Tag Archives: hummus

Journey Journal: Days 154-158

This week, breakfast mostly consisted of either kiwi or mango, almonds, and coffee with coconut milk. Occasionally I’d have a bowl of GF Chex Cereal with coconut milk too. For the first week of GF-DF June, we did pretty well! And I didn’t really miss bread or flour that much at all.

Day 154: Monday, June 3, 2013

  • Lunch: Leftover Stirfry (teriyaki chicken with jasmine rice, carrots, mushrooms, daikon, and broccoli)
  • Dinner: Curried Beef + Rice + Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Dessert: Coconut Milk “Ice Cream” with Banana, Peanut Butter, Cocoa Powder and Vanilla – so yummy!

Day 155: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

  • Lunch: Leftover Curry, Broccoli, and Cauliflower
  • Dinner:  Spinach Omelets
  • Dessert: Leftover Coconut Milk “Ice Cream”

Day 156: Wednesday, June 5, 2013

  • Breakfast: after last night’s dessert, I put the “ice cream” in the fridge instead of the freezer and ate it for breakfast–it was thick and creamy like chocolate pudding but healthy like a smoothie!
  • Lunch: Salad with Dried Dates, Slivered Almonds, Grape Tomatoes, and Celery Seed dressing
  • Dinner: Made Homemade Hummus with Spinach wrapped in corn tortillas

Day 157: Thursday, June 6, 2013

  • Lunch: Layered Corn Tortillas with Leftover Hummus, halved grape tomatoes, and sliced bell peppers
  • Dinner: Grilled Lemon Pepper Salmon + Coconut Lime Rice + Mango and Red Onion Salsa

Day 158: Friday, June 7, 2013

  • Lunch: Leftover Salmon + Coconut Lime Rice + Mango Avocado Salad
  • Dinner: Picked up a Rotisserie Chicken and made a quick batch of Warm Red Potato Salad (sometimes you just have to cheat)

Q & A with Melissa…and a great tip for helping kids eat their fruits & veggies!

I recently got an email from my friend Molly, who has two children under the age of five and is expecting their third child. I thought it was a really good question and asked if I could share it (along with my answer) on the blog. Molly graciously agreed, so here it is.

Molly’s email:

Hi Melissa,

Just finished reading In Defense of Food.  I saw it on your blog and found it at the library.  Very interesting and well written I thought. For the last few weeks I’ve been trying to make little changes for us.  More fruits and veggies, whole grains, basically trying to use less stuff from boxes and cans.  I’ve given myself a “mandatory” fruit and veggie weekly budget that I “have” to spend.  Just having yummy options to snack on is helpful for me.  I’ve found that cutting/peeling all at once and using tupperwares helps me be able to grab good snacks for Will and Kate.  If I had to cut/peel every time they wanted a snack I’m sure I’d get annoyed and lazy.

I have a question though.  I’m thinking about the fats/oils that I use.  We’ve never used margarine.  I tend to use butter the most.  Vegetable and corn oil seem to be out, right?  Olive oil is ok, right?  All I have right now in the house is butter, vegetable oil, and olive oil.  What do you use?  And along with that question, what do you use for salad dressing?  Will eats carrots and celery and occasionally peppers if he has ranch dressing.  Do you have any alternative suggestions to ranch dressing?  I’m going to try to make some non-spicy hummus for him.

Sorry to bug you with questions!  Thanks!

Molly

And my answer:

Hey Molly!
No problem at all! I love this! I put olive oil at the top of the good fats, and vegetable or canola second. I haven’t done enough research on corn oil, but I’d stay away from anything hydrogenated. Butter is fine in moderation. It is a saturated fat, but not a trans fat. I usually use 50/50 butter/olive oil: butter for the flavor and olive oil for the good fat (and the oil helps keep the burning temp down on the butter).
For dressing, I use balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but kids don’t normally like that. For Bryan, I mix 50:50 honey and Dijon mustard. I love the hummus idea too. Here’s my hummus recipe and some other variation ideas. Greek Yogurt is a good dip too. Maybe let him try small spoonfuls and have him mix in different spices that he thinks smell good so he can learn about different seasonings.
Glad you enjoyed In Defense of Food! I thought it was well written too.
And I love your ideas about “mandatory” produce budgets and prepping the veggies ahead of time. Hint: add a little lemon juice or OJ to the cut fruit to prevent browning.
Thanks! Have a great weekend!
Enjoying the journey,

Melissa
I hope this was helpful to you. Do any of you have any advice or answers to Molly’s questions?! Please share your feedback!
And if you have questions of your own, please feel free to email me at mel.mckinnon@gmail.com!

Recipe: Homemade Hummus

Ingredients: Tahini is sesame butter and can be found in the same aisle as peanut butter at your local grocer, or at a local Mediterranean Market! I get mine from the Pita House. Fresh ingredients are best!

Here’s the recipe. All measurements are approximations, as I don’t use measuring cups unless baking, usually. Add all ingredients except parsley into your food processor and pulse till smooth; add parsley and pulse for a few seconds, just enough to mix in. Enjoy with pitas or tortilla chips, fresh veggies, over couscous, or as a spread on a sandwich with sprouts and other fresh veggies.

  • 2 c. cooked garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas; canned is fine, just drain it; you could use black beans instead of you like)
  • ¼ c. tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • ¼ c. water
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (can replace with water if desired)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh is best, but the from concentrate works fine)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh parsley leaves (if use dried, reduce to 1-2 Tbsp.)

Served over Israeli Couscous with Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes

Recipe: Baba Ghannouj (AKA, Eggplant Hummus)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small eggplant
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. prepared minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp.)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450F. Slice eggplant into 1″ thick slices, lengthwise. Place on baking pan (I use a stoneware bar pan that has a 1″ lip around the edges) and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 450F for about 30 minutes (I did this during the last 2/3 of baking our potatoes for dinner). Let cool. Peel skins off eggplant slices and discard skins.

Combine all ingredients, including eggplant, in food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve with pita bread or fresh veggies. Mmm! So yummy! And so fun to say: Baba Ghanouj! (bah-bah gauh-noush)

Baba Ghannouj (aka, Eggplant Hummus)

Tahini – Not Just in Hummus!

I finally found a good source for Tahini (sesame seed paste) here in Greenville. You can get a good size jar for about $5 at The Pita House on Pleasantburg. The Pita House is a delightful little Mediterranean restaurant that also has a small grocery inside! I buy my jams, dried fruits, nuts, etc. there because they’re all natural and cheaper than traditional grocers.

Their tahini is great. I add it to my hummus, and it really does make the difference between okay hummus and outstanding hummus! But it’s not just for hummus anymore! Check out this post on the Whole Foods Blog! It includes recipes for hummus, baba ghanouj (aka eggplant hummus), tahini dips and dressings, and one that I’m particularly interested in: Tahini Candy (“Make ‘candy’ from chopped dates, figs, raisins and tahini all combined in a food processor. Roll it into balls and then into coconut flakes or cocoa or carob powder.”).

So, go pick up some Tahini and try some of the recipes from the Whole Foods Blog today!

Hummus Variations (Mar. 4, 2010)

I had this amazing Spinach Artichoke Hummus from Earthfare for lunch today, along with my roasted veggies from yesterday. I was thinking, “Surely, I can make this myself.” So I started looking for recipes and came across this great list at TheVeggieTable.com (see below). I can’t wait to try some of these out! Guess I need to stock up on chickpeas, black beans, and squash.

“As good as ‘regular’ hummus is (made with chick peas, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini), other additions can make it even better. Here are some ideas on spicing up your favorite hummus recipe. Here are over a dozen easy hummus variations – for most of them, you just need to add the additional ingredient(s), purée, and serve.” ~TheVeggieTable.com

Hummus Variations from The Veggie Table in alphabetical order
Artichoke Hummus: Add 1 c steamed artichoke hearts
Bean Hummus: Instead of chick peas, try using another kind of beans, like black beans or fava beans
Beet Hummus: Add 1 pound cooked beets
Curried Hummus: Add 1 T curry powder
Garlic Hummus: Double or even triple the amount of garlic
Green Onion Hummus: Add 3-4 green onions
Mexican Hummus: Add ¾ c fresh cilantro, 2 jalapeños (seeded), and replace lemon juice with lime juice
Olive Hummus: Add ½ c black or green olives
Pesto Hummus: Add 1 c packed fresh basil leaves
Red Pepper Hummus: Add two peeled, roasted red peppers
Roasted Garlic Hummus: Sauté the minced garlic in a bit of oil before adding to hummus
Spinach Hummus: Add ½ c fresh spinach
Spinach & Feta Hummus: Add ½ c fresh spinach, and 2-3 ounces feta cheese
Squash Hummus: Steam or roast 2 c squash, then purée and use in place of chickpeas (adapted from Local Bounty cookbook)
Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus: Add 2-3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

Mar. 7, 2010: From the Inside Out said…”LOL…I totally bought my food processor to make hummus!! We were thinking a like lately! :D”

Mar. 23, 2010, michelle said…”Gotta try adding flour and frying. They’re called falafals, and they’re Israel’s national snack food!! To get an idea of texture, I recommend Acropolis on Wade Hampton.” My response: “I recommend the falafels at The Pita House on Pleasantburg. Mmm!”

“Healthified” Greek Layered Dip (Mar. 1, 2010)

My friend Amanda sent this to me from her “Betty Crocker’s Mobile Cookbook” email. She said she added garlic to the yogurt part of the dip to give it a bit more flavor. I’m pretty much always in favor of adding garlic. I can’t wait to try this one.
eatbetteramerica.com shares a recipe! 70% less fat • 54% fewer calories • 48% less sodium than the original recipe. You’ll love this much better-for-you appetizer updated with fat-free ingredients, extra veggies and baked whole wheat pita chips.

INGREDIENTS
2 whole wheat pita (pocket) breads (6 inch)
Cooking spray
1 container (7 or 8 oz) plain hummus
1 container (6 oz) fat-free Greek plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 medium plum (Roma) tomato, seeded, chopped
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered
1/3 cup finely chopped seeded cucumber
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium cucumber, sliced
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into strips
DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 350°F. Split each pita bread horizontally to make 2 rounds. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Arrange on ungreased large cookie sheet, rough surface up. Spray with cooking spray (about 5 seconds).
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp; cool.
Meanwhile, spread hummus on shallow serving platter or in pie plate. In small bowl, mix yogurt, parsley, lemon juice and pepper; spread evenly over hummus. Top with tomato, olives, chopped cucumber, feta cheese and onions. Drizzle with olive oil.