Fatoush Salad

photo by Olga Vasiljeva

After eating this for years in restaurants, I finally came up with a recipe of my own for this fresh and delightful salad. This version is lower in fat and slightly more minty than the other kinds I’ve tasted. If you don’t care for mint, simply replace it partially (or fully) with parsley. Recipe from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth.

4 tortillas (or pita rounds), cut into 1½-inch pieces
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, regular or extra-virgin


• 3 tablespoons olive oil                       

• The fresh juice of 1 large lemon         

• ½ teaspoon sea salt                           

• Fresh ground pepper to taste                                   

• 1 tablespoon zatar (optional, but fabulous)   


• 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved

• 2 cups diced (or very thinly sliced) cucumber

• ½ cup minced fresh mint 

• ¼ cup chopped scallions (green onions)        

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the tortilla or pita strips in a single layer onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Brush them with the 1-2 tablespoons of oil.

2. Bake the strips until they are golden brown and crisp. Set them aside.

3. Whisk the dressing together and set it aside.

4. Next, place the tomatoes, cucumber, mint, and scallions in a medium-large bowl.

5. Add the tortilla or pita strips to the salad and top with the dressing. Gently combine everything until thoroughly mixed and serve.

Serves 3-4; 30 minutes or under! GF (with gluten-free tortillas)/SF/Blue (according to the health guidelines in my books)

The Perfect Hummus Experience

Today, I've decided to share my beloved recipe for hummus perfection. My friends over at Sunshine Burger were asking how to make a really good, totally from-scratch hummus, so I just had to chime in with this recipe from my first book, Radiant Health, Inner Wealth.

Creamy Hummus with Variations

I fell in love with the flavor of this thinner, lemony hummus in college. The favorite lunch spot of everyone I knew was a cafĂ© that served just this sort of hummus. I spent years trying to recreate it and finally discovered that the secret was to add enough lemon juice, tahini, and olive oil so that the end result would be unusually creamy and light tasting. 

Of course, if you prefer a thicker hummus you can simply omit the olive oil (or use less of it). If possible, refrigerate this for several hours (or overnight) before serving. This will give the raw garlic a chance to mellow and allow the flavors to become happily married.

1½ cups (one 15 oz. can) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed & drained*
2-3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup raw tahini (sesame paste)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt (or less if you prefer)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil (regular or extra-virgin)*

In a food processor, blend the garbanzo beans and garlic cloves very well. Add the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and oil and process until fully emulsified and creamy. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to ten days. For best results, allow to warm to room temperature before serving.

Makes about 2 cups of hummus; 30 minutes or under! GF/SF/Blue (according to the health guidelines in my books and Be Radiant program)

*For a lower fat hummus, reserve the liquid when you drain the beans. Use ¼ cup bean liquid (and 2 tablespoons oil) instead of the full amount of oil.
                                                               photo by Olga Eglite

Serving Suggestions:

Classic: Sprinkle the hummus with a little paprika and parsley. If you wish, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over the top. Serve with warmed pita wedges or crusty bread. Kalamata olives can also make an appearance here.

Falafel Burger: For a quick, delish falafel experience, place a Sunshine burger (falafel flavor) on a whole grain bun and slather with this creamy hummus. Top with sliced onions, lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes. You're welcome.

Hummus Wrap: Spread a tortilla generously with hummus. Top with all of your favorite fixings. I like to use chopped tomato, pickles, thinly sliced red onion, lettuce or spinach, fresh basil, kalamata olives, and cucumbers.

Greek Hummus “Pizza:” Please see the recipe for “Fresh Greek Delight” on page 135 of Radiant Health, Inner Wealth or check it out here on my blog. You won’t regret it.

Hummus with Zatar: Zatar is a tangy, unique, and delightful combination of sumac, thyme, and spices, and can be found in many health food stores (or online). You may sprinkle it over the hummus for a lovely and surprising flavor addition.