Miso Furikake Hummus for Next-Level Snacking

This Miso Furikake Hummus takes your hummus snack game to the next level. Umami-rich miso takes the place of traditional tahini and furikake – the favorite Japanese seasoning – is sprinkled on top to give your hummus a flavor like you’ve never tasted before.

A bowl of Miso Furikake Hummus surrounded by fresh vegetables.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I love being inspired for new recipes and flavor combinations by all my travels. While I’m most often inspired to make a travel-inspired dish AFTER I get home from a trip, today I’m sharing something I came up with recently while anxiously anticipating our vacation to Kauai next week. This Miso Furikake Hummus is pretty life-changing, so why don’t you pull up a seat and we’ll talk about it.

It’s no secret that homemade hummus is one of my favorite things to make. As long as you own a food processor or high-powered blender, it’s so easy to make! There are tons of recipes for it here on the blog, including this Mango Sriracha Hummus, this Pumpkin Curry Hummus, this Portobello Hummus and this Roasted Cauliflower Hummus with Rosemary and Garlic.

But today I’m stepping outside of the box even more than I’ve done in the past, and bringing you a Pacific island-inspired version with this umami-rich version featuring miso and furikake.

A close-up shot of Miso Furikake Hummus surrounded by fresh vegetables.

In case you’re not too familiar with either of these tasty Asian ingredients, here’s a quick run-down:

What is Miso??

Miso is a Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt. It’s considered a probiotic because of its live, active cultures, which means it not only tastes delish but is also great for your tummy! If you’ve ever ordered soup as a starter at a sushi restaurant, you’ve most likely already been exposed to the flavor of miso.

What is Furikake??

Furikake is a Japanese seasoning mix made of dried seaweed, dried fish, sesame seeds and other spices. It’s most often sprinkled on top of rice, but I also love adding it to grilled salmon or on top of avocado toast. I’ve even been known to add it to popcorn or high-quality butter from time to time.

Where Do I Buy Miso and Furikake?

Miso has become fairly mainstream, so you should find it at any “health food” store like Sprouts or Whole Foods.

Furikake is not quite so mainstream yet, but the good news is that it’s shelf-stable and lasts a fairly long time, so you can stock up the next time you find yourself at an Asian market or just order yourself some on Amazon [affiliate link].

How to Make Miso Furikake Hummus

When you combine miso and furikake in a creamy dish like hummus, the results are out of this world. The process is pretty easy, too.

Did I mention there are only six ingredients?

Simply add garbanzo beans, miso paste, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil to a food processor or high-powered blender and process until smooth.

Once that’s done, scoop the hummus out into your serving vessel and sprinkle on a generous dose of furikake. Can it get any easier than that?

A bowl of Miso Furikake Hummus nestled into a bamboo steamer surrounded by fresh vegetables.

This Miso Furikake Hummus is best enjoyed within the first day or two of making it, so be sure to have some fresh-cut veggies and taro chips at the ready [affiliate link].

Do you have a favorite recipe featuring miso or furikake? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments below!

Miso Furikake Hummus
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This Miso Furikake Hummus takes your hummus snack game to the next level. Umami-rich miso takes the place of traditional tahini and furikake - the favorite Japanese seasoning - is sprinkled on top to give your hummus a flavor like you’ve never tasted before.

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword: appetizer, Asian, furikake, Hawaiian, healthy, hummus, miso, side dish, snack
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 139 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons furikake
  • Fresh vegetables, to serve
  • Taro chips, to serve
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except furikake, vegetables and chips in a food processor or high-powered blender. Process until smooth with no chunks remaining.

  2. Transfer hummus to serving bowl and top with furikake. Serve with fresh vegetables and taro chips.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Low

Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate

This Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate is just the recipe you need to kick your guacamole up a notch. You’ll never want plain guacamole again!

An overhead shot of Festive Guacamole in a bed of tortilla chips.

Don’t get me wrong – I love me a good traditional guacamole – but when it comes to stepping it up a notch, what better way to do so than with salty, crumbly cotija cheese and tangy pomegranate seeds? (Okay, besides than with kimchi and bacon).

This recipe takes me back to my Napa days, and the one semi-classy Mexican restaurant (now defunct) that we had in our little ol’ town of St. Helena. It was a regular spot for us to take a long work lunch or meet up for an early Happy Hour, and one of the signature dishes was none other than a guacamole sampler, complete with three or so different spins on traditional guacamole. My very favorite spin – that I still think about now, over six years later – was the pomegranate and cotija version. So naturally, I had to try making it myself!

Guacamole is one of those classic party dishes for which you always need to have a good recipe up your sleeve. I’m now in a position where I’ve made it so much that I do it completely off-the-cuff without any sort of reference. BUT, I’ve made an exception for you, and when I whipped up this Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate I made sure to write down every portion and ingredient so that you can now have your own go-to guacamole recipe on hand whenever inspiration (or a tailgate, backyard BBQ or 4th of July get-together) comes along.

A wooden mortar filled with Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate, surrounded by a platter of tortilla chips.

It is, in most senses, a classic guacamole recipe, it simply gets dressed up with cotija cheese and pomegranate seeds at the very end. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, though, because its flavor meter is through the roof.

Cotija cheese seems to be fairly widely available at grocery stores these days (I found mine at Sprouts), but if you’re having trouble tracking some down, queso fresco would also be a great substitute.

This dish is fantastic as is, but if you’re so inclined you could also add some toasted pepitas at the very end to add a little extra savory crunch. Though it could easily be loaded into tacos, nachos or burritos, I find that Festive Guacamole is best enjoyed simply piled on top of fresh tortilla chips.

An overhead shot of a wooden mortar filled with Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate nestled in a bed of tortilla chips.

I hope you’ll give it a try, and let me know how it turns out in the comments!

Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate is just the recipe you need to kick your guacamole up a notch. You’ll never want plain guacamole again!

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: appetizer, guacamole, Mexican, pomegranate, side dish, snack
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 147 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
  • 3 medium avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
Instructions
  1. Combine onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, avocados and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl, using the fork to mash up the avocado as you stir. 

  2. Stir in the salt, add more to taste if necessary.

  3. Scoop guacamole into whatever dish you will be serving it in and top with cotija cheese and pomegranate arils. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Low

Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

These tasty miniature Brazilian cheese breads are packed with cheddar and fresh chives with a wonderfully chewy texture. Pao de queijo is the perfect snack or accompaniment to any meal.

This Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) is the perfect quick and easy side dish to accompany any meal!

Cheese-lovers, this one’s for you.

I’ll be the first to admit that cheese is one of my favorite food groups, so I’ll take any excuse to come up with recipes that happen to be loaded with it. When I found myself with some extra tapioca flour on hand from last week’s No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, I decided it was the perfect time to try out a recipe that had been on my mind for at least a couple of years – Brazilian cheese bread!

Believe it or not, I tasted my first pao de queijo in Hawaii at the ever-so-popular KCC Farmer’s Market on Oahu. It was piping hot, wonderfully chewy and oh-so-cheesy. When I learned that it was in fact made with only tapioca flour (making it entirely gluten-free) and still so flavorful, I knew I had to figure out how to make it on my own.

Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread is gluten-free and can be made in under 30 minutes!

Fast forward a couple of years, with a huge bag of tapioca flour just begging to be put to use, I knew it was time. Brazilian cheese bread was happening. But of course I couldn’t make it your typical Brazilian cheese bread, I had to give it my own little twist with sharp aged cheddar cheese and fresh chives. I have to say, the end result was all that I had hoped for…and more. I think it’s safe to say there will be a lot of pao de queijo in my future.

After being so intimidated to even go to the store and buy tapioca flour, I was– as is often the case for me when exploring new recipes and techniques—extremely surprised by how EASY it was to make this cheesy deliciousness. I mean, we’re talking “throw everything in a blender and call it a day” easy.

The end result was these chewy, cheesy, popping bread rolls. They’re not unlike popovers in batter consistency and looks, but when you bite into them you’ll be surprised at the soft yet chewy texture that’s undeniably full of flavor.

Serve this Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) hot out of the oven with your favorite dinner.

Did I mention they take almost no time to make? The batter comes together in less than five minutes, and they’ll be hot out of the oven in less than 15. And you’ll want to eat these bad boys HOT if you want the ultimate cheesy- and chewy-ness.

In short, Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread is PROBABLY going to become your new go-to side for all of your homemade meals.  Or maybe your favorite after-school snack? Or weekend brunch addition? Whenever you make them, you’re not going to be disappointed!

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) has a wonderfully chewy texture, is gluten-free and can be made in under 30 minutes!

Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
17 mins
 

These tasty miniature cheese breads are packed with cheddar and fresh chives with a wonderfully chewy texture. Pao de queijo is the perfect snack or accompaniment to any meal.

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: baking, bread, cheese, gluten-free, side dish
Servings: 24 rolls
Calories: 100 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a two-dozen mini muffin tin (see notes for link.)

  2. Combine all ingredients except chives in a blender and blend until smooth. 

  3. Stir in chives.

  4. Pour or scoop batter into prepared muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the bread are a light golden brown. 

  5. Enjoy warm!

Recipe Notes

Shopping link for miniature muffin tin.

No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad

A healthy, make-ahead salad that’s low on guilt yet full on flavor, this Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad will become a new family favorite in no time.

This No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad is the perfect healthy, make-ahead meal that will please the whole family!

How, oh how is it August already?? This summer has just flown by but, hey, we still have at least a month left, so let’s make the most of it, shall we? It may mean different things to different people, but I think one thing we can all agree making the most of summer does NOT mean is spending a ton of time in the kitchen – which is why you need some of this No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad in your life.

With the little one keeping me busy and the beautiful weather keeping us outside, I’ve personally found myself in the kitchen less than I have probably ever been in my life, which means I am loving anything that I can make a big batch of in advance. I need to be able to come home from a morning at the beach, reach into the refrigerator and have lunch there waiting for me – because goodness knows the little one will NOT wait for me to whip up any sort of elaborate meal!

This Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad is just what my summer-loving heart ordered. Full disclosure, this recipe was inspired by a Trader Joe’s salad I grabbed in complete haste one day when I knew there was nothing waiting for me at home for lunch. Yes, it was a quinoa salad (which, on its own can be quite drab) but somehow the sweet corn, juicy tomatoes and creamy poblano-cilantro dressing all complemented each other just perfectly. So I set out to make my own version!

A healthy, make-ahead salad that's packed with protein and nutrients.

The salad part was pretty obvious – quinoa, corn, kale, tomatoes and some chunks of poblano pepper for good measure – but then came the dressing. I loved the creaminess of the dressing in the TJ’s version, but if this was going to be my go-to grab-and-go lunch, it needed to be as healthy as possible – which meant, Greek yogurt! I love how thick and creamy it is while also having so many nutritional benefits. And, honestly, I knew that all the other ingredients I’d be adding in were so packed with flavor that that was all I needed.

Speaking of those other ingredients – garlic, cilantro and roasted poblanos, I’m looking at you! I knew that would be all I needed to make this No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad of mine a reality.

So, it’s pretty obvious that this recipe is packed with flavor, but the other thing I love so much about it is how much of it can be prepped in advance. Literally each of the steps that requires cooking can be done up to a few days ahead of time, so you can work on it whenever you have a free minute (or 10) in the kitchen. And, once it’s done and assembled, you’ll have enough Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad to last you at LEAST a week.

Meal prep lovers unite! This No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad is nutrient-rich and will give you an entire week of healthy lunches.

If those aren’t all signs of a winning recipe, I don’t know what would be!

Maybe it’s time you see for yourself… 😉

No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

A healthy, make-ahead salad that’s low on guilt yet full on flavor, this Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad will become a new family favorite in no time.

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: make-ahead, meal prep, quinoa, southwestern
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 355 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups kale, destemmed and cut into bite-size pieces
For the dressing:
  • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. (I usually put one part quinoa to two parts water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, turn it down to a heavy simmer and let cook with the lid on for about 10 minutes, or until water is absorbed.) Fluff gently with a fork and let cool completely.

  2. Next, you’ll want to cook the peppers (both of them) and the corn. If you have a gas stove, simply cut the stem off of the peppers and hold them over a burner until they are lightly charred. If you have an electric stove, you may have to head to your grill to get that nice looking char. Let cool and then cut one pepper into large chunks and one into a small dice.

  3. For the corn, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and smell caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool. 

  4. The final thing you’ll want to prep before assembling the salad is the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients (including the charred poblano that is in large chunks) in a blender, omitting the olive oil and salt for now. Blend until ingredients are fairly creamy, then start streaming in the olive oil, until you come to a consistency you like. Finally, season with salt. 

  5. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients – quinoa, corn, diced poblano, kale and tomatoes – then pour on dressing and stir to combine. Salad will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator!

Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil

This homemade shallot olive oil is perfect to have on hand in your own pantry, or to give as a hostess or holiday housewarming gift.

This Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil is incredibly easy to make and adds tons of flavor to any dish!

Easing back from the long holiday weekend with the simplest of recipes for you! In fact, much like my Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Spread, this Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil is so simple that I even hesitated to share it with you all. But guys, it’s just as the recipe title says – stupid simple – and will be such a life-changing addition to your pantry that I just couldn’t NOT share it with you all. So here goes!

Flavored olive oils have been gracing grocery and specialty store shelves for quite some time now but, to be honest, do we really know where those “flavors” are coming from? Are your favorite flavored olive oils that you buy at the store done so artificially? Are you absolutely positive that all the flavoring comes from the freshest ingredients? Are you sure you want to drop a few extra bucks on the so-called high end “fancy stuff” when you could just as easily invest in a Costco size jug of extra-virgin olive oil and flavor it on your own for pennies on the dollar?

If you’re anything like me, I’m going to guess you’re in the latter camp, which makes Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil the next best thing to hit your kitchen table this holiday season.

Use this Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil as a dip for your favorite bread, or use it in place of regular olive oil for cooking and dressing salads!

Sure, making your own Shallot Oil requires just two simple ingredients, but the ways in which you can use it are endless. We love whipping up a batch to dip pizza in (ranch dressing, you can take a back seat) and I also used it in place of the regular olive oil I called for in this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs. Basically, you can add a dash of Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil to any ol’ dish that calls for olive oil to really up the flavor game (just make sure the crowd you’re entertaining is down for boatloads of flavor!)

As far as the making of this deliciousness goes, it really couldn’t be easier. Simply slice up some shallots, throw them in a bottle with some olive oil, let it sit for a day or two and, voila, you now know why we dub this tasty concoction “Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil.”

A bottle of Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil is the perfect holiday or housewarming gift!

Grab the recipe below and let me know what great ways you end up using it!

Super Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This homemade flavored olive oil is perfect to have on hand in your own pantry, or to give as a hostess or holiday housewarming gift.

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 2 cups
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a glass bottle with a stopper and/or drizzle lid. Let sit for a day or two before using.