Tag Archives: Hummus
Last night, I discovered my internet was down. Despite all my attempts to fix it, it’s still down! Therefore, I wasn’t able to write my usual daily post this morning, and now I am at work, sneakily trying to type this so no one notices what I am up to! Fortunately, I have a few written posts that have yet to be published, so I thought I would leave you with one of those for today! I drafted this up about a month ago about one of my all-time favorite lunches! Hope you enjoy it, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a full recap of what I have been up to the last few days!
Sweet Potato Power Salad– Supercharged!
In July, I featured a very nutrient dense salad chock full of cooked sweet potato and raw veggies. I decided to revisit the idea for lunch this week, but I decided to up the nutrient content even further by tossing in some other fun additions.
I began with a base of baby lettuces.
I added some chopped daikon and baby tomatoes.
Then came some raw broccoli slaw, which is basically shredded broccoli, carrots and cabbage.
Next, some cooked chickpeas and munch mix, which is a combo of sprouted lentils, green peas, and aduki beans.
Then, a cooked sweet potato was placed on top.
Of course, I added some dips– a big spoon each of hummus, guacamole, and salsa were plopped onto the salad.
Finally, I added a generous handful of sprout sprinkles.
The end result?
Let’s see– we have plenty of nutrients from the colorful veggies, both cooked and raw. Protein arrived in the form of four types of beans and hummus, and avocado brought the healthy fat love. Fiber was undoubtedly abundant. I chased this salad with a small orange, for an additional vitamin C punch.
All in all, this salad rocked on all levels.
In my efforts to maximize nutrition in all of my meals and ensure a healthy balance of fat, protein, and carbs for maintaining high energy levels, I would call this meal a success. It was filling, yet amazingly light and full of yummy tastes and textures. You know when something is good when your carnivorous husband looks at your vegan lunch and says “Wow– what is that? You took a picture of it for the blog right?”
Of course I did!
What is your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes?
I don’t know if you have picked up on this yet, but here’s the stark truth: I rarely make salads at home, either for dinner or lunch. Obviously, salads are a healthy eating staple for most, and I always tend to order a salad when dining out; yet, in my own kitchen, they are something I rarely assemble. There are many reasons for this, so let me explain.
1) Options are limitless–almost too limitless! When I ponder crafting a salad at home, my mind goes beserk with all the possibilities beyond the standard lettuce/tomato/cucumber/bell pepper mix. Beets, pom seeds, goat cheese, beans, berries, apples, pears, nuts (both candied and not), edamame, sprouts, radishes, hummus, dressings, cottage cheese, baked tofu, mango, hemp seeds– as you can see, there are so many options. As indecisive as I can be, I spend so much time thinking about the perfect salad that when the time comes to make it, I’m starving and have no desire to wash, chop or prep ingredients. Soup, cheese, and crackers it is then! And my lovely imaginary salad is forgotten about.
2) Since I’m the only one eating salad at my house, salad ingredients tend to get gobbled up a lot slower than they should, so by the end of the week, I have piles of wilting lettuce, soft cucumbers, and moldy berries. In other words, I can’t eat fresh salad ingredients fast enough, resulting in lots of waste in terms of both food and money. Therefore, I tend to avoid buying all those ingredients in the first place.
3) I am always cold, especially in the winter, and the thought of eating a cool, crisp salad sends shivers up my spine. Enough said.
4) Salads take a long time to eat, which is great for a leisurely lunch, good digestion, and feeling sated. It’s not great, though, when you only have 18 minutes to eat lunch at work. The actual act of chewing a nice big salad literally is too time-consuming on weekdays.
So what’s a girl who likes salad but won’t make one to do when the salad craving hits? Well, my solution is to make a salad wrap of course!
Putting a salad into a sturdy wrap is the perfect alternative–it’s easy to pack, hand-held, travels well, and can be eaten quickly. Yesterday, I took such a salad wrap to work, and my salad craving was demolished!
I started with an Ezekiel sprouted grain wrap, which are my favorite kinds since they are tasty, sturdy, pliable, and hold up to being totally stuffed.
I then added a nice slather of roasted red pepper hummus, which served as the glue to hold in the contents, followed by sliced cucumber, radishes, baby tomatoes, and raw broccoli slaw.
Topped of course with some huge leaves of romaine! I sprinkled it with a dusting of sprouts as well.
I managed to squeeze a relatively decent salad within a convenient, whole grain wrap! Packed with raw veggies and beans from the hummus, you really can’t go wrong. The only thing I would improve upon is the protein content– if I had any, I would have thrown in some sprouted beans as well to up the protein factor.
So that’s my secret to eating salads without actually eating them. Really innovative, right?
Do you regularly eat salads? What are your favorite toppings?
Fridays have become my exercise rest days for good reason: I usually have a ton of papers to correct come Friday afternoon, and I want to get them done and done so I don’t have to labor over them on Saturdays and Sundays. Also, by Friday, I usually have worked out every day over the last week since Saturday, so it is naturally a good day to give my body a break. Lastly, I am just always so tired on Fridays, that it is nice to go home and get all my weekend school work done without worrying about fitting in a workout!
Yesterday, I pretty much did everything in the above chart. After I finished correcting around five in the afternoon, I watched tv and fell asleep for about thirty minutes. I never nap during the regular work week, so it was nice to have some nap time without worrying about what else I should be doing. I also “re-fueled” quite well, as I tend to do every Friday night!
The husband and I got some take-out from a hole in the wall falafel joint, East Side Pockets, that serves the best falafel in Providence, hands down. Falafel pockets have been upsetting my sensitive stomach lately, so I decided to go in a different direction with my order. I started with some amazing seasoned curly fries with ketchup.
I haven’t had salty, ketchupy fries in a long time, so I was craving them badly!
I also had some freshly made herby pita chips with their delicious homemade hummus.
My appetizer plate (plus more later!)
For my main course, I bucked the falafel trend by ordering an open-faced spinach and feta pie, that came with a Greek yogurt sauce and hummus for dipping. I only ate half of this bad boy, and it was so tasty! The dough was soft, almost like the fluffiest naan you can imagine and the spinach and feta were nice and tangy. I especially like how it did not mess with my stomach!
My husband and I spread all of this out on the coffee table (plus the falafels he ordered for himself), and feasted away while watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mad Fashion, and Beavis and Butthead. We had a grand night, full of ridiculous television, lots of laughs, and cuddling too!
Every Friday morning, I think we should go out to dinner, but by the time the evening comes, I think we both end up wanting nothing more than crashing on the couch with hearty eats and some funny television shows. Saturday has become our official date night, since we have a lot more energy to spare!
Of course, every Friday night ends with a naughty dessert, but I think I will save that for the next post. Needless to say, it was a fantastic end to my greasy meal!
What did you do last night?
A few days ago, a fellow teacher asked if she could talk to me for a minute. I got nervous for a second, since she sounded serious and I hoped I didn’t do anything wrong! I said of course, and then she proceeded to sit down next to me and ask me all about the best way to go about transitioning to a vegan diet.
I was sort of taken aback because I don’t consider myself an expert in veganism by any means. First of all, I am not even vegan. Second, I never talk about food or my blog at work– in fact no one knows about it there, so I wasn’t quite sure why she was coming to me for advice.
As I started to talk to her, I quickly realized there was a lot of information I could share with her. When she asked me about nutritional yeast, aka “nooch,” and how the heck to use it, I told her all about the cheezy sauces she could make, and directed her to Emily’s delicious broccoli and “cheeze” soup recipe.
When she told me she bought seemingly vegan rice milk that ended up having dairy in it, I told her all about the magical melting properties of Daiya. I told her how raw nuts could work as the basis of many tasty things, from cashew creams to nut pates to homemade larabars, and even wrote down for her the name of Gena’s blog. I told her about Kristin Carr’s book, since my friend is a cancer survivor, and I even informed her how she could test the waters with tofu by buying it pre-marinated and baked, due to the fact she told me she was scared of the “white blob.”
We had a really great discussion, and I truly feel like I was a helpful resource to her on her journey to veganism. All of my knowledge, acquired through years of interest in healthy living, and a few years now of heavy blog reading, finally was put to good use. I realized the degree I truly have a passion for the subject of vegetarian/vegan living, though I am not a committed vegan. When I asked her how she knew I may have some knowledge on this topic, she noted that my lunches, consumed in the teacher’s lounge, always looked vibrant, fresh, tasty, and vegetarian or vegan. In other words, just the food I eat was enough for someone to be interested in learning about how I eat, which truly made me proud for the food choices I do make. It is so easy for me to over-analyze my own diet, and say it is not healthful/colorful/veggie-licious/nutritious enough, but now that I have the ability to see my school lunches through someone else’s eyes, I realize I do pretty darn well in eating healthy, balanced, interesting, and delicious packed lunches at work, and honestly, I am quite proud of my efforts! Not only that, but I am so happy that my interest in vegetarian and vegan foods is a hobby that can help others wishing to adopt a lifestyle without meat!
It’s only appropriate then, that I highlight my lunch from yesterday, right? Well, it wasn’t vegan, but it was definitely full of taste and nutrition! I layered some olive hummus from Whole Foods, cucumber slices, baby tomatoes, (unpictured) baby greens, (unpictured) sprouts, and goat cheese on top of two mini whole wheat pitas, which I then squished together to form one hefty sandwich. The reason the greens and sprouts didn’t make it to the pic is I knew once they were piled on, the greens would keep falling off unless I immediately placed the other pita on top, which is not good for open-faced picture-taking!
I paired this with some mango slices and called it a meal!
Do others ever ask you for health/nutrition/fitness advice based on what they perceive your lifestyle to be?
I am not a hippy really. I do have really long hair and wear the occasional peace sign or tie-dye t-shirt, but I never dabbled in any other hippy-esque activities, if you catch my drift. However, I must admit, my new favorite brand of store-bought hummus is especially trippy. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
I picked up an interesting looking hummus recently at Trader Joe’s, and upon cracking it open, it appeared deceptively “normal” as far as hummus goes– that is until I took a spoon to it and discovered some pretty funky colors.
Note the orange on top, and green in the middle. Totally weird, right! Well, as you may have guessed where I am going with this, this ain’t no ordinary one-note hummus. That’s right– it’s triple layer!
Cilantro, traditional, and roasted red pepper hummus layered together in one tub? Yes please!
I am indifferent to most store-bought hummus-es because they tend lack the oily creaminess I crave in this magical dip. While this version is not oily, it is light as a feather, almost as if the individual hummus flavors were whipped before layered! The texture is airy and smooth, but even better, the taste is absolutely fantastic! Each layer is distinctive, yet they blend together perfectly to create a zesty, almost salsa-like flavor profile.
Let’s not forget the almost tye-dye like effect this hummus takes on when spread on wraps or pitas. It’s so pretty!
Example one– spread on an Ezekiel sprouted grain wrap:
Example two– all swirly on a whole wheat pita:
TJ’s has definitely done it again– they’ve created a product (which, by the way, isn’t new but just new-to-me!) that seems I will no longer be able to live without! They got me with their individual raw nut and fruit trail mix bags, and now they’ve got me on this hummus!
Since we’re talking hummus now, and we already discussed guacamole earlier in the week, I thought now would be a good time to highlight some of my other favorite dips. Here’s a list of a few other of my go-to sammy spreads:
Muhummara: a traditionally Syrian hot pepper dip made up of peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and spices. Perfect along with toasted pita bread!
Baba Ghanoush: another Middle Eastern spread consisting of mashed cooked eggplant, olive oil, and spices. I really enjoy it along with hummus in wraps!
Eggplant Capanota: a Sicilian dip made of chopped roasted or fried eggplant, celery and other vegetables, and sometimes nuts, all combined in a sweet and sour sauce. Capanota and I are thisclose– it’s hard to find in restaurants, but when I do, I be sure to hog it all for myself!
I would like to also give honorable mentions to raita, tzatziki, and olive tapenade.
What are your favorite dips or spreads?