It’s Memorial Day.  A day set aside for Americans to honor the U.S. men and women who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. 

Because Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May, it’s also considered the unofficial start-date for picnic and barbeque season. 

Many companies host picnics and potlucks for their employees on Memorial Day, but since the Food Safety News team is spread out across the country, we’re having a “virtual potluck” for our first Memorial Day celebration.  Helena and Norah are bringing the main dishes–black bean burgers and barbequed chicken.  Michelle is bringing two sides–barbequed stuffed peppers and hummus.  Suzanne is bringing 3 sides–two pasta salads and a fruit and spinach salad.  And Dan is bringing drinks–gin and tonics–and dessert–probably something he’ll pick up at the store at the last minute.

We’re sharing our recipes here, so you can join in our virtual potluck or use them at your next one. 

Have a Safe Memorial Day Weekend!

The Food Safety News team.  

Michelle’s Hummus and Roasted Peppers

Easiest Hummus Ever

Food-wise, I’m a pretty big fan of “quick & easy” during the summer. Nothing is a pre-dinner crowd-pleaser like homemade hummus.  It’s healthy and MUCH cheaper to make your own than buy it from the store (which usually has a ton of preservatives anyway.)  Here’s my standby… 

hummus2-featured.jpg-2 Cans Chickpeas, washed & drained
-3 garlic cloves
-olive oil
-fresh parsley
-salt & pepper
-water (optional)
-Pita bread, crackers, or veggie slices
-Food Processor

Put peeled garlic cloves & parsley in the food processor and process until you have little pieces.

Add the 2 cans of washed and drained chickpeas to the food processor and process.  Add olive oil and/or water until the hummus is almost at the consistency you want (for chunkier hummus, blend for less time)

Add a couple pinches of cumin, paprika and salt & pepper depending on your taste preferences.

Scoop mixture out into a serving bowl, garnish with a sprig of parsley and loosely sprinkle a bit of paprika on top for aesthetic reasons.

Serve with pita bread, crackers, or vegetables


Roasted Peppers with Cheese & Pine Nuts

Everyone is always concerned with the main meat dish at cookouts, but I think the secret is in providing fabulous sides!  Friends have bugged me for the recipe for this simple and colorful side ever since I made it for a dinner party a couple of years ago.  Sweet peppers, cheese, and pine nuts. YUM!

bell-peppers-featured.jpg-8 Bell Peppers (yellow, red or orange)
-1 cup pine nuts
-1 block good cheese (whatever kind you want – halloumi, feta, brie work well)
-Couple garlic cloves
-Olive oil
-Salt & pepper
-Cutting board or baking pan

Preheat grill. 

Wash peppers then remove seeds.  Slice peppers in halves. Take two or three peppers of the same color and coarsely chop into little pieces.  Place pieces into bowl.

Arrange halves on a cutting board or baking pan.  Lightly brush outside of halves with a little bit of olive oil to prevent burning.

Slice garlic into little pieces, add to bowl with pepper pieces.  Slice cheese into little pieces, add to bowl with pepper pieces.  Add pine nuts to bowl.  Mix the cheese, garlic, and pepper pieces in the bowl.  Drizzle a little olive oil over mixture and add salt & pepper to taste.

Take mixture and put into pepper halves.

Once peppers are stuffed, place on the grill until cheese melts and peppers are slightly charred.