Beet Hummus and Vegan Red-Velvet Cupcakes

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The snow continues to fall at Sideways Cottage….but the electricity went out only once today!! The other good thing is that our street is considered part of the highway system because it’s on the route between the Denman West terminal and Gravelly Bay, so it’s ploughed at least four times a day. As such, we’ve been able to get out for our walks every day without a problem. Today we didn’t get too far, however: first, I lost my commitment ring in the snow when I was taking the picture above.

James suggested we wait until the snow melted, but I wasn’t chancing it!! I love that ring, which was made by Frank Paulsen, a Haida artist (the images are the raven and the eagle), from Merrit, BC.

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After digging around for about fifteen minutes, James found it in one of my footprints deep down in the snow! Poor old James lost his matching ring last fall and was devastated, so I was delighted to get mine back.

Shortly after that little flurry of excitement, we came across someone whose car was stuck, so James spent about thirty minutes helping dig it out of the snow-plough-packed snow.

We hadn’t progressed very far on our walk, but decided to throw in the towel (mostly because James had already gotten enough exercise from the shoveling…and the dogs were getting chilly).

In any event, it was an all-beet day today because I had a drawer full of beets that needed to be eaten. After roasting and peeling them, I set them outside in a snowbank on the deck to cool and a few minutes later had to wrestle them away from Stella who’d managed to dig her way through the snowbank to the bowl of beets. There was a bit of a struggle…

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…but I managed to rescue them. Lest you think our struggle was bloody, rest assured that’s beet juice, not blood.

I used the beets in a beet hummus, red velvet cupcakes, and sliced in a big ass dinner salad.

And, yes, I did give Stella a nice chunk of beet as a reward for relinquishing her beet booty.

My expectations for the red velvet cupcakes were low–first, because I’m not much of a fan of chocolate cake, and second, because they contain no eggs or cream and very little sugar and oil. They turned out to be absolutely delicious, however. I will most definitely make these again–particularly because James loved them and he likes a bit of a sweet from time to time. The recipe is from Minimalist Baker and can be found here: Red Velvet Chocolate Cupcakes.

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The beet hummus turned out very well as well–it’s basically my regular hummus recipe with the addition of one roasted, pureed beet. I will make this again in a heartbeet (haha!).

Beet Chickpea Hummus

  • 1 medium sized roasted beet, peeled and pureed
  • 1 can drained chickpeas
  • 6(ish) cloves of garlic
  • 1 heaping TBS tahini (I just use a big soup spoon full of this stuff)
  • 6 capfuls of lemon juice (I make it so often that I’m too lazy to get out the tablespoon)
  • 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base (if you don’t have this, just add some salt)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional, but gives it a nice smokey flavour)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional, but gives it a bit of heat)
  • water (you decide how much)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste

Throw it all in the blender and blend until smooth. Once it’s super smooth, check the texture: if you like your hummus thinner (which I do), add a bit of water (or the drained bean juice) until it’s the consistency you like.

To roast beets, just lightly oil them and place in a parchment paper bag (or foil) in the oven for about an hour at 400 degrees.

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I also made this Smoky Paprika Sauce for the salad–it’s a Clean Food, Dirty Girl recipe. I subbed regular paprika and a quarter teaspoon of liquid smoke for the smoked paprika, and it is absolutely delicious.

And here’s the big ass salad with some grilled cornbread. Check out my freshly sprouted sunflower sprouts–they’re labour intensive, but SO fresh and delicious!

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And the soundtrack of the day was Patsy Cline–it’s just so very enjoyable to belt out those heartbreak songs as one cooks….

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