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Friday, April 30, 2021

Spaghetti and Meatless "meatballs"- Gluten Free

Spaghetti, Meatballs, Pasta, Lunch

I love these meatless meatballs. 
If you are looking for a meatless meal, these crispy vegan baked "meat(less)balls" are easy to make, tasty, and perfectly delicious. 

Balloons, Confetti, Stars, Birthday
It was my husband's birthday yesterday, and I wanted to prepare a meatless meal that he would enjoy. Since he loves spaghetti, it was an easy choice. However, I wanted to make it a little more special, so I experimented with making a meatless "meatballs" to add to the spaghetti (I use gluten-free spaghetti). 

I was really pleased with how the "meatballs" turned out. 
Of course they did not taste anything like a meatball.  They were more like a cross between a falafel and a vegan burger, but my husband said that they tasted 100%! 

We started his birthday meal with a beautiful colorful tomato salad. 

Salad, Healthy Eating, Vegetables

Next my husband had spaghetti (gluten-free) and meat-less meatballs.
I ate my meat-less balls as a side dish with homemade sugar free ketchup (recipe to be published in a few days) and a plate full of vegetables including sautéed mushrooms which I also ended up adding to his pasta as well.

meatless meatballs
My meatless meatballs before cooking 

These meatless meatballs taste even better the next day. They remain moist and delicious. I ate them for a quick snack. They freeze well and are handy to have on hand! 

2 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled and set aside
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained (or 3 and 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas, drained ) 
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of chunky salsa (oil free) 
2 tablespoons of homemade ketchup ( sugar free, oil free)
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds 
Cracked pepper 
1/2 cup of garbanzo (chickpea) flour 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place chickpeas and onion in the food processor. Pulse and process until well mixed. Add the salsa, ketchup, Italian seasoning, cumin, cracked pepper, and cumin seeds. Pour mixture into a medium size bowl and mix in the garbanzo bean flour, and cooked quinoa. 
Drop rounded tablespoons full on two cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake each tray for 25 minutes until balls are crispy and firm. Remove from cookie sheet.
Eat as a side dish or over spaghetti and meatballs. 

My Notes: 
1.  This meatless meatball recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and oil-free.
2.  I used marinara sauce for the pasta.
3. I buy oil-free marinara sauce at Whole Foods Market
4. I recommend reading How Not to Die by Dr. Greger
5. I recommend reading The Starch Solution by Dr. McDougall 

If you have not purchased my Easy Plant-Based Soups cookbook, you can still do so. 80 plant-based soup recipes plus inspirational and motivational quotes for healthy eating.

A signed copy of Judee's spiral-bound special edition cookbook is now available by texting Judee at 267-981-4546 or simply paying and sending your information to venmo or PayPal. The book is $20 + $1.20 tax + $4 shipping. 
Total $25.20 each book.

Order a singed copy for yourself or for a gift. Judee will ship a signed, gift wrapped copy to anywhere in the US. She accepts Venmo, Paypal or a check. For multiple copies to a single address shipping costs are reduced so order through Judee . 

Venmo: @judee-algazi   (4546 last four digits of phone if asked) 

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Cilantro Lime Dressing for Vegetables and Potatoes-Oil Free

I made this tasty cilantro dressing to smother over my vegetables and steamed potatoes.

Yesterday I bought 3 packages of cilantro. Not because I wanted to, but I was in Costco or BJ's and that is how it was packaged. 

This morning I opened the package and said, "Yikes" what am I going to do with all this cilantro! 

Originally I wanted it just to add it to salads but I knew I had to be more creative since cilantro probably will only last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. 

I decided to make a cilantro lime dressing which used up 2 cups (about 3/4 of one bunch of cilantro). 

asparagus with cilantro dressing
These are asparagus and artichoke bottoms that I bought frozen

I wanted something low-fat so I used cooked navy beans as my base which made it creamy. I put all the ingredients in the food processor and whizzed away. 

The citrus dressing came out very green, tangy, and delcious. I not sure I would like it on salad, but I enjoyed over asparagus, artichoke bottoms, and steamed cubed potatoes. If I had to choose, I probably liked it best over the potatoes!

As many of my readers know, I'm following a whole food, gluten free, oil free diet. 

If you are wondering about the omission of oil (not fats such as nuts, olives, avocados, etc.), it is because oil is a man-made product that is probably one of the most calorie dense foods on the planet. In addition, it contains zero fiber and very few, if any, vitamins. Many best selling authors, who are medical doctors, are advocating for vegan diets that are very low or eliminate oils. (see a reading list in my notes)

Again, I want to clarify that these doctors do not eliminate fat from the diet. Instead, they suggest eating foods that contain fat such as avocado, olives, seeds, nuts, etc so you consume more fiber, a less concentration of calories, and a variety of nutrients and antioxidants. 

Thus I am trying to find ways to make dressings and sauces for my vegetables, grains, and potatoes that are made without oil.  

This tangy cilantro lime dressing was really delicious over my steamed potatoes. If you would like to see how I stuff artichoke bottoms follow the link for artichoke bottoms.

2 cups of lightly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup of cooked navy beans
1 tablespoon of miso
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon of garlic powder 

Place cilantro into the food processor and pulse on and off for 20 seconds. Add lime juice, miso, beans, water, and garlic. Whiz until smooth and creamy.  Spoon over cooked vegetables or potatoes.

Reading List
1. How Not to Die- Dr. Greger
2. How Not to Diet- Dr. Greger
3. The China Study- T. Campbell
4. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease - Dr. Esselstyn
5. The Starch Solution - Dr. McDougall
6. Reversing Diabetes- Dr. Neal Barnard
7. The Pleasure Trap- Doug Lisle

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars -Oil-free

oatmeal breakfast bars

If you are looking for something tasty and healthy, these oatmeal breakfast bars are a quick and easy, grab and go breakfast or snack that you can make for your kids or yourself. 

They are hearty and filling. Made using all whole food ingredients, these sugar-free and oil-free bars are gluten free, high in fiber, provide antioxidants, and are sweet and delicious. To me, they taste like a muffin!

Seed, Seeds, Kernel, Nut, Nuts
I sometimes add nuts or seeds to the recipe

They are also very versatile and adapt well to additions such as seeds and nuts (pumpkin seeds, chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds etc.) or even more dried fruit such a raisins. You decide and you choose. I sometimes like to keep mine simple and plain without any additions but sometimes I like it all!

Muesli, Granola Bars, Cereals, Nuts, Chocolate

I've shared my basic recipe and you can add whatever nuts, dried fruits, or seed that you like. 

My favorite addition to the finished batter before baking is 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup of additional raisins to the  Then I pour the batterf into the pan to bake. 

My friend Nancy Andres from Colors 4 Health reminded me to mention oats or oatmeal need to be certified gluten-free to be considered_gluten-free- Read about it here:gluten free oats
Read the remainder of this post only if you want to know more about my diet and oil-free eating or just skip and go directly to the recipe at the bottom of the page . 
Why oil-free? I'm following Dr. McDougall's lifestyle plan which excludes oil  because it is a highly caloric, contains zero fiber ( which is essential to good health) and very few, if any, nutrients. In other words- empty BIG calories. (Yes, I know olive oil is supposed to be good for you-)  

There are healthier ways to include good fats in the diet such as eating the whole food such as avocados, nuts, olives, and seeds which do contain lots of heart healthy fiber, vitamins, and lots of other nutrients. 

I am very happy eating whole food plant-based diet ( based on the book The Starch Solution or Dr. Mc Dougalls diet for weight loss
Incidentally, many best selling authors (who are also medical doctors) suggest an oil-free diet such as Dr. Fuhrman and some of the  18 doctors ( link to a great article) 

18 Vegan Doctors Who Drive the Plant-Based Movement

recommend a Whole Foods Plant-Based diet to reverse or prevent heart disease and other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other degenerative diseases.  You want to listen to cardiologists, internists, diabetic specialists or do you want to keep getting your information about food from television commercials and magazine ads?

One more piece of information- the more sugar and salt you eat in your food, the less likely you are to enjoy whole food because salt and sugar are addicting. You will continue to crave highly processed foods that are making Americans fat and sick... 


Ingredients for the bars.
2 cups of rolled oats blended in the blender into flour (in a blender)
1 cup of rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of cardamom (optional but I LOVE it)
1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds 
1/2 cup of raisins, soaked for at least 1 hour or more, and drained
1/2 cup (about 6 dates) of pitted dates, soaked overnight or minimum of 1 hour or more, and drained
1 ripe banana
1 cup of almond milk
Optional: seeds, walnuts, 
I like to add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup of raisins!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch non-stick baking pan with parchment paper. 
Mix oat flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and ground flax seeds to a mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside. Blend drained raisins, dates, and almond milk to the blender and mix until well blended. Mix the wet blender mixture into the dry mixture. Pour into an 8 inch lined pan and bake for 35-40 minutes depending on your oven.                                            

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Lentil Loaf- oil-free

lentil loaf

As we speak, my vegan lentil loaf is in the oven.

I have been wanting to find a good vegan meatloaf recipe for a few years. I could never find one that held together and that we liked. After all, a vegan meatloaf is a far stretch from the real thing. This recipe held together and sliced beautifully. 

lentil loaf
My lentil loaf after I removed it from a square pan

I found a recipe on a wonderful whole food plant-based blog called Nutmeg Notebook- authored by Tami. 

Her recipes are oil-free and mostly gluten-free-says Tami. I was really impressed with her site and am going to explore more of her delicious looking recipes. 

Although I'm cooking oil free, remember that oil-free does not necessarily mean fat-free. Oil-free recipes may still use good fats such as avocado, nuts, and seeds. 

 I wanted to the lentil loaf recipe precisely, but I did not have all the ingredients- so I improvised with what I had on hand and also aligned with our personal taste preferences. 

Chana, Pulses, Daal, Food, Lentils

We liked it. Did I love it?  I'm not sure what I was expecting. I guess I thought it would taste like meatloaf (which I have not tasted in over 42 years because I have been eating a vegetarian diet) 
My lentil loaf was sort of creamy in the middle (but good). I sliced it and crisped it up in my air fryer- we loved that. 

Paper Bag, Bag, Lunch Bag, Brown
It will be a perfect item to pack if I need to bring my lunch anywhere. It holds together great. I will probably take it for a long road trip we are taking in a few weeks. 

I froze packets of slices to use in the future. 

Since I made so many substitutions, I'm not sure how Tami's recipe would have turned out. 

I might have liked it somewhat dryer but I can't fault her recipe since I made multiple substitutions. 

For example: 
I used salsa instead of tomato paste 
I used amino acids instead of balsamic vinegar (I'm allergic) 
I dislike nutritional yeast, so I omitted it. 
I didn't make the date glaze, I just used ketchup. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats- oil-free

Breakfast, Oatmeal, Raspberry, Bun, Food

There is nothing like a steaming bowl of hot creamy oatmeal for breakfast- and steel cut oats are both delicious and nourishing.

I love the Instant Pot for making oatmeal. 
steel cut oats
I buy these steel cut oats (link for Amazon purchase)

I used to cook instant or rolled oats because they cook faster than steel cut oats. However, now that I use an Instant Pot (pressure cooker), making the highly nutritious steel cut oats is a snap. 

Raspberries, Fruits, Berries, Fruit, Red

Oatmeal can be classified by the way it is cut and processed. 
Oats are naturally gluten-free -HOWEVER- I always buy certified gluten-free oats BECAUSE oats can cross-contaminate when growing near wheat fields AND they can become contaminated in the factory if processed near wheat products. 

  1.  Steel cut oats- the least processed, the highest protein and fiber count which is 5 grams of fiber and a full 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving. Amazing!
  2.  Rolled oats- close to steel cut oats in nourishment but digests more quickly and many cause blood sugar to rise more quickly than steel cut oats.
  3.  Instant oats - the most heavily processed and most likely to raise blood sugar levels, especially if it contains sugar which many of the instant oat packages do. 
Breakfast, Oatmeal, Walnuts, Blueberries
I love wild blueberries and walnut topping 

Oatmeal can be enjoyed topped with berries ( I use frozen), flax seeds, chia seeds, chopped nuts, nut milk etc. - anything that you enjoy. 

Flax Seed, Shotgun, Teaspoon, Cereals  
Recipe for basic steel cut oats   steel cut oats  (Amazon link)

Ingredients : 
2 cups of steel cut oats ( I use GF oats)
4 cups of water

Directions for the Instant Pot 
Place oats, water, and salt in the Instant Pot. Set to pressure cook for 4 minutes. When done, allow steam to release naturally for 12 minutes. Release any remaining steam if there is any, open lid, stir and enjoy with additions of your choice. 

Since my husband does not eat breakfast, I am the only one eating the oatmeal. Therefore, I place the oatmeal in a mason jar and I eat some each day. It usually lasts for about 4 days. I simply heat up the amount I like each day. 

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon and I am compensated a small amount if you click on a link and make a qualified purchase. It helps defray the cost of publishing a blog. Thank you for you support. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Mango Coleslaw- oil-free

Mango coleslaw

is one of my favorite salads.  
You can imagine how excited I was to find this mango coleslaw recipe. With hues of orange, purple, and light greens from vegetables, this tasty vegan slaw is beautiful to serve for any occasion. The addition of slices of fresh mango adds a delicate sweetness that enhances this vegan and gluten-free side dish. 

mango coleslaw

A splash of lightly sweetened honey/lemon dressing (recipe below) is very tasty in this oil-free recipe.  

A friend made this salad for a pot luck dinner and everyone loved it, including me. I was delighted with how easy it is to make and how good it tastes. With summer weather around the corner, coleslaw is a welcome side at BBQ's and picnics. Since it does not contain any mayonnaise, it is not as perishable. 

coleslaw with mangoes

It does contain purple and green cabbage which are cruciferous vegetables which are known to help protect against cancer. I try to eat something from the grouping of cruciferous vegetables everyday (broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, watercress, etc.) In addition, I just like the taste and the crunch of cabbage. 


My friend Vicki makes a mango and peach summer salad which is  outstanding and also serves as an appetizer.

mango peach salad
Vicki's mango and peach salad

Mango Coleslaw Recipe
4 cups of sliced green cabbage strips
4 cups of sliced red cabbage strips
2 cups of shredded carrots 
1 medium California red mango, sliced into strips
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro or parsley
Optional: 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
Optional: 1/4 cup of chopped jalapeño pepper 

Optional : Two Ingredient Dressing: 
Juice of 1 lemon ( about 1/2 cup)
2 Tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
Blend Well 

Toss all ingredients together and then toss in the simple dressing.
Personally, I don't think the dressing is needed.

Sharing on Deb's Souper Sunday 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Miso Soup With Greens- -Oil Free

Miso soup is quick and easy to make and is tasty and healthy. 

It simply involves purchasing a container of miso paste (There are many varieties). I buy a variety that is organic and gluten-free. It could be made from soybeans, chickpeas or other beans and may be red, white, or yellow in color. The last time I bought a container, it was made from chickpeas and it was white. I found it at Whole Food markets.

On other occasions I have bought miso made from beans.

 Gochujang, Miso, Maryland State

Miso paste is flavorful on it's own and makes a tasty broth. On occasion, I have just made the broth, which takes no more effort than making a cup of tea. I simply topped it with chopped scallions. 

Miso Master Miso Mellow White Organic, 16 oz

This miso soup includes greens. My favorite green is baby bok choy which is also sold by the pound at Whole Food markets. Of course you could also find any of these items in an Asian supermarkets. 

Bok Choy, Greens, Cabbage, Vegetable

Regardless, this is also a very easy recipe and a very healthy recipe. 

Spoons, Chinese, Stacked, Soup

Greens are a vital part of any diet and provide alkalinity and calcium with very few calories, zero fat, and good fiber. In addition, greens can help the liver detox. If you do not have bok choy, you can use another green such as baby kale.

Miso paste is a fermented food which provides essential bacteria to our gut which in turn helps our digestion. Miso paste also contains B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
To preserve the nutrients in miso paste, never boil it. Add the miso after the broth finishes cooking. 

How to add miso paste to soup
Use a small mesh colander and a tablespoon of miso paste per 8 ounces
1. Place a tablespoon of miso paste into a small fine mesh colander. 
2  Remove the soup from the stove
3. Place the colander into the soup
4. Using the back of a tablespoon, rub the miso paste through the mesh colander into the soup. 
5. Use a tablespoon for 8 ounces of soup

4 cups of water
4 tablespoons of organic miso paste 
1 cup of chopped scallions
1 cup of chopped bok choy or kale 
1 cup of chopped spinach
Cracked pepper 

Optional: 1 cup of sliced carrots added with bok choi
Optional: if you like soup with a kick, you can always add a chili pepper with the bok choy.. 

Add water and bok choy to a small soup pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Add spinach and cracked pepper. Follow the directions for how to add miso to soup
and add the miso to the soup, Top with scallions and serve.

Sharing on Deb's Souper Sunday 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Mashed Potato and Carrots with Rosemary

Mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite comfort foods. This combination of steamed yellow gold potatoes and carrots are mashed and then topped with fragrant fresh rosemary (or dill). This quick and easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

Potatoes, Vegetables, Potato, Thyme, Oil

 I cubed and steamed the two vegetables until soft and then used an immersion blender to mash them till smooth and creamy. It literally took seconds to blend with the immersion blender. 

Vegetables, Cartoon, Root Vegetables

This is a delicious yet simple side dish that everyone will love. Personally, I dd not feel it needed any milk to make it creamy. However, if you do like it creamier, you can use a little nut milk such as almond milk before blending. 

carrot mashed potatoes

Don't Eat Carbs? Read This-
If you have given up eating carbs and potatoes, you may be interested in watching some of Dr. McDougall's Youtube videos explaining the importance of starch in our diet for weight loss.

In addition, there are a variety of individuals who have followed his starch oriented diet for weight loss and have had AMAZING results in weight loss and improved health in every aspect. 

It convinced me. 6 weeks ago, I started his diet. After years on a low carb diet and giving up my favorite foods such as potatoes and rice, I now eat them in quantity and enjoy them every day. 

Lost 12 pounds
Did I mention that in the last 6 weeks of changing nothing else but my diet (I always have walked 4 miles a day every morning), I am now down 12 pounds and LOVING my meals. I'm eating healthier than ever, feel satiated, and have tons of energy. It's a plant-based diet without oil (but does include fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds)

If you have difficulty understanding this idea and think that starch is bad (which by the way that concept was promoted by business and  industry not science,) Plentiful Kiki ( link), who lost 70 pounds on this diet has a number of Youtube videos that follow her journey with ideas and recipes. 

Another inspring individual is on a Youtube channel called, The Jaroudi Family. Brittany, who publishes the channel, also lost 70 on the Starch Solution diet. Both look terrific and have been following a higher carb  vegan non-inflammatory diet for years now. I've also read testimonials from hundreds of people of all ages and genders on the plant-based Forks Over Knives website. 

Salad, Salad Plate, Plate, CutleryOf 

Of course the diet includes lots of beans, vegetables, fruits, etc. 

Some examples of my meals 
Steel-cut oatmeal, with cinnamon, 2 chopped walnuts, and 1/2 sliced banana

Other meals: 

  • I eat baked potatoes stuffed with black beans and salsa, a big salad, and a side of broccoli. 
  1. Another example is vegetable chow mein(recipe link) with blanched almonds and a big portion of rice. 
  • Or I might eat a big bowl of vegetarian chili with rice and vegetable soup. 
  • Or I might eat a bowl of lentil soup, lentil flatbreads(recipe link) with oil-free hummus. 

I will continue to report my weight loss and how I feel. 
After 6 months I plan to redo my bloodwork to see if my high cholesterol (232) and high blood sugar (110) have come down on this diet. I have been a vegan for two years and a vegetarian for 39 or more years, but I ate a lot of vegan convenience food and desserts.

There is a book called Managing Diabetes that documents many diabetics who have eliminated or controlled their type 2 diabetes on a similar higher starch diet. 

Anyway for those who just want a simple delicious mashed potato recipe - this is delicious and easy. 

I added steamed carrot for extra nutrients, color, and appeal. -you can leave out the carrots if you want. 

6 yellow gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (with skin) 
2 carrots, sliced thick 
2 cups of water for steaming
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary or fresh dill 

Steam the potatoes and carrots in a steamer basket in a pot on the stove or in the Instant Pot.  ( I steam in the IP for 5 minutes). 
When done, pour off water and using an immersion blender, blend the potatoes and carrots until smooth and creamy about 30 seconds. 
Sprinkle with fresh rosemary. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Best Oil-free Hummus in Three Flavors

Breakfast, Healthy, Hummus, Spread

This easy to make homemade hummus will knock your socks off. It's really tasty and contains no added oils.  I made a plain hummus, a carrot hummus, and a beet hummus. 

I've been learning to cook and prepare food without oil ( but I still use fats such as avocado, olives, nuts, and seeds). You may have read my previous post that explains why. 

Basically oil is one of the most caloric foods you can consume and has zero fiber and very few nutrients. Better to eat the olives than the concentration of oil. I'm learning to make food without oil. 

Hummus, Chickpeas, Appetizer, Cold Appetizers, Help

This oil-free hummus is outstanding. I watched a video by Brittany on The Jaroudy Family Youtube. I adapted her recipe to suit my own tastes.  

Your can visit her Youtube channel to see her recipe. I love learning from her and love her recipes.

Beetroot, Hummus, Houmous, Healthy

It's also fun to add vegetables to the hummus. For example, you can add a cup of beets or drained cooked carrots and omit or greatly reduce the liquid.

Melanzana, Eggplant, Pomegranate, Hummus

I eat this high protein hummus for lunch with cut up celery and carrot sticks or I dilute it to make a salad dressing for my salads or cooked vegetables. I also control the thickness by the amount of liquid I add. Somedays I make it thinner and some days much thicker. 

Beet, Turnip, Red, Beetroot, Vegetables
I enjoy making a cooked vegetable stacks using sliced cooked beets or slice air fry roasted eggplant or both!!

The following recipe is oil-free and tahini-free. If you would like a recipe that contains both olive oil and tahini (sesame seed paste), you can try my previous authentic rich Middle Eastern hummus recipe which is delicious.

4 and 1/2  cups of cooked chickpeas (or about 1 and 1/2  15 ounce cans  drained) 
1/4 cup of water or liquid from the chickpeas 
2 large cloves of fresh garlic 
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
Juice of 1 juicy lemon
1 tablespoon of organic gluten-free miso 
1/2 teaspoon of cumin 
cracked black pepper to taste 
optional: 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric. 
Using the metal blade in a 6 cup food processor, add all the ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Adjust spices to taste. 

1, Miso is adds a salty taste so no additional salt is needed.
2. Add small amounts of additional water or chickpea liquid to desired consistency. 
3. To make beet hummus add 1 cup of cubed cooked beets 
4. To make carrot hummus add 1 cup of sliced cooked carrots, drained of all water
5. I steam the beets and the carrots in my steamer 

Hummus, Hummus Three Colors