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!

5 from 1 vote
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!
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
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)
  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!

Spiked Pear Cider

I’ve fallen hard for the homemade cider this year…

This Spiked Pear Cider is made in the slow cooker and can easily be made virgin for kids to enjoy!

And for this version I’ve even brought on the booze! That’s right, this Spiked Pear Cider is just as tasty as any hot apple cider and has a splash of bourbon to boot. My kind of cool weather treat!

In case you missed it, a little while back I forayed into the world of homemade ciders with this From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider and I was more than pleased with how it turned out. It wasn’t too sweet and had just the right amount of spice. It made me start thinking about what other types of homemade ciders I could create, and a pear version was the first thing that popped to my mind.

And now that I’m back (at least a tiny bit) in the drinking game, I thought it only appropriate to make my pear cider into somewhat of a hot toddy by adding some tummy-warming bourbon. BUT, if you are not a drinker or not drinking at the moment for any reason (I feel ya) then I’m happy to say that this Spiked Pear Cider tastes just as delicious when it’s just plain ol’ “Pear Cider.” In fact, you don’t even add the booze until the end, so it’s easy to make a batch for a crowd and then just add the booze to the mugs of those who want it.

A couple of mugs of warm Spiked Pear Cider are just what you need on a cold fall or winter's night.

Aside from a little difference in the spices, the directions for making this Spiked Pear Cider are nearly identical to those for the apple cider. And whereas my apple cider recipe had no added sweetener, I did decide to add some honey to the pear cider to help counteract the booze a little bit. Which means it’s that much closer to a legit hot toddy and that much more acceptable to drink if you’re ever feeling a little bit under the weather this winter. Am I right?

So what I’ve done here is included the recipe for the pear cider itself – which you’ll make in the slow cooker – and then also the ratios for boozing it up. Plan on making the nonalcoholic pear cider in the slow cooker at least one night before you want to drink it (or first thing that morning since it takes 7 hours to cook) and then you can easily just keep it warm in the slow cooker or refrigerate it and reheat it when you’re ready to enjoy it as a cozy adult beverage.

A mug of Spiked Pear Cider is the perfect hot toddy for the holidays.

This Spiked Pear Cider is the perfect drink to have on hand for the holidays when you have guests and visitors stopping by at any given moment, or when you’re just looking for a little something special to serve up for family. It’s easy to throw together and can be made suitable for kids and adults alike. Plus, who doesn’t love a great “set it and forget it” recipe for this crazy time of year?

Spiked Pear Cider
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
7 hrs
Total Time
7 hrs 10 mins

This slow cooker recipe is a fun new take on cider and can easily be made nonalcoholic for the young 'uns or non-drinkers in the crowd.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
For the cider:
  • 8 pears, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 of a whole vanilla bean
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 8 cups filtered water
For one cocktail:
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 4-6 ounces pear cider
  1. Combine all of the cider ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours.

  2. Strain cider into a pitcher or a few Mason jars and discard solids.

  3. To make the cocktail, measure out 2 ounces of bourbon into a mug and add 4-6 ounces of the cider (depending on the size of your mug.) Enjoy warm.

Spiked Pear Cider | CaliGirlCooking.com

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider

We’re not going to miss out on any of the fall foods this year!

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider is the perfect drink to take us into fall!

With all of the excitement of pumpkin spice season, I feel like we often forget some of the other amazing produce that really shines this time of year. Yes, squash are plentiful, but let’s not forget about persimmons, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts and, of course APPLES!

Since I feel it’s just a tad too early for all the pumpkin (but don’t worry, it’s coming soon!) I wanted to take advantage of what I feel is a true September fruit and share this delish From-Scratch Slow Cooked Spiced Apple Cider today!

To be honest, I’d never ventured into the homemade apple cider realm before, but since I’m firmly on the wagon this September, I decided now was a better time than any to try my hand at a tasty non-alcoholic sipper. I love a good apple cider (and, let’s be real, I love it even more when I can spike it with some bourbon), but sometimes the store-bought stuff can get a bit too sweet for me.

A warm glass of From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider is all you need on a cool fall day.

In fact, ever since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve noticed I’m much more sensitive to overly sugary drinks. If I have more than one glass of juice or other sweetened beverage, I get a massive headache not unlike you’d get from an actual alcohol hangover. I guess that goes to show that my body doesn’t like too much of anything! Balance my friends, balance.

As I was browsing through homemade apple cider recipes online, I came across a bunch of variations and ultimately decided on a combination that I felt would be uniquely “me.” While I omitted any sort of added sugar (maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, etc.) that other recipes included, I also included what could be called the “secret ingredient” in my homemade boilo hot toddy I make every winter – caraway seeds! Of course, that would be in addition to the requisite cinnamon sticks and cloves. The result was so deliciously spiced and NOT overly sweet, I immediately fell in love!

So here’s the deal on this super-easy From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider:

I used Gala apples because I felt they have a good balance of sweetness and acidity, but you could really use any variety you prefer. If you like things more sour, go for the green apples. If you like things more mellow, go for the red ones, or try a combination of a few different varieties to get a truly unique flavor.

An orange is added for a little extra dimension, and of course the whole spices mentioned above – caraway seeds, cinnamon sticks and cloves. The chunks don’t matter because we’re straining it all out in the end anyhow.

As far as the process goes, our use of the slow cooker means things couldn’t be easier. We simply throw all of the ingredients in together with some high-quality H2O, set it and forget it. I cooked mine on low for 7 hours, but the other great thing about this recipe is it won’t really hurt to leave it in there a little bit longer. Basically, we can start the slow cooker before bed and wake up to delicious hot apple cider, or we can get everything organized in the morning and have a huge batch of apple cider ready to be spiked up a bit for an after-dinner drink 😉

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider is garnished with fresh apple slices and whole cinnamon sticks.

And if you happen to like your cider a bit on the sweeter side, simply add some maple syrup or honey to taste after you strain all the solids out after the cooking process is done.

Bet you didn’t think a tasty batch of From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider was that easy to whip up, did you?

Delicious From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider ready to be consumed with or without bourbon.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a great weekend! Xx

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
7 hrs
Total Time
7 hrs 5 mins

A not-too-sweet homemade version of a favorite fall drink, full of mouthwatering spices and fresh apple flavor and ready in just a few hours.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 8-10 medium Gala apples, cored and sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 10 cups filtered water
  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 hours.

  2. Strain solids from mixture using a sieve (or cheesecloth) and into a large pitcher. Add more sliced apples and cinnamon sticks. Serve warm (and add bourbon if you want to booze it up!)

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider | CaliGirlCooking.com

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal

Lifesaver right here ↓

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal | CaliGirlCooking.com

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal, ILY <3 I got home from my week and a half long trip up to NorCal, over to Hawaii, back to NorCal, and finally home to Santa Barbara late last night and, boy, am I ready for a lazy day at home! Unfortunately, that can’t entirely happen, since I have so much work to catch up on, but hey, at least I can do the work from home in my sweatpants 😉

Because I wanted to get a jump on my first day “back in the office” (ahem, my kitchen/couch) I decided to throw the ingredients for this Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal together in my Crockpot last night. Nothing like having a healthy, delicious,  incredibly November-y breakfast ready to devour as soon as I wake up!

Can we just take a minute here to acknowledge what a truly amazing creation this idea called slow cooker oatmeal is? I mean, think about it. We all know that this particular breakfast food is a nutritional powerhouse (and can easily be jazzed up to be even more nutritious,) but if you’re anything like me, you’re way too ravenous in the morning to stand over a slowly simmering pot on the stove, waiting for it to get all creamy and delicious. (And stop right there, you microwave oatmeal packet fans, be sure you’re reading the ingredients on those, there are often a lot of hidden not-so-good-for-you additives hidden in them!)

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal | CaliGirlCooking.com

Enter: Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal (basically the only way I am enjoying oatmeal these days.) I can’t remember EXACTLY how I came up with the idea to basically pile all of the cherry pie flavors/ingredients together with steel cut oats and two types of milk, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it was spurred by my recent use of some leftover frozen cherries I had on hand in the hubs and my morning smoothie. We’re usually very much creatures of habit with our Power Protein Smoothie, but sometimes my desire to use up whatever fruit we have in the freezer leads to some pretty great things. This was one of them.

I’m saving our new favorite Cherry-Vanilla Smoothie for another post, so in the meantime I’m hoping to tide you over with Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal. And let’s be honest, we’re way more into cozy, warm, tummy-filling breakfasts during these cooler winter months than icy, frozen smoothies, am I right?

After coming home from a good amount of time on the road, there’s nothing more comforting to me than a big, warm bowl of oats. This Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal is mostly healthy, with a little dash of extravagance to really put it over the top and keep you running back to the Crockpot for more.

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal | CaliGirlCooking.com

The ingredients are so easy, and you’ll likely have everything but the frozen cherries (an easy pickup at any grocery store) on hand in your pantry already. We’re combining all of the classic cherry pie flavors; namely cherry, lemon and almond; and putting them all together with some hearty steel cut oats, a little brown sugar, and plenty of creamy liquid (oh hey, coconut and almond milks!)

We throw everything into the slow cooker before bed, and in the morning all that’s left to do before digging in is whip up our show stopping almond, brown sugar and butter streusel to sprinkle over the top. I suppose you could even skip this part, but let me just say you’d be doing yourself an honest injustice. Guys, the topping makes this dish. It may not be entirely healthy, but since the rest of the dish is pretty spot-on nutrition-wise, we can certainly make a little exception. You know how I like my balance!

The other great thing about this Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal is that it saves and reheats really well. You can even put any extra streusel topping you have on the leftovers before refrigerating, and all you’ll have to do when you’re ready to indulge is pop it in the microwave! That is, if you even have leftovers, but something tells me that’s highly unlikely 😉

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal | CaliGirlCooking.com

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 15 mins

Cherries, lemon zest and almonds come together with steel cut oats to make a delicious slow cooker dish. Set it the night before and enjoy it in the morning!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
For the oatmeal:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup frozen cherries, halved
  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  1. Combine all oatmeal ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 7-8 hours, stirring once (if possible, but this is not absolutely necessary.)

  2. When oatmeal is finished cooking, make topping. Place butter, brown sugar and slivered almonds in a small bowl and mix with fingers until well combined.  

  3. Scoop warm oatmeal into individual bowls and top each bowl with a generous amount of the topping. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal | CaliGirlCooking.com


Cherry pie in the best possible way!

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal

I hope you’re ready for this big bowl of deliciousness.

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal | CaliGirl Cooking

After kicking off this week with Shrimp Ceviche with Papaya, I decided to keep the healthy train going (we’ll see how long it lasts…Actually, I can tell you not long because I have too many delicious St. Patrick’s Day treats to share with you in the next week.) Well, we’ll keep it going for at least one more day, sound good?

Today we’re talking ooey, gooey, warm steel-cut slow cooker oatmeal loaded with delicious superfoods. Seriously, I can’t think of too many more good-for-you ingredients that I could have crammed into this tasty little concoction (okay, I did want to add some spirulina, but I knew that just would NOT be photogenic…at all…and this is a virtual business, after all.) So, what did I include? Let’s see here:

  • Cinnamon – speeds up metabolism and stabilizes blood sugar
  • Turmeric – fights inflammation and has high antioxidant value
  • Maca powder – balances hormones and provides energy
  • Coconut oil – improves cholesterol and lowers risk of heart disease
  • Coconut milk – see above; also builds muscle and helps lose fat
  • Chia seeds – great source of healthy fats and fiber
  • Honey – rich source of vitamins and minerals and boosts athletic performance
  • Strawberries – boost immunity and great source of fiber and potassium

Are we feeling SUPER good about ourselves yet? Okay, maybe I am because I’ve actually made (and devoured) it, but I have no doubt that you will too once you try this for yourself.

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal | CaliGirl Cooking

The other great thing about this Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal? It’s made in the slow cooker. Overnight. Meaning that if you take just a couple of minutes to throw everything together the night before, your breakfast will be ready for you right when you wake up (that’s right, folks, this oatmeal is perfectly done after 7-8 hours on the low setting of your slow cooker, which, in case you didn’t know, is the recommended amount of sleep for most individuals.) So not only are we putting all of these delicious superfoods into our body, we’re also getting plenty of sleep! Clearly this is a win-win situation.

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal | CaliGirl Cooking

So what do you say? Are you ready to give this Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal a shot? Once you have all of the ingredients on hand, it is really sooooo easy. And to help you obtain these sometimes considered “off-the-wall” ingredients, I’ve made it SUPER easy by including links to where you can find them below. Now you have no excuse. Go forth and conquer this amazing nutri-bomb of a dish!

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal | CaliGirl Cooking

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal

Yield: Serves 4-6

Delicious, hearty steel-cut oatmeal slow-cooked overnight with turmeric, maca powder, chia seeds and more.



  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn on low heat for 7-8 hours. If possible, stir once or twice during the cooking process to ensure that all of the ingredients meld together.
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Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal | CaliGirl Cooking

Superfood city up in here!