Secret Recipe Club and ironically…another Meatless Monday!!!

Whoa, look at that basil…it’s like a bouquet!

Yummy Hummus and Cucumbers

Happy Monday all!
I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. I spent half of my weekend relaxing, and the other half working, so I believe I achieved a nice balance to round out my week. Anyhoo, today I am super excited to share my second blog post for The Secret Recipe Club. I became apart of The Secret Recipe Club last month and I had so much fun that I figured I would just keep on rolling with it every month. If you want to know more about The Secret Recipe Club, find out How it Works, read The Rules, and apply to be a member of the SRC here. The one aspect of joining the SRC that I love most is the awesome food bloggers that you meet along the way. I was overjoyed to see all the comments on my first secret recipe post from fellow SRC members. Moreover, the responses to my first secret recipe post were so positive and enthusiastic. It made me feel so important, as if my food blog was finally making ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) in the food blogging world. Haha! Moving on, the blog that I was assigned for this month is Apron Strings!!! As soon as I was given my SRC assignment, I headed over to Apron Strings to check it out.

I fell in love with the blog at first site, not to mention the story of how the blog came about hit a soft spot in my heart. Here is the story on Apron Strings: the blog is run by a birth mother and daughter, Donna and Anne, respectively, who were reunited 27 years after Anne’s adoption. Donna and Anne soon discovered that they both shared a love for food and a passion for cooking. So, after Donna published her first book, Anne and Donna pulled a mother-daughter tag team on their first cookbook together called “101 things to do with tofu.” They had such a fantastic time together that they set out to complete more food projects. Of course, with our economy as crappy as it is (pardon my French) and with Anne’s arrival of her first child, Donna and Anne thought it was only fitting to create a food blog focusing on affordable meals. They refer to themselves as the “Fab Frugal Foodies” (i know, clever, right?). Both Donna and Anne provide their unique take on affordable meals. Donna’s expertise is in Southwestern cuisine and she has a wealth of experience cooking Fab Frugal Food. On the other hand, Anne’s posts offer healthier options, including vegetarian and allergy-free dishes! Now, don’t let the “healthy” part fool you, these ladies now how to keep it decadent, healthy or not!

As you all know, last week was super duper busy for me, so towards the end of the week I was debating whether or not I was going to have a panic attack and actually be able to post for the SRC! I chose not to have a panic attack, and because I am all about integrity, I was determined to follow through on my SRC plans to post for this month (come hell or high water). Plus, how could I give up on the chance to feature these awesome ladies on my blog? As I browsed through post after post on Donna and Anne’s blog I realized that I couldn’t just choose one recipe to recreate. I wanted to make a dish that was affordable and the first blog post that caught my eye was their recipe for hummus. I absolutely love hummus with anything and everything. Not to mention, I haven’t met a hummus that wasn’t affordable. I mean, c’mon, it’s not like hummus has caviar in it! Their hummus looked pretty basic, which is just how I like it. I decided to whip up my own hummus creation and boy was it lovely. I replaced the garbanzo beans in Donna and Anne’s original recipe with great northern beans (simply because I was curious). Then I seasoned the hummus with a bit of fresh basil, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt. Bada-bing, bada-boom hummus! I am super excited to snack on this good stuff all week. I recommend eating this hummus with a variety of raw veggies, such as carrot sticks, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery. I eat mine with cucumbers (just because I feel like I’m at the spa when I eat them…so refreshing).

I also stumbled upon their recipe for Hazelnut Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers, which look absolutely to die for! My original plan was to make these stuffed peppers as an entree, however; my plans were cancelled when I arrived at the grocery store to find only organic bell peppers, which were $2.49 each! That to me, was highway robbery! Instead, I discovered that my favorite sweet baby bell peppers were on sale for $1.99. So, I gobbled up a pint and decided to make them my favorite way, roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. I am telling you, these suckers are so sweet, it’s like eating candy! I will devour them in one sitting. I recommend serving them alongside an entree, perhaps baked chicken or a grilled pork chop.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed my second Secret Recipe Club entry. Furthermore, I suggest that you all get into the kitchen and start cooking up some fabulous frugal dishes. Take some pointers from the fabulous frugal queens, Donna and Anne, these women really know what they are talking about!!!

White Bean Hummus:

15.8 oz. can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed using a strainer
2 whole cloves of garlic
1/2 c. fresh basil, roughly chopped
juice from 1/2 of a large lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
Assorted vegetables

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Roasted Vine Sweet Mini Peppers:

1 pint of Vine Sweet Mini Peppers
1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
2. Cut the tops off the mini peppers and place onto a baking sheet line with tin foil.
3. Toss the peppers with the olive oil and salt.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly charred on the bottom.


P.S. To check out all the recipes from The Secret Recipe Club for this month, follow the links below:


  1. Great choice for this month! You can never go wrong with hummus. While I have made it with Great Northern Beans, the addition of basil is delicious! Must try.

  2. YUM! I love hummus and any different recipe. Great choice. Bummer on the pepper incident. Crazy how they can be cheap at one point and then so expensive at a different turn.

  3. I love the basil added into the hummus! I am going to have to try this. It would be great for a football party.

  4. Nice SRC. I make something similar with rosemary and garlic. Very Nice!

  5. I love hummus!!!! I will try this soon. Great SRC post.

  6. You are too kind ~ we are so thrilled that you like Apron Strings and our story. It has been quite a journey!

    Your hummus looks incredibly flavorful and I love the idea of using the white beans – a nice twist. Food blogging is fabulous because you get to see what delicious twists everyone puts on their food, making it their own.



  7. I can’t resist a great hummus! Wonderful SRC post!

  8. Great recipe and your hummus looks wonderful.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Group ‘A” ~ SRC recipe this month: Cilantro Lime Chicken

    Cook Lisa Cook

  9. Mmmmm what a yummy looking dip! I love hummus! And look at those colours! Great choice!

  10. Zia Liz says:

    As always I am sure I would love this dish….
    Can I get a, “I’ll see you this weekend Zia Liz to cook in your kitchen”…

  11. I keep meaning to try a hummus with white beans. Here’s to more motivation.

  12. Hummus is great, white bean hummus? I must try!

  13. What a great post!! Pictures look yummy!

  14. I have never made Hummus… what a great pick!

    I was in Secret Recipe Club: Group B. Here are my two posts I hope you have time to check them out, if you haven’t seen them already.

  15. What a great recipe you picked. You can never go wrong with Hummus. It is so versatile. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I made white bean hummus the other day, but it didn’t turn out quite like I was expecting. I think this recipe would be a lot better, especially with all that basil. Yum!

  17. This hummus sounds amazing! Awesome to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you. Here is my post for September 🙂
    Also: I would love if you added this and any other links to my “Happy Post” today.

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