Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board with Pulled Lamb

Well hi there! It’s been a while…

This Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board features slow-cooked pulled lamb, pomegranate arils and refreshing sliced cucumber to make the perfect healthy appetizer for your next get-together!

Can I offer you a Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board with Pulled Lamb to make up for it? I promise it’s just as good as it sounds (and more) and will quickly become a favorite meal of yours. Might I also add it would make a great, healthy option to feed the troops during Super Bowl this weekend?

If you were a reader before, or perhaps have been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that the reason for my recent hiatus was because my husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Raia Marie, into the world in October. I had a good amount of content lined up for when she was first born, but then (as I’m sure you’ve heard) the perfect storm of unfortunate events hit our little community of Santa Barbara, first with the Thomas Fire and then with the Montecito Mudslide. Add to that a 10-day trip to Hawaii (where we infamously had a near miss with a ballistic missile attack) and you can see why it’s taken me a little longer than anticipated to get back in any sort of groove.

This is the first time since mid-November that we’ve been home for an entire week, and I’m slowly figuring out a schedule (if you can call it that) with little Miss Raia where I can occasionally get a little bit of work done and, most importantly, get back in the kitchen!

A Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board with Pulled Lamb can serve as a healthy appetizer to feed a crowd or a light dinner for you and your family.

My new favorite method of cooking is, understandably, batch cooking. Since my time in the kitchen is quite sparse these days, when I DO have the time I love roasting up a huge tray of veggies or throwing a big cut of meat or various other ingredients into the slow cooker and letting it do most of the work. Bonus if I can figure something out using healthy ingredients because, man, breastfeeding is no joke and I’m way hungrier these days than I ever was while I was pregnant.

This Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board with Pulled Lamb fits my need for easy to cook, filling and delicious recipes that, let’s be honest, can just as easily pass as an easy weeknight dinner as it can for a show-stopping appetizer for your next get-together.

I’ve simply created THE most delicious slow-cooked lamb recipe that then gets dumped on top of creamy hummus which is then garnished with pomegranate seeds, fresh rosemary, cucumbers and the like. And don’t forget the pita bread! You could also go hog wild and throw on some fresh veggies like beets, carrots, radishes or whatever you prefer to enjoy your hummus with.

Since my time is a bit limited as far as recipe development goes, I went with premade hummus and pita bread wedges for this go-around, but I know this whole setup will be equally (if not more) delicious if you decide to take the time to make all of these things from scratch.

Loaded hummus is the perfect healthy snack that can easily pass as a meal!

If you’re feeling ambitious, my friend Becky over at Baking the Goods has mastered the Creamy Dreamy Hummus from Tusk in Portland and you can click here for the recipe. Or, you can try one of the other hummus recipes I’ve shared on this site like this Roasted Cauliflower Hummus with Rosemary and Garlic or this Pumpkin Curry Hummus.

I haven’t yet come up with my own recipe for homemade pita bread, but I’m sure you can’t go wrong with this Golden Pita Bread Recipe from King Arthur Flour or this tutorial on How to Make Pita Bread from The Kitchn.

But for those of you who (like me) don’t have a lot of time on your hands, store-bought is just fine. Just be sure to find hummus and pita with as few ingredients as possible!

As far as the lamb goes, it really couldn’t be easier since you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand in the pantry. Just head to your favorite local butcher and ask for the boneless leg of lamb (or lamb shoulder would work, too) and you’ll be well on your way to a tasty, healthy protein made in quite possibly the least hands-on way possible.

This hummus is loaded with all your favorite Mediterranean flavors from a juicy pulled lamb to refreshing pomegranate seeds.

Before I leave you with all the deets on how to create your own Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board with Pulled Lamb, be forewarned that this lamb recipe will leave you with wayyy more lamb than you will ever need piled on top of your hummus. Well, I’m giving you permission to use the extra to whip up lamb tacos, a Greek casserole, or even pulled lamb sandwiches to get ya through the week. I’m learning now more than ever that there is so much power in leftovers!

Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board with Pulled Lamb
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs 55 mins
Total Time
7 hrs 10 mins
 

Not-your-average-hummus recipe! This healthy appetizer has way more going on than a simple chickpea spread - it's loaded with juicy pulled lamb, fresh rosemary and pomegranate seeds!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the pulled lamb:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 pounds boneless leg of lamb (or lamb shoulder), trimmed of any large pieces of fat
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
All other ingredients:
  • Hummus (I used two tubs of store-bought)
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Pita bread, cut into wedges
  • Other vegetables such as carrots, radishes, etc. (as desired)
Instructions
  1. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil in bottom of a large slow cooker. Add lamb and drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over top. 

  2. Add garlic cloves, rosemary, oregano, mint, salt and pepper. 

  3. Cook on low for 7 hours. 

  4. Remove lamb from slow cooker and place in a large bowl, reserving the lamb’s juices in the slow cooker. Using two forks, shred the lamb until no big chunks remain.

  5. Drizzle on just enough of the reserved juices from the slow cooker so that the lamb is nice and moist without having too much extra liquid in the bowl. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

  6. To assemble, scoop hummus onto the center of a large cutting board or serving platter, swirling to create a sort of a well in the middle.

  7. Add pulled lamb to the well in the center. Top with pomegranate arils and fresh rosemary.

  8. Surround the hummus with sliced cucumbers, pita bread and any other vegetables you’ve decided to use and serve!

The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles

I’m not kidding when I call them “The Ultimate”…

This delicious recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers is the perfect dish to serve up over the long holiday weekend!

We’re talking perfectly crispy potato-laced waffles topped with all your favorite Thanksgiving fixings – juicy roast turkey, sweet and tart cranberry sauce, your favorite stuffing, even gravy if you please. Basically all of the delicious things we look forward to for arguably the biggest food holiday of the year served up in one delicious dish that is perfectly acceptable for to be enjoyed as breakfast, lunch or dinner – Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles, your day has arrived!

Well, on Friday it will have arrived, but I’m planning on taking a little break from this here blog for the long weekend so we can really enjoy our time up north with our family – and introducing everyone to our newest little addition! Plus, I figured everyone would be either (a) too busy Black Friday shopping or (b) too lazy watching football on the couch to be catching up on their favorite blogs the day after Thanksgiving, hence why I’m hitting you with my new favorite Turkey Day leftovers recipe today while we’re still craving alllll those foods and wondering what we’re going to do with the monstrous amounts of leftovers.

Make an Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffle as soon as your second craving for turkey strikes!

Okay, to be honest, The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles don’t REALLY involve that much of a recipe, because they are totally customizable to whatever types of leftovers you have on hand. The one constant that I highly recommend is the potato waffles. I adapted them from Justin Chapple’s recipe for Food & Wine and they are the perfect hybrid of a typical Belgian waffle and hashbrowns/your favorite potato latke.

Even better, they can easily be made in advance and frozen until ready to use, so if you know you’ll be low on cooking steam by Friday, whip some of these waffles up in the next couple of days so you can just pull them out and defrost them in the toaster or the oven as soon as you start craving that first hit of leftovers. I mean, I wouldn’t even blame you if you turned to these for a late-night snack on the big day itself!

The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles will easily get you through the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.

After you make the waffles, you can really go in whichever direction you want as far as toppings. The hubs and I had a blast doing an early Thanksgiving back in September when I was working on stockpiling content for maternity leave, and I roasted up a simple turkey breast to enjoy with this Zucchini Stuffing and some simple cranberry sauce. All of these made the perfect toppings for potato-y waffles, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I’d made more of them to have ready to go this weekend.

Now, I kept it fairly traditional/simple with the toppings for my Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to possibilities. Here are just a few of the many ways to dress these waffles up:

Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Vegetables

All creative license is yours!

Serve up The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles as an easy breakfast the next day!

I’ll be back on Wednesday with one more fun Thanksgiving weekend cocktail to share with you all (HINT: It involves everyone’s favorite espresso drink of the season!) before I sign off for a few days, but until then I hope you get yourself in the kitchen and start prepping all the delicious components of The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles!

The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

These potato-laced waffles are loaded with all of your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers - turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and more!

Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled, coarsely shredded and squeezed dry
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • Assorted Thanksgiving leftover toppings such as turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, casseroles, roasted vegetables, etc.
Instructions
  1. Plug in a waffle iron to heat up and preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Combine all ingredients except toppings in a large mixing bowl to form the waffle batter. 

  3. Scoop batter into preheated waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s directions (about 5-7 minutes.) Once waffle is done and golden-brown, transfer it to a rack in your preheated oven to keep warm.

  4. Repeat process until all batter is used up.

  5. Top waffles with your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Justin Chapple’s Loaded Potato Waffles recipe for Food & Wine.

The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs

We’re stepping a bit outside the Thanksgiving box today.

This Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is the perfect vegan side dish for Thanksgiving.

Because, although not a traditional holiday side dish, this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is completely worthy of a spot on your holiday table. It’s full of dried cranberries, whole grains, white beans and seasonal fresh herbs like fresh rosemary, sage and thyme and literally is a Thanksgiving explosion in your mouth. You’re going to get this one on the menu STAT.

I’ve been a big fan of grain salads for quite a while now, as evidenced by this Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad, this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad and this Herbed Grain Salad with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans. I love them because they are filled with a ton of healthy ingredients and filling to boot. The whole grains give them plenty of heft to make them completely suitable as an entire meal, although they are equally delicious (and the portions go a bit further) if you serve them as a side dish among all the other delicious things you typically serve up for a holiday meal.

I’m not joking when I say tell you this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs tastes like your entire Thanksgiving menu in a bowl. Sure, there’s no turkey in there (although you could easily add some and I wouldn’t be one bit upset about it) but just the cranberries and the fresh herbs alone are enough to mentally transport you to arguably the most well-known food holiday of the year. I love allll the fresh herbs, but there’s also just something about fresh sage in a recipe that really screams fall and all the deliciousness that comes with it.

A bowl of this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is filling enough to be a delicious vegan holiday meal.

As far as making the dish goes, it couldn’t be easier. Not only does it come together fairly quickly (the longest step will be cooking up the grains) but it can also be made in advance and served cold or at room temperature, which means it’s easy to fit into an already busy cooking and kitchen schedule once T-day rolls around.

For the whole grains, I used a combination of farro and Italian couscous because they were what we had on hand, but feel free to use other varieties such as quinoa, barley or even wild rice. I also added in some toasted pine nuts, and I highly recommend you do not skip this step, even if you want to sub in some other type of toasted nut for that little extra crunch. (Pecans? Almonds? So many possibilities.)

This Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is an easy, make-ahead side dish for the holidays.

I would also like to point out that said Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is completely vegan, which makes it a delicious, healthy, high-protein option for anyone in your group that may have certain dietary preferences. It’s a great way to serve them up some protein and filling flavor without having to bend over backwards making some sort of interesting Tofurkey creation.

Since I was developing recipes so far in advance this holiday season due to our little one’s arrival, I served this up as a side dish at my mother-in-law’s birthday celebration we held down here in Santa Barbara at the beginning of October. Let’s just say my sisters-in-law were already requesting I make it as our contribution to the Thanksgiving meal when we go celebrate with them in a couple of weeks.  I hope you decide to add it to your menu as well!

Serve this vegan Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs as a hearty side dish or light, healthy meal during the holidays.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs
Prep Time
10 mins
 

This festive vegan side dish is full of filling whole grains, protein-rich white beans and pine nuts, and the freshest herbs of the season. 

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked grains of your choice (I used a combination of farro and Italian couscous)
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans Great Northern or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to two days before serving.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs | CaliGirlCooking.com

Butternut Squash and Sausage “Stoup” with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

I hope you’re ready for a delicious fall/Halloween/weeknight meal today!

Butternut Squash and Sausage "Stoup" with Crispy Brussels Sprouts is the perfect healthy, hearty weeknight fall meal.

This Butternut Squash and Sausage “Stoup” with Crispy Brussels Sprouts is one for the books. It’s full of all the fall flavors, easy enough to make on any night of the week (yes, even Halloween), healthy and did I mention tasty?

It’s basically a seasonally appropriate version of my go-to Warming Minestrone Soup using all of the ingredients I crave this time of year (here’s looking at you butternut squash, kale, Brussels sprouts and sausage!) And why do I call it “stoup”? (I hear you asking…) Well, because it’s just a touch on the heartier side…almost a stew but not quite past the point of soup…and I feel like we’re all looking for something a little more hearty and belly-filling this time of year….am I right?

Soups and stews are one of my favorite dishes to make for the fall and winter for the same reasons salads are one of my favorite dishes to make for the spring and summer – it’s easy to pack in tons of nutrients from seasonal produce, and the recipes are also quite forgiving, so you can sub things in and out as you please based on your personal preferences or what’s caught your eye at the Farmers’ Market on any particular week.

A big pot of Butternut Squash and Sausage "Stoup" with Crispy Brussels Sprouts is the perfect dinner to have linger on the stove on any busy night.

Yes, I love the butternut squash and kale and sausage in this dish, but I promise not to hate you if you want to swap in something equally delicious like fresh pumpkin, Swiss chard, beans, etc. The one thing I’m going to beg you to at least give a shot is these crispy Brussels sprouts as a topping because they are TO DIE FOR. I seriously love them so much. But you have to make them fresh, right before you’re ready to serve your “stoup,” or else they’ll get soggy. Trust me on this, crispy Brussels sprouts are about to change your life.

I mean, just the fact that this Butternut Squash and Sausage “Stoup” with Crispy Brussels Sprouts is a healthy and hearty meal should be reason enough to serve it up tomorrow night before your little ghosts and goblins head out for a night of trick-or-treating, but I will also say that it’s a great meal to just set up on the stove top and let people help themselves as they see fit. Shoot, you could even invite over all your adult friends to sit and enjoy this deliciousness while all the little ones do their Halloween thing.

Butternut Squash and Sausage "Stoup" with Crispy Brussels Sprouts is a hearty yet healthy weeknight meal that anyone will love.

Even if you don’t have any little ones doing any trick-or-treating this year, I’m going to just go ahead and guess that you yourself have been indulging just a leeeeetle bit on all the Halloween candy and other devilish treats that are making their appearance out there right now. And because I’m all about that balance, I’m prescribing this Butternut Squash and Sausage “Stoup” with Crispy Brussels Sprouts as the perfect dinner to counteract your impending sugar coma.

Two delicious bowls of Butternut Squash and Sausage "Stoup" with Crispy Brussels Sprouts ready to be devoured!

Here’s to a safe and happy Halloween and lots of delicious food in your immediate future!

Butternut Squash and Sausage "Stoup" with Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This hearty yet healthy stew and soup hybrid is full of the tastiest fall produce like butternut squash, kale and a topping of crispy Brussels sprouts.

Course: Main Course, Soup
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 of a white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 of a medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Parmesan rind (optional)
  • 3 cups packed kale, destemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 12 ounces precooked Italian chicken sausage (sweet or spicy), sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease (or 2 additional tablespoons olive oil)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (about 8 sprouts)
Instructions
  1. Warm olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add onion and garlic and saute until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. 

  2. Add celery, carrot and butternut squash and saute another 5 minutes. 

  3. Add bay leaf, chicken stock and Parmesan rind (if using) and bring to a low boil. 

  4. Stir in kale, white wine and sausage and let simmer until kale is wilted and sausage is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.

  5. Once your soup is prepared, make your crispy Brussels sprouts. Heat olive oil and bacon grease (if using) in a large, deep saute pan over high heat. Once oil is sizzling, drop in sliced Brussels sprouts. If the sprouts are going to be crowded in your pan if you use a whole batch, you can split them up into two batches. 

  6. Fry Brussels sprouts until they look frazzled with dark brown edges. Strain out of oil and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain and crisp up. 

  7. When you’re ready to eat, ladle the soup into bowls and top with Brussels sprouts.

Butternut Squash and Sausage "Stoup" with Crispy Brussels Sprouts | CaliGirlCooking.com

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry (with Toppings!)

Today’s super-delicious recipe is brought to you by dear old Dad.

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry is delicious when served with an assortment of toppings.

I’m finally sharing his go-to curry recipe and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s not the typical Thai-style curry you order for takeout, instead it’s an Indian-Style Yellow Curry with an assortment of what we call in our household “da boys”…aka a bunch of tasty toppings that take a fairly simple, straightforward recipe completely over the top.

This Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry is so easy, it’s almost comical how much flavor it has for so few ingredients involved. It’s totally achievable on any night of the week, and you can also easily control the spice so that even the pickiest of eaters in your household get excited about it.

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry (with Toppings!) is the perfect easy dinner for any night of the week.

Although this recipe has very few ingredients, the one that I highly recommend you pay close attention to is the type of curry powder you use. Our family favorite has always been this Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder, and I highly recommend that you invest in some yourself ASAP. Sure, you could use some other brand of curry powder, but I guarantee that this one does the trick and, trust me, my family doesn’t mess around when it comes to our go-to cooking ingredients.

Aside from the curry powder, the only ingredients you’ll need for the soup itself are coconut milk, a can of green chilies, onion, chicken and chicken broth. And, depending on how thick your coconut milk is, you may also need a “cheater’s roux” made simply of melted butter and flour.

Of course, there are also variations you can make depending on special dietary preferences. For example, use tofu and vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian, or you can also omit the green chilies if you have some in your group who are averse to a lot of spice.

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry is made extra-delicious when adorned with a selection of toppings!

And no Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry would be complete without an entire assortment of toppings! As I mentioned, in my family we refer to these as “da boys,” but I realize that may seem just plain odd to many of you. Here are just a few suggestions of different toppings to serve with your curry:

Chopped macadamia nuts
Coconut flakes
Raisins
Mango chutney
Crispy onions
Chopped dried apricots

I can guarantee you will not go wrong with any of these, and you may even never resort to just “plain old” curry ever again.

We’re slowly getting into cooler weather here in Santa Barbara, so I’m looking forward to hunkering down with our new little one and enjoying all the comfort food dishes it’s been too hot to even think about for the past few months. This Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry is definitely on my list of things to whip up as often as we can!

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry is the perfect easy weeknight dinner.

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Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry (with Toppings!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This Indian-style yellow curry is incredibly tasty and easy to whip up on any night of the week, plus it's served with toppings galore!

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 4-ounce can minced green chilies (optional)
  • 3 small chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • Assorted toppings such as chopped macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, raisins, mango chutney, crispy onions and chopped dried apricots
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and chilies and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. 

  2. Add the chicken and begin to brown it. Sprinkle on the curry powder and continue stirring until all sides of chicken are browned and curry powder is incorporated. 

  3. Pour in chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once mixture has come to a boil, bring down to a simmer and add in the coconut milk.

  4. At this point, you’ll have to make the call of whether you want to thicken up your curry or not. If you like it a bit creamier, whisk together the melted butter and flour in a small bowl and then stir it into the soup. If you’re happy with a thinner curry, leave it as is. 

  5. Place toppings in small bowls and set them out on the table for people to help themselves. Serve curry over cooked brown rice. 

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry (with Toppings!) | CaliGirlCooking.com