, 40, infuses any coffee or tea drink featured on his menu with CBD, and his customers are feeling it and along with the coffee shop’s eclectic, artistic vibe.

Chai Tea Latte served at Little Amsterdam. Photo credit: Little Amsterdam.

Flat White, Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Piccolo, Macchiato – Mock says he’s got you. He knows his way around an espresso machine. And his mixology skills are on smooth display with his offerings of several exotic iced chai tea drinks and his concoctions of iced juice drinks he calls “LAmonade.”

“Amsterdam Latte is my favorite drink on the menu,” said Mock. It’s basically my four favorite drinks in one – chai tea latte, matcha latte, vanilla latte and caramel latté.  It’s the most popular drink on the menu.”

Mock’s journey to this watercolor canvas of latte dreams has been no crystal stairs.

Left to right: Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery owner Josh Mock and gallery curator Phree Art.

“This has been a journey. When I went into business I didn’t know a whole lot. What I learned is that compliance issues are very serious. I spend tens of thousands in dollars making building, safety and health modifications, and while making these changes I got evicted three times,” said Mock with a gaze of reflection.  “People go to college and pay a lot to learn what I experienced. I consider this my education,” Mock said adding he hopes aspiring entrepreneurs will learn from his experience.

Today the sound of success is the sweet sound of an espresso machine frothing milk for lattes. Mock couldn’t be happier because Little Amsterdam reopened in late January to a community of awaiting and endearing coffee klatchers, fans and followers who have longed to reconnect with the good vibes and cool connections that had become a part of their daily lives.

Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery exhibit and coffee shop swag.

Mock hasn’t missed a beat since he reopened or perhaps stoke is a better word. The art that lines the walls is bold and spirited, much like the coffee and tea offerings that have made Little Amsterdam the “spot.” The permanent exhibit is curated by creative director and fashion designer Phree Art (known as Phree), 29, a whimsical and audacious young artist and fashion designer who views the fusion of art and coffee as the gateway to social immersion.

“This is a very intimate space,” said Phree as his eyes moved about the coffee shop and art gallery with a sense of satisfaction.  “When Josh decided to open up the space for events, one of our first events was art an exhibit that featured fashion and jewelry designers.  The turnout was overwhelming and it allowed a lot of artists to manifest their dreams.”

March 14, 2020 flyer featuring one of the many social immersion events held at Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery.

Mock says Little Amsterdam will also be place to foster creativity in children. His future plans include holding painting, fashion, music and dance workshops.

While success has been a bumpy road for Mock one thing is clear – his quiet, indomitable spirit is unquestionable. Mock says his mother has been a great inspiration and his three children are the reason he has never given up. Having the opportunity to build something that has longevity is everything to Mock. He’s seizing this moment because he wants to make sure his children benefit from his sacrifice and hard work.

Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery on Yelp.

Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery will soon turn the page and write a new chapter. Mock is set to soon open a second location with a similar theme on La Brea Avenue and 11th Street. Not content to be a Mom and Pop shop, Mock wants to make Little Amsterdam a coveted destination spot.

Signature Amsterdam LAmonade, refreshingly good.

You may not be a barista or mixologist like Mock, but perhaps you might want to try your hand at making his Amsterdam LAmonade, which he has modified so you can make it at home.  It’s a popular drink and there’s good reason: it is refreshingly good.  The mixture of  juices combined with vanilla and a lemon and honey simple syrupy elevates this drink to something  just beyond lemonade.  Give it a try and think Little Amsterdam thoughts with each sip.

Exterior Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery.

Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery is located at 1412 S. Redondo Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019. It is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Follow them on Instagram at @little.amsterdam.coffee for upcoming events.

Little Amsterdam LAmonade

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: Very easy
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A refreshingly delicious, iced drink.

Ingredients


1/2 cup honey
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup of your favorite peach nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. To make the simple syrup, combine honey, vanilla extract and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the honey has dissolved; let cool.
  2. In a large pitcher, whisk together simple syrup, pineapple juice, peach nectar and 5 cups water.
  3. Place in the refrigerator until chilled.
  4. Serve over ice.

A post Valentine’s Day sister friend recipe

Easy Lemon and Parsley Panko Salmon served here with Mac and Cheese and and seasoned string beans.

I’ve had my share of loves and lovers.

I have no regrets.

The gift of Valentine’s Day

There is something about Valentine’s Day that makes me focus less on the love I’ve lost, but more on the love that I have.

It hasn’t always been that way.

Yet experience is the best teacher and gratitude keeps a heart humble.

My friendships with my sister friends have been a great source of strength, comfort and beauty in my life. God only knows the value they bring to my life , and to be honest I haven’t been the best in letting them know.

Left: My Bestie Anne Dunn. Right: Me, Veronica Hendrix

A sister friend for life

Anne Dunn is one of those sister friends. I’ve known her for nearly 30 years. I started out working for her at the Los Angeles City Commission of the Status of Women where we used our legislative bully pulpit to advocate for fair and equitable treatment of women and girls in all aspects of their lives.

Those were the days for sure. We made a difference and played an integral role in shaping the policies and laws that affect the treatment of women and girls not just in the city of Los Angeles, but the state and nation.

Today our lives have taken different paths, but the friendship and bond we forged has been unbreakable and enduring over the years. She is my bestie and thank goodness the best sounding board I have, not to mention her wise wit and thought provoking wisdom I so appreciate. We all need an “Anne” in our lives.

A sister friend recipe

Recently Anne and I hung out in my kitchen. Our task was to create a quick and tasty entrée that could be served “sister style.”

Meyer lemons from Anne’s bountiful, backyard tree. The best lemons ever.

We didn’t tinker around too much because when you start with salmon and the most amazing Meyer lemons from her backyard tree, you better believe deliciousness will be the result.

The salmon recipe we created is moist and flavorful. The grated lemon zest in the Panko bread crumb topping is subtle and the lemon marinade that is basted on the salmon before the Panko is pressed on the surface elevates the lemony flavor to delectable heights. Plated, this recipe serves about six sister friends.

Close up of Easy Lemon and Parsley Panko Salmon. So moist and delicious.

So here’s something you can consider. After you enjoy your Valentine’s Day with your sweetie, children and others that you love, perhaps you can gather a few of your sister friends and invite them over for a post Valentine’s Day sister friend meal. I bet they will not only jump at the opportunity, but a few of them would probably be willing to be your sous chef.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all your beautiful and amazing sister friends. Drop me an email and let me know about your gathering. And lastly, if you would like the recipe for the Mac and Cheese and seasoned green beans, let me know. It was an absolutely delicious and soul satisfying meal.

Easy Lemon and Parsley Panko Salmon

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Very easy
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An easy and delicious salmon recipe with a lemony twist.

Ingredients

Salmon
2 to 2 ½ pound salmon filet (skinless featured in this recipe)
baking sheet
parchment paper

Panko coating
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped curly leaf parsley
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest (firmly packed)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

Vinaigrette marinade
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard (Trader Joes brand featured in this recipe)

Directions

    1. Gather all your ingredients.
    2. Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
    3. In a mixing bowl add and stir together Panko bread crumbs, chopped parsley,grated lemon zest, salt, garlic powder and sugar.
    4. Drill olive oil over mixture and blend thoroughly with a fork. Set mixture aside.
    5. In  a separate small mixing bowl, make vinaigrette by adding lemon juice, olive oil, salt, honey and Dijon mustard.
    6. Whisk with a fork or wire whisk until blended.
    7. Place salmon filet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Generously brush salmon filet with vinaigrette.

      Salmon filet oven ready.

    8. Spread the Panko mixture evenly over salmon filet covering the entire surface, and lightly press the Panko mixture on to the surface to make sure it stays on.
    9. Place baking sheet in oven and bake at 375 Fahrenheit  for 25 minute until lightly brown.
    10. Remove and serve “sister style” (family style) with lemon wedges.

A Super Bowl Recipe that scores extra points

Sweet and Southern Ground Turkey Meatball Sliders on whole grain and pumpernickel dinner rolls.

The fix is in for Super Bowl 54.

It’s going down on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

Demi Lovato will belt out the national anthem and Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will dazzle us with halftime show performances.

It’s gonna be a helluva game with the San Francisco 49ers going up against the Kansas City Chiefs who have not made a Super Bowl appearance in 50 years.

About 100 million people will be watching the game, along with the New England Patriots organization whose run as the Super Bowl “usual suspects” was interrupted this year by the Tennessee Titans.

Are the Chiefs hungry? You better believe they are.

And this game will require some good grub to take you from the opening coin toss to the final touchdown.

Sweet and Southern Ground Turkey Meat Balls in Sassy Sauce.

My Sweet and Southern Ground Turkey Meatballs are just the addition you need for your Super Bowl menu line up.

The grated sweet potatoes and fresh chopped spinach makes them super moist and a healthy choice. The homemade Sassy Sauce recipe is rich and flavorful with a lovely sweetness. These tasty little meatballs can be served as appetizers or as sliders on your favorite dinner rolls.

Sweet and Southern Ground Turkey Meatball plated as an appetizer.

Keep them warm on the sideline in a Crockpot. Keep some grated Parmesan cheese, chopped Pepperoncini peppers, fresh chopped parsley and scallions at the end zone and there will be no delay of game.

This recipe is a touchdown with extra points.

Sweet and Southern Ground Turkey Meatballs

  • Servings: 28 to 30 meatballs
  • Difficulty: you can do it
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Moist and tasty turkey meatballs in a delicious sauce.


Ingredients

Meat Balls
2 pounds ground turkey room temperature
½ teaspoon Chipotle Chili pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½  teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried chopped onion
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup fresh chopped spinach, firmly packed
½ cup fresh grated sweet potato, firmly packed
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg

Directions

Chopped spinach and grated sweet potatoes.

  1. Gather all your ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add ground turkey and all listed ingredients. Using a fork or your hands, gently mix until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Form into 28 to 30 balls and place on to a parchment lined baking sheet.

    Sweet and Southern Ground Turkey Meatballs hot out of the oven and ready for Sassy Sauce.

  6. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and add to Sassy Sauce.
  7. Serve as appetizer or as sliders. Garnish with grated Parmesan and fresh chopped parsley.

Sassy Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped bell pepper
½ cup chopped red onion
1 clove chopped garlic
29 ounce can tomato sauce
8 ounce can crushed pineapple
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Directions

  1. Gather all your ingredients.
  2. To a sauce pan set on medium heat, add olive. Once heated, add bell pepper and onion.
  3. Sauté the mixture 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly brown. Add chopped garlic to mixture and sauté 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Cover sauce pan and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add meat balls.

Note: sauce and meatballs can be kept warm by placing them in a Crockpot set on warm setting.