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Let’s Talk About Food Festival Recap

Last week ChopChop participated in the third annual Let’s Talk About Food Festival, the only festival of it’s kind bringing together cooking demonstrations, edible gardens, speakers and conversations on food and food policy. It was a great, summer-like day with Boston’s Copley Square buzzing with all things food (and some bees too). 

ChopChop kicked off the festival with our friendly version of a Hummus Throw down. Founder Sally Sampson challenged former White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and Massachusetts winner of the White House’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, Yonah Kalikow, to come up with their own spin on the classic Mediterranean hummus. Yonah whipped up a delicious and beautiful beet hummus (check out her recipe below) and Bill cooked up a tasty edamame hummus (recipe coming soon). Based on the judges reactions, it was concluded both were winners and definitely met the challenge of being creative with hummus. And most importantly, both did an amazing job demonstrating how cooking real food is easy and fun.

We had a great day under the “ChopChop Cooking Lab” tent, getting festival goers to make Layered Yogurt Parfait and Salad Kebabs using fresh basil, English cucumbers, cheese and tomatoes from Backyard Farms. Here are some photos from the festival:

A big thank you to ChopChop supporters Whole Food Market, Revolution Foods, Backyard Farms, The Boston Globe and Let’s Talk About Food. Thank you for joining us in inspiring kids to cook and eat real food with their families!

Yonah’s Beet Hummus

(Hands-on Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour | Makes: 4 servings)


  • Small baking dish with lid
  • Measuring cups
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Citrus zester or grater
  • Measuring spoons
  • Food processor (adult needed)
  • Rubber spatula
  • Serving bowl or lidded container


  • 2 medium-sized beets, scrubbed clean
  • ½ cup cold water
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried mint)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimentón
 (smoked paprika) or regular paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Turn the oven on and set it to 425 degrees.
  2. Put the beets in the baking dish, add the water, and cover.
  3. Put the baking dish in the oven and cook until the beets are tender when pricked with the knife, about 35 minutes.
  4. Put the beets in the colander and set aside for 10 minutes. Run cold water over the beets. While the water is running, press down on the beets with your fingers and slip the skins off. Cut the peeled beets into chunks.
  5. Put the beets and the rest of the ingredients in the bowl of the food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste the hummus. Does it need a flavor boost? If so, try adding another squeeze of lemon, a pinch of salt, or some more paprika, coriander, and/or black pepper.
  6. Using the spatula, scoop the dip into the serving bowl or lidded container.
  7. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Did you know?
Pimentón is Spanish paprika made from mild chiles that have been smoked before being ground. It gives food a delicious smoky flavor, and you can find it in the supermarket (it might just be called “smoked paprika”), but if you don’t have any, you can use regular paprika.

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