Tapas – What Is It and Why Do People Love It

Tapas – What Is It and Why Do People Love It

Tapas are popular snacks that originated in Spain. They have assorted key ingredients that vary from being an appetiser to a full-course meal, normally served in small amounts or on enormous plates. Tapas are either free or ordered in a bar. The varieties are endless, and it’s one of the major reasons people all over the world love it. They are essentially a lifestyle, and every bar defines itself with the diverse tapas served.

In Spain, you won’t normally find the word “tapas” in a bar’s menu. You may, however, find the word “raciones” – which means “rations” or large servings – or “media raciones“, servings in half a plate.

Tapas - For The Love of Hummus

The Limitless Variations

Tapas can be anything – from tuna chunks to fried baby squid (chopitos), chorizo sausages and many others. In many local bars and restaurants around Spain, tapas contain strong spices and herbs. Seafood-based tapas are often served as well, sometimes with either heap of olive oil in them, or with green and red bell peppers, or in a tomato puree or sauce. 

These delicious snacks are also called pinchos in the northern areas of Spain. “Pinchos” derives from the toothpick (called “pincho” in Spanish) that holds all the ingredients together on top of a lightly toasted slice of bread. The toothpicks also help keep track of the number of tapas consumed per customer.

Some common Spanish tapas are as follows:

Varieties around the world include:

  • Philippines – Known locally as pica-pica (finger food) or pulutan (meaning “to pick up”) in Tagalog
  • Argentina and Uruguay – Picada, servings of cold dishes such as olives, ham, cheese, bologna, etc.
  • Brazil – Tira-gostos, side dishes with more rare and traditional varieties, that accompany beer and other alcoholic drinks
  • Italy – Cicchetti, normally eaten for lunch or in the late afternoon as a snack
  • Korea – Anju, a Korean term for food served with alcohol

Tapas are conveniently easy to make

There is a diverse range of recipes, ingredients and cooking techniques across multiple countries around the world. You can even make your very own healthy version paired with one of our delicious hummus recipes on our website. Vamos a cocinar! Cheers!

 

Tapas - For The Love of Hummus
Pickled Red Cabbage Recipe

Pickled Red Cabbage Recipe

Pickled Red Cabbage Recipe

Pickling food is an ancient way to preserve it for later use. It is thought that pickling of food began in ancient India, approximately 4000 years ago. Pickling was devised to preserve foods which were being taken on long journeys to prevent them spoiling.

Pickling various foods preserved them for longer periods, ensuring that out of season foods could still be eaten. These types of preserved foods were ideal for long sea voyages as they ensured the crew had ample food for the entire journey. The indians used mainly native cucumbers to pickle and the pratice eventually spread to Europe and the Americas.

When trade between contients was established, the pratice of pickling became popular to preserve new types of foods for later consumption. Although in the past, pickling was used primarially to preserve foods, in modern times, pickled food is enjoyed for it’s taste and crunchy texture.

 

Ingredients

A quarter of a cabbage
3 cups red wine vinegar
3 cups water
5 cloves of garlic
Peppercorns to taste
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt

 

Method

Slice the cabbage as thin as you can and rinse it in clean water. This gets rid of any dirt or bugs.
Pack the sliced cabbage into jars and put the sliced garlic and chilli on top. Leave some garlic to make the brine.
Put the water, leftover garlic, peppercorns, salt, sugar into a pot and bring to the boil. Pour the red wine vinegar into the pot and stir. This will create your hot brine mixture.

Pour the hot brine mixture over the cabbage in the jars and screw on the lids. Leave them to cool on the counter then put them in the fridge.

Don’t open for 48 hours for best results.

Pickled Red Cabbage Recipe - For the Love of Hummus
Tapas – What Is It and Why Do People Love It

Tapas – What Is It and Why Do People Love It

Tapas are popular snacks that originated in Spain. They have assorted key ingredients that vary from being an appetiser to a full-course meal, normally served in small amounts or on enormous plates. Tapas are either free or ordered in a bar. The varieties are endless,...

read more
Pickled Red Cabbage Recipe

Pickled Red Cabbage Recipe

Pickled Red Cabbage Recipe Pickling food is an ancient way to preserve it for later use. It is thought that pickling of food began in ancient India, approximately 4000 years ago. Pickling was devised to preserve foods which were being taken on long journeys to prevent...

read more
Lime & Basil Iced Tea Recipe

Lime & Basil Iced Tea Recipe

Lime & Basil Iced Tea Recipe to make at Home Lime and basil are pretty popular ingredients and are often used together. That said, I don't see them together much in drinks. I feel we need to rectify this because they go so well together. Since we have been adding...

read more
Lime & Basil Iced Tea Recipe

Lime & Basil Iced Tea Recipe

Lime & Basil Iced Tea Recipe to make at Home

Lime and basil are pretty popular ingredients and are often used together. That said, I don’t see them together much in drinks. I feel we need to rectify this because they go so well together. Since we have been adding some drinks and other dishes that go well with hummus, we thought this family recipe from our own recipe book might be a good one to include.  Iced tea is a popular drink all around the world, and it pairs well with different fruits, herbs and spices. Having a handy lime & basil iced tea recipe on hand might be ideal if guests decide to turn up.

Some people feel that basil has a strong flavor, and this can be off putting. When it is steeped in water to make a tea, it takes on a lovely flavor which gives this drink a good zing. It feels nice on the tongue, and coupled with the green tea, its a really good choice. Mixed with fresh lime, it really does take on a unique and beautiful taste.

Why Basil

If you are wondering why we chose basil for this drink, the answer is simple. Basil has heaps of health benefits and you will be pleasantly surprised when you taste it. Packed with healthy antioxidants, this herb has been grown for thousands of years around the world. For this recipe, we have used the sweet type, and not the Thai.  Also boasting magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin c, calcium and vitamin K. Not only that, but it is also high in omega 3 fatty acids. All around it’s pretty good for you, and most people would advise you to eat it if you can.

We of course don’t eat it, but instead we steep six of the leaves in water to give the green tea a bit of extra oomph.

Basil used in larger quantities is said to have many health benefits in relation to memory, mental alertness and tooth decay. As mentioned earlier, we aren’t using enough to get these benefits, but feel free to add basil to your food, perhaps a pesto, to get more of it into your diet. 

Lime

Fresh lime is such a wonderful flavor. So fresh and zesty. Not much is more surprising than getting a mouthful of fresh lime. Lime is usually associated with soft drinks or sodas. Using it in a tea, particularly an iced version can be a nice rest from using fresh lemon. When mixed with the fresh sweet basil, the lime is a really nice counter balance to the tartness of the lime. All in all an awesome combination for an iced tea which is ideal to drink all year around. Lime is also high in health benefits so it’s worth adding it to your diet. 

Ingredients

You will need the following ingredients to make this lovely drink.

1 x fresh lime

6 x sweet basil leaves

2 x green tea bags

6 teaspoons of raw sugar (or honey to sweeten)

1 litre of boiling water

 

Method

Prepare your iced tea jug. Ours is made of glass so I rinse with warm water, then boil the kettle and put a small amount in the bottom to get the glass ready. Don’t fill a glass container with boiling water. It may shatter. We got this jug from Target Australia for $3, which is pretty cheap. It goes in the dishwasher, but not the lid. 

Once you have warmed your jug up, add the 2 teabags. We also add the sugar at this time. As if you were making a large cup of green tea. Once the tea has steeped for 5 minutes, add the lime. We cut ours up into 3 pieces, and also squeezed gently as we put it into the jug. Then add your basil leaves and allow it to cool on the counter.

Once it is cooled enough that you can put it in the fridge without cracking your glass shelves, put it in the fridge for a few hours. Overnight is even better.

Some people prefer less or more sugar. Others also prefer to use honey to sweeten their tea. I prefer raw sugar, so you can choose honey instead, it’s totally up to your taste.

We hope you enjoy drinking this family recipe as much as we do. It’s an aquired taste but it’s a great alternative to sodas or other drinks that have chemicals in them. If you use honey to sweeten instead of sugar, then you can save a few calories. Please share our recipe with your friends and family and we will be adding more soon. 

Hummus & Chicken Soup Recipe

Hummus & Chicken Soup Recipe

This Hummus & Chicken Soup recipe is your new favourite thing.

If you haven’t tried putting hummus in your chicken soup, then you need to start doing it. This hummus and chicken soup recipe will show you how you can incorporate some hummus into your soup.

A stunning chicken and vegetable soup with the added bonus of a generous amount of hummus. Hummus makes for a creamy soup and has some stunning thickening qualities. Not only does it give the soup a beautiful texture, but it also brings some incredible health benefits.

With added protein and fibre, the chickpeas in the hummus also pack a punch of calcium and potassium. If you already have hummus in the fridge, then you can add your lovely home made hummus to the soup but this recipe also works with store bought hummus. Although we would highly recommend making your own hummus, as it is much lighter and creamier and you know exactly what is in there.

Chicken Hummus Soup 

Now lets talk about the chicken. You can use a BBQ chicken from your local supermarket, or cook the chicken at home. If you are cooking at home, go for a boneless piece such as a breast. The chicken is going to bring a lot of tastiness to this soup so be sure to grab a decent piece or a well seasoned BBQ chook. Also you can season the chicken because the taste transfers well into the soup, so don’t be afraid to put some chicken seasoning in there.

You can choose any vegetables you like in this soup, depending on what you fancy and what you have in the fridge or freezer.  We can recommend that capsicum and broccoli go really well here. The soup also has brown rice to give it that extra punch.

You will need the following ingredients for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 x BBQ chicken from the supermarket deli or 1 large chicken breast which has been seasoned, then cut into pieces and fried in olive oil

Olive Oil

Half a cup of Hummus (home made preferred but store bought is ok)

1 Green Capsicum

1 Cup of Fresh Broccoli

1 Cup of Brown Rice (Cooked)

2 Cups of Chicken Broth

Method

Put the chicken broth, brown rice and hummus into a large saucepan and mix together. Bring gently to the boil and add capsicum & broccoli. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until vegetables are cooked but firm. Don’t let them get floppy.

Chicken Hummus Soup Recipe

Simple Hummus Recipe (5 Minute Hummus)

Simple Hummus Recipe (5 Minute Hummus)

Simple Hummus Recipe (5 Minute Hummus)

This simple 5 minute hummus recipe can be prepared so fast, we call it five minute hummus! There are so many variations and so many people have tweaked the recipe to suit their tastes, that most of the ingredient amounts are more of a guide. Some people like more lemon, some like less. Some like fresh lemon (yes please!) while others prepare lemon juice from a bottle. So with this in mind, our simple recipe is a good place to start and you can build on it as you go.

All hummus contains chickpeas as it is a chickpea dip and guess what? It’s super healthy so you will find this dip will go with more types of diets or weight loss programs. And with so many ways to make this your own, you will find yourself going back to this dip every time.

Whether you go for a thicker or more watery consistency, we recommend you use entire cans of chickpeas and you can play with the other ingredients to taste. For example you can add more lemon or less tahini if you are using it. If you begin with a definite about of chickpeas then you have a good starting place and can add or subtract from there.

When you are making it, try using some of the juice from the can, as this can give it a bit more flavor and most people find the taste agreeable. There are also endless ways to present it depending on where it will be eaten. Now, let’s get ready to make it!

Easy 5 minute hummus recipe

Ingredients

1 x can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed – Keep a portion of the juice to use in the dip.

2 x small cloves of fresh garlic – We prefer fresh but you can use prepared garlic if you prefer.

Olive Oil – Half for the dip and the rest for a garnish

Half a Lemon – or you can use a tablespoon of lemon juice from a bottle

2 x Tablespoons of Tahini dip if you are using it

½ teaspoon of ground cumin – you can use less or more depending on your taste

½ teaspoon of paprika or sumac – you can use less or more depending on your taste

Pinch of salt – depending on your taste, you might want to leave this one out.

Method

Mix all ingredients (except olive oil and sumac)  in your food processor and slowly add olive oil to get a good consistency. Add a little bit of water if you prefer it thinner.

Transfer dip to a serving bowl or plate and smooth over the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle sumac over the top for a nice contrast.

Pour olive oil over the entire top of the dip.

Serving Tips

Serve with some black olives and flat breads or with some chopped fresh parsley and some whole chickpeas for decoration.

5 minute simple hummus recipe

Baba Ghanoush: An Appetizing Appetizer

Baba Ghanoush: An Appetizing Appetizer

The culinary world is as diverse and unique as the nations where the dishes originate from. It carries the traditions and flavors from various places and puts it conveniently on a plate. Delicacies from the Middle East, such as  tahini, tabouli, and hummus, are some of the most interesting ones. Today, we’ll talk about yet another Levantine dish – baba ghanoush, an appetizing appetizer.

What is Baba Ghanoush?

Baba ghanoush, also known as baba ghanouj or baba ganoush, is taking both fine dining and home settings by storm. It is widely recognized as a dish mainly made of mashed, cooked eggplant combined with several seasonings, tahini, and olive oil.

Baba ghanoush is a delicacy that has a distinct smoky taste. The ideal serving of this dish is as a cold or room temperature spread and it goes incredibly well with pita bread. Although, some enjoy it on it’s own, and that’s absolutely fine!

How to Prepare Baba Ghanoush at Home

You don’t have to go to a restaurant or visit the grocery in order to enjoy a piece of heaven that is baba ghanoush. You just need a few ingredients and you can easily whip up this Levantine dish at home! This includes the following:

– One large eggplant

– Garlic cloves

– Pinch ground cumin

– Olive oil

– Brine-cured black olives

– Tahini

– Fresh lemon juice

– Flat-leaf parsley

– Salt to taste

Baba Ghanoush and Veggies - For the Love of HummusAs far as cooking necessities, begin preparing a charcoal grill and an oven. The first step is to grill the eggplant until the outer skin turns black and you see a soft flesh, which is usually done within 10 to 15 minutes. After which, bake it in the oven for around 15-20 minutes until very soft.

Once that’s done, allow the eggplant to cool a bit and then peel the skin. Mash the eggplant in a bowl and then mix the other ingredients together, with variations in salt, lemon juice, and tahini according to your taste. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle some parsley, put some olives on the sides for presentation, and voila! Enjoy!

The Battle Between Baba Ghanoush and Hummus

As far as nutritional value is concerned, baba ghanoush and hummus are often compared with each other. So which one is better? It really depends on what you need.

When talking about similarities, both hummus and baba ghanoush have no cholesterol content. As a matter of fact, they both contain unsaturated fats, which are instrumental to cardiovascular health through low cholesterol levels and decreased inflammation.

When talking about differences, baba ghanoush has more potassium content, which is essential to regular heartbeat and optimal nerve and muscle function. On the other hand, hummus has more B-vitamin content for energy and lesser risks of cardiovascular problems. Either way, both are good for you.

So, ready to whip up a healthy dish of baba ghanoush? You know you want to try it!

Baba Ghanoush - An Appetizing Appetizer - For the Love of Hummus