Wednesday, May 25, 2011

BEST Hummus Recipe!! :)

Hello there... it's been a while!

I had to blog today because I found the BEST hummus recipe. It is absolutely delicious. This hummus lasts about 4-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. I also used 2.5 cans of garbanzo beans for this recipe.

I found it here:

Hummus with Green Goo

This hummus keeps nicely, refrigerated, for a few days, but is best served at room temperature. As Heidi notes in her recipe, the hummus might thicken in the refrigerator. If this happens, you can simply thin it with a splash of water. Adjust with salt and lemon juice if needed as well. If you are sensitive to heat, you can deseed and devein the jalepeno.
1 pound / 453 g dried chickpeas, soaked in water for at least 4 hours, drained
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
scant 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup / 80ml tahini
Green Goo
1/4 cup Italian parsley
1 jalapeño, destemmed
1 large clove garlic
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2/3 cup / 160 ml extra virgin olive oil
In a large pot cover the chickpeas with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the baking soda, and reduce the heat. Simmer, skimming any foam from the surface, until the chickpeas are soft but still structured, roughly an hour. Drain.
Place 4 cups / 1.5 pounds / 650 g of the cooked chickpeas in a food processor. You can set aside any remaining chickpeas and have them as a snack or use them in a stew or soup. To the food processor add the water, lemon juice, and salt. Process for three minutes or until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice along the way. If you like your hummus thinner add more water a small splash at a time. Add the tahini, process one more time. Taste and adjust the seasoning, add more salt or lemon juice if needed. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl.
To make the "green goo" rinse out the food processor bowl, and use it again, and if you don't have a food processor, you can certainly do a hand-chopped version. Pulse the parsley, jalapeño, garlic, and salt in the food processor. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture while the processor is running, until an green emulsion is created. Transfer to a jar, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
Drizzle the hummus generously with the green goo. I realize now, I didn't use nearly enough in the photo up above.
Serve with pita chips, crackers, flatbread, or toasted lavash.
Makes 4 cups of hummus.

Monday, April 11, 2011

First Time for Everything!

Today it happened. And it made me laugh. When I was checking out at the grocery store today the cashier looked at me, scrunched his nose and said "Are you Vegan?" It made me laugh so hard! I have been a vegetarian now for as long as Tim and I have been together but this is the FIRST time someone could tell by looking at the things in my cart! The kale, molasses, vegan mozzarella cheese and coconut milk ice cream gave it away... I'm sure of it. It made me happy... Well, I guess I MAY be on my way to becoming a Vegan after all..

Yesterday after yoga, an instructor's wife made a BUNCH of great Vegan snacks for us to try. I tried meatless meatballs, chickenless nuggets, Vegan sour cream and a few other interesting items for the first time. To my surprise, everything was REALLY delicious! I really believe that we are sooo used to eating certain things that we don't eat anything BUT the things we "normally" eat.

Today, I put nutritional yeast on my popcorn for a snack and it was delicious! It sounds so weird but it gave the popcorn a cheese like flavor. And, I am very excited for my dinner tonight because I made homemade Vegan BBQ sauce to go with our meal. Wow, it's AMAZING! Tonight, I will also be trying/making tofu for the VERY first time. I'm a little apprehensive but I do hope I like it... Later this week, I will be making Vegan enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce. Oooooo.. I am just way too excited about this fun adventure of homemade Vegan dining! :)

As far as snacks go, as I mentioned I loved popcorn with nutritional yeast. I made my own hummus last week.. I will continue to make it every week (it's so much cheaper making it yourself). This week I will also be making homemade kale chips. Basically it's kale with a little extra virgin olive oil and some spices baked in the oven til crispy. Whole Foods sells kale chips but since we don't have one in our area (BOOOOO!!) I will make them myself!

I am still waiting when we go out to eat.. I imagine this is going to be VERY hard which is why for now, I like to call us "At Home Vegans" because I'm not sure how this is going to play out in the restaurant arena.. I am going to try to test it out though just for the the fun of it :) Also, I CANNOT imagine going to Italy and NOT having pizza without cheese and going without Gelato. I know this will be way too hard to resist. So for now.. at home vegans is as far as I'm going.. hehe :)

Happy Eating! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

First attempt at dabbling in Vegan-ism..

     Alright... so are we becoming Vegans? No.. Borders is going out of business so I went down there a few weeks ago and found these REALLY great cook books! One of them is a 30 Minute Vegan Recipe book and the other one is a Vegetarian cook book. Tim and I already don't eat meat.. well I do sometimes but I have decided not to eat it any more. Dietary reasons mostly. When I eat meat I am let down.. the flavors I have been finding in Vegetarian meals have been absolutely delicious! :) Since I married Tim I have found out about lots of sauces, seasonings and oils that I would have never known about if we weren't "pescatarians" (yes we eat fish). I LOVE cooking so these "interesting" ingredients I have been finding has been soo much fun! :)

   In my Yoga training last week we did learn more about Vegan-ism and I even tried Vegan donuts! Yes, they were WAY better than regular donuts. I already do not like eggs or milk so it's hard finding a good oven-bake recipes without those ingredients.. this is where my interest in the Vegan cook book came into play! I knew those ingredients would not exist. Sooo.. long story short, Tim and I are going to try to eat as much as a Vegan at home as we can. I'm not ready to become a REAL Vegan because I cannot fathom going without my cheeses and fish when ordering at a restaurant. And I don't even think I like Tofu! I am determined to make myself like these things.. (I'm making it tonight for the first time!) I thought I would blog my Dabbling into Vegan-ism Adventure with you all!

   This morning I made live cinnamon rolls. "Live" means raw so these were made with all raw ingredients. They turned out really well! They surprisingly had a lot of flavor and the icing was the best part. It reminded me of an orange julius drink. Bringing back my childhood memories of going to the mall.. lol :) When making these live cinnamon rolls I caught myself laughing a few times. I kept on hearing my future child talking to their friends.. "My mommy doesn't put our cinnamon rolls in the oven... she makes ALIVE cinnamon rolls" (Imagine big eyes on the ALIVE part) Oh gosh, kids are too funny!

    I'm not a photographer like most people out there but I am determined to learn how to use my nice camera. I took some pictures of the cinnamon rolls and the recipe is below for those of you interested. :) P.S. I had so much fun shopping for the ingredients because I had to go to a special natural food store to buy them.. they ingredients were not expensive. But for those of you who live near a Whole Foods.. you will have no problem finding these ingredients. Lucky You! :) Oh and the buckwheat groats are fruit SEEDS not grains for those of you on a grain free diet! :)

Live Cinnamon Rolls
(makes 12 rolls)                                                              

2 cups raw buckwheat groats (not kasha)                        
2 cups + 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates, packed                
1/4 cup water                                                                    
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon                                        
Pinch of sea salt                                                                  
1/4 cup raisons
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

 Icing (optional) - RECOMMENDED :)
1/2 cup coconut butter (not oil)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1. Process the buckwheat groats for 60 seconds in a food processor, or until they are finely ground. There will still be some whole kernals. Add 2 cups of the dates and continue to process for about 40 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon of the agave nectar and process for 30 seconds more, or until a sticky "dough" forms. If a piece of dough can be formed into a tight ball, it is ready, otherwise add 1 teaspoon at a time of agave nectar until this desire stickiness is reached.

2. Transfer the dough to a flat work surface covered with a Silpat, a Teflex sheet or parchment paper. Using your hands, press the dough into a rectangle that is roughly 9x11 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Keep some water nearby to dip your fingers into, to prevent the dough from sticking to them. Position the dough so that the long side is parallel with the counter's edge.

3. Process the remaining 1/2 cup of dates, 2 tablespoons of agave nectar , water, cinnamon, and salt in the food processor until as smooth as possible. There will possibly be chunks because the quantity of the mixture may be too small to process throughly. Remove the processor blade and stir in the raisins and walnuts. Spread the mixture over all the dough except for about 1 inch along the far long edge.

4. Roll up the dough by making a small fold along the near long edge, pressing it down, peeling back the Silpat (or parchment paper), and continuing to roll in the same way, making sure to press the whole thing together as you go so that you have a tight roll. Refrigerate while you make the icing and then cut the log into twelve even slices.

5. Blend all the icing ingredients until smooth. Either drizzle it over the whole log or over individual slices. There should be  more than enough icing.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Just a little something to share..

Happy April! I have been so busy lately... and completely exhausted so I have not gotten around to blogging.

I thought I'd share a little bit out a devotional book I have been reading. It's as if Jesus is speaking. Enjoy!

April 1:

I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You learn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinguish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.

Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.

- 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Proverbs 3:6

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Books, Yoga, PointBreak... just a little update! :)

Books: Borders is going out of business nationwide for those of you who do not know already. So everything is 30-50% off at Borders in Modesto! Yesterday, I bought two GREAT cookbooks! One is a vegetarian cookbook and it teaches you how to make homemade pasta, tips on roasting vegetables and a bunch of YUMMY things! The other cookbook is over 300 Quick 30 minute Vegan recipes. There's all types of dishes and they all look SOOOO GOOD!! I'm excited because I've been having trouble finding a large selection of really good vegetarian recipes. I really want to learn to make some yummy casseroles or pasta bakes but all the recipes I find either include eggs or milk. And I don't like either so I'm very excited about the Vegan one especially because I know I won't find either ingredient! haha :)

Yoga Update: I start my yoga teacher training (YTT) in Rocklin on Friday!! I have training the next four consecutive weekends (Fri-Sun) then it tapers off to one weekend a month from May to September. I cannot wait. I am a little nervous because I have no idea what to expect. I just found out we have a book list of about 6 books I had to order. I really love yoga but I have never actually studied techniques and proper body alignment (a.k.a movement anatomy!) so I hope I like it. It will be very interesting because this training is super comprehensive so we have to learn a bunch of different types of yoga and philosophies. Many of the philosophies are rooted in buddism and other "spiritual" types of origins. I'm apprehensive about this part but it will be interesting to learn everything. Of course, I will not be incorporating that type of thing into my practice when I'm a teacher; we just need to have a full understanding of philosophies and whatnot for a comprehensive training. I compare it to learning about other religions at school. Fascinating. I'm nervous.

PointBreak: Anyone every heard of it? It's a great organization. It is Christian based but not advertised that way to the public. I should say the people that run the organization are Christian and if anyone in counseling or group asks about God or has questions, they won't hesitate to answer. They have many different counseling type of services available including an adolescent sexuality class and presentations. They go around to schools in the area and do all-day presentations on sexuality. One of the ladies who runs this portion of the program came into our continuing education for C.A.S.A. and gave us a quick run down on the class/presentation. It's GREAT information! All truth and facts. It's a presentation that gives the kids the facts and both sides to everything - from the information they get to decide what they think about sex and about their body. They never say "Don't have sex" Anyways, for those of you who don't know.. about a year ago God put on my heart to go around and do presentations on adolescent sexuality! I put it in the back of my mind... and a year later a possible opportunity. I love public speaking, love teaching and have a passion for this topic! I love that it's Christian based too - ALL God's truth - Not worldly truth - All scientific facts mixed in and the thing I love is that God's truth is TRUTH. When listening to these presentations people think "Woah, that's so true. Never thought of it like that before" and NO ONE knows that it's God's truth.. it's just plain truth. Love it! So I am in the process of checking to see if they have any openings and/or an opportunity for me to actually see one of their school presentations. OH! They do the adolescent sexuality weekly classes for girls at Juvenile Hall! So cool.

Other than these updates, just trying to allow God to teach me something about Him everyday. Lately, he's been teaching me about being selflessness. We have hosted people in our home for the past couple of weeks. It's been a lot of work but so much fun! :) The work is totally worth it. And with Tim still in tax season working long hours... and.. my CASA child... and my friends.. I've been learning to meet others needs and in return my needs will be met because God knows my needs. I am so thankful to have a husband always attentive to my needs and meeting them many times before I know what they are myself. It's nice not to have to worry about that so I can be selfless focussing on others. I will say though that while trying to be selfless I do make sure I am taking care of myself. I think that's very important. Sooo.. I have been sleeping in and working out.. haha :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cannot escape it...

I cannot escape.... 

I cannot escape my relationship with Jesus - He is ALWAYS there and IN relationship with me. When I choose not to spend time with Him, my thoughts are about myself and what I am going through. It's hard to see people through Jesus' lenses when I am not spending time with Him. Since I cannot escape Him, I might as well choose to spend time with Him as much as I can - every morning at least, right? When I was in Missouri last weekend I didn't spend time with Jesus while I was there... interesting how even just a few minutes with Jesus in the mornings makes your entire thought process changed due to focussing on the right thing from the start of the day. It fascinates me and makes Jesus HUGE! We worship a BIG BIG GOD!

I cannot escape running - After my 8K, I have started a fat burning training program. I am at the point where I don't need to lose any weight but I would like to burn more body fat and tone up more. Funny enough, the program has me doing interval training twice a week, hill training once/twice a week and running for an hour at a moderate speed once a week. haha I ran 6 miles yesterday in 59:01. I still got game folks! I guess I am becoming a runner. The thought of running does not excite me but I love the feeling of running and especially love how it feels AFTER I run. 

I cannot escape my protein smoothies - I wouldn't want to escape them anyway. I made the BEST one yesterday!! Vanilla protein powder, 3 cups of spinach, one whole apple, water and ice. Sounds weird huh? That's what I thought until I tried it. This smoothie was the BEST one I have ever made. I couldn't even taste the spinach even though it was bright green! Great for St. Patty's Day! haha

I cannot escape... 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Yes so I love Shape Magazine!! They always have amazing workouts you can do.. the best part is that you do the work outs ONLY for one month, when the next magazine comes in the following month there's a whole different set of work outs. This is great for muscle memory so that your body is not getting used to the same routines.. you only get results when you change up your work out. Then online, there's this awesome 5 day cardio plan that you do along with the strength exercises. Last month I did lots of running for my 8K and did strengthening and this month I'm going back to my monthly cardio/strengthening plan. I'm excited. More motivation for working out!