Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday plus two flavors of hummus

Having my husband home more meant much less time at home and/or on the computer. However we have been having a great time catching up since he has been working so much lately we haven’t had much time together.

I am going to start with the two variations of hummus I made today since we all really want to know about the food first. Being out of the house so much also meant that I wasn’t cooking and we were living on leftovers. Today our refrigerator was very bare so I needed to make some food. Since we haven’t had hummus if a few weeks I decided to make two variations of it today to have on hand for salads and snacks. Here is what I made:

Mexican Hummus with Cilantro and Jalapeno
Makes 6 servings


½ pound chickpeas, cooked until tender cooking liquid saved for processing
2 jalapenos (remove seeds and ribs if you don’t want a lot of heat)
½ cup cilantro
¾ teaspoon chili powder
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
enough reserved bean cooking liquid to thin the mixture
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place all the ingredients (except the bean cooking liquid and black pepper) in your food processor or Vitamix and process. Slowly stream in the bean cooking liquid until the hummus is the texture you desire. Add black pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 149.46
Calories From Fat (14%) - 20.38

Total Fat - 2.44g
Saturated Fat - 0.26g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 19.89mg
Potassium - 396.61mg
Total Carbohydrates - 26.32g
Fiber - 7.61g
Sugar - 4.62g
Protein - 7.71g


This is a hummus I used to make often but I got out of the habit of having it in the house. When Carissa posted her cilantro hummus I thought I should make myself a little of my version of the dish to use on my salads. It works beautifully with salsa on salad.

I have had a few of you ask why I don’t use tahini in my hummus. I omit this because I don’t find it necessary. It is simply a matter of saving my fat calories to use somewhere else where it is necessary. I am not against fat, heck I love avocado, nuts and seeds. But I also don’t think we need as much of it as most American’s eat. I read something last week about the average American gets 40% of their calories from fat. That seemed almost unimaginable at first but the more I thought about it the more possible I realized it was. Since fat is so calorie dense even a little can easily become a large percentage of your total days calories. I think fat is something to be minimized for health reason so I add it to dishes that require it and not places where I find it unnecessary. However if I thought the hummus needed it to taste good or correct the mouth feel I would add a little tahini or avocado.

The next version of hummus I made was Spanish. I wanted to make roasted red pepper hummus and thought that smoked paprika and a little sherry vinegar. Here is that recipe:

Spanish Hummus
Serves 6


½ pound chickpeas, cooked until tender cooking liquid saved for processing
2 roasted red peppers
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled
enough cooking liquid to thin the mixture
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place all the ingredients (except the bean cooking liquid and black pepper) in your food processor or Vitamix and process. Slowly stream in the bean cooking liquid until the hummus is the texture you desire. Add black pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 148.15
Calories From Fat (13%) - 19.74

Total Fat - 2.37g
Saturated Fat - 0.25g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 14.71mg
Potassium - 396.24mg
Total Carbohydrates - 25.46g
Fiber - 7.36g
Sugar - 4.07g
Protein - 7.66g


This hummus will also get used on salads in place of dressing. I also like this with raw vegetable dippers. Like all hummus it is also good on sandwiches.

I omitted the tahini in this dish for the same reason I didn’t include it in the Mexican version. However if I thought this needed fat I would add tahini or pine nuts for fat.

Book Review: Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel

I happened to see this at the library on Tuesday so I brought it home. I am not sure why but I expected it to be vegan and it isn’t. However the book is also much better than I expected. It is not a diet book per se it is more “rules” to make food choices using. It is written in a very conversational tone and I found it an enjoyable read. Here is how the book is organized:

Part One: The Rules

1. Your Diet Is a Bank Account
2. You Can Have It All, Just Not All at Once
3. Taste Everything, Eat Nothing
4. Pay Attention
5. Downsize Now!
6. Cancel Your Membership in the Clean Plate Club
7. Check Yourself before You Wreck Yourself
8. Know Thyself
9. Get Real
10. Good for You

Part Two: The Naturally Thin Program

11. The Naturally Thin Program: Setting It Up
12. Day One: Monday
13. Day Two: Tuesday
14. Day Three: Wednesday
15. Day Four: Thursday
16. Day Five: Friday
17. Day Six: Saturday
18. Day Seven: Sunday
19. Going Forward

The rules are very common sense yet not followed by most people. In essence Bethenny is recommending that you eat a most whole food plant based diet with small amounts of rich food. While I don’t agree that any amount of animal products are necessary or healthy I think the overall message of this book is sound.

The author gives many examples of food choices she makes and explains why she made them. What she doesn’t do is tell you eat this or don’t eat that. She also doesn’t have any off limits foods. The rules in her book can be applied to any food lifestyle that you want to follow, including veganism. Overall I am glad I read this book it had some good tips that I think we can all use. If you local library has it I would suggest you pick it up. I was a quick read and well worth the time.


Breakfast was a quick smoothie of frozen banana, walnuts, kale, cinnamon, powdered ginger and stevia to taste. I added water and ice until I liked the texture. The color is odd but the taste was good and of course I liked the nutrition from the added kale.

Tuesday was supposed to be our day at the beach but things just don’t always work out the way we plan. Before we had gotten ready to leave my father called and said he had a doctor appointment and wanted to make certain I knew my mom was alone and would be nearby in case anything happened. We ended up sticking around until he got back which was more than two hours after he left. Since it was almost noon before we were finally leaving we changed our plans and decided to run errands instead. I packed some green tea to drink while we were out. We also had a few cups of grapes and trail mix with us in case we got hungry, which you know we did. ;-)

We went to Costco where I bought a completely unnecessary but adorable Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with a blinking nose. Doesn’t everyone need a two foot tall stuffed Rudolph for under their tree? I know I am 48 going on 8, or 5 as Dan would say. ;-)

Then we stopped at IKEA for a few things. They have the best prices on pots for plants and baskets. We also picked up a couple additional glass bottles with stoppers (they look like Grolsch bottles only clear) for Dan’s fresh juice and to take beverages in the car.

Next we stopped at the health food store for a few provisions and a quick fresh veggie juice. While we ordered our usual blood rejuvenator they were out of beet so it ended up being carrot, celery and romaine. We both thought it was a little on the sweet side, but still good.

While we were close we stopped at the library and took back a few books and of course we picked up more. I got Naturally Thin, which I reviewed above and the DVD of the first season of "Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie". If you didn’t catch that show on PBS I highly recommend it if you are a foodie. It isn’t vegan but it is a fascinating look at gourmet food.

Our last stop was Wegman’s to pick up more of the cute dishes I got last week. I decided I should have purchased 8 or each and wanted to get them while they were still carrying them.

When we got home neither of us was actually hungry, it must have been the green tea, trail mix, grapes and fresh juice we had on the road. Gee, I wonder why we weren’t hungry. Doh! LOL

For dinner we had a salad of romaine, Roma tomato, cannellini beans, leftover Spanish rice, salsa, marinated mushrooms, raw sunflower seeds and cashew crème fraiche.

After dinner we watched a move “Then She Found Me” which is difficult to describe. It was an odd movie with a relationship that was not very believable. We picked this movie because it has such a good cast but honestly it was just odd, not bad but odd. This isn’t one I would not watch a second time.


Today Dan went back to work, boo hiss. Though I shouldn’t complain since he is only working two days this week which is a welcome change from what has been happening recently. ;-) It was weird to have the house to myself (with the cats of course) and be back to my normal routine. Well it was sort of my normal routine. I actually had a lot of things to do since we Dan is home I spend as little time as possible on “life administration” so we can spend more time together.

Breakfast yesterday was a small bowl of watermelon.

I followed this with the end of the veggie soup from this weekend. A few pine nuts added to the top makes certain there is enough fat to efficiently absorb the fat soluble vitamins. The added fat also helps the food to be more satisfying.

Lunch was the end of the oven roasted veggies that I tossed with short grain brown rice.

For some reason I was feeling very snacky in the afternoon. First I had grapes.

Then I had some edamame.

Finally I had a few falafel with some salsa. I have no idea why I was so hungry yesterday afternoon it must have been some crazy hormonal thing. *rolls eyes* When I have these hungry days I try to go with the flow and feed myself. It seems to keep me from overeating later in the evening.

For dinner I wasn’t overly hungry. Gee I wonder why, LOL. Dan wasn’t too hungry either so we both decided a huge salad for dinner was in order. Yes it is another one of my salads in a serving bowl. Each of us had a head of romaine topped with salsa, leftover Spanish rice, raw red bell pepper, cucumber, Roma tomatoes, cannellini beans, and a few raw sunflower seeds. While this was a huge salad it didn’t contain many calories it was mostly fiber and water.


This morning started with a smoothie for Dan of one frozen banana, a handful of walnuts, 2 cups kale tightly packed, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, stevia to taste and water to process. Add ice if necessary for texture.

When it was time for breakfast this morning I wasn’t particularly hungry. While breakfast is important I also don’t think you should force yourself to eat just because it is “time to eat”. I opted to have a small bowl of grapes.

To go with the grapes I had 6 walnut halves. I add chia seeds or nuts to fruit dishes to assist my body to process the fat soluble vitamins. However adding nuts also seems to make the fruit a more substantial meal.

For lunch I had a huge salad of one head of romaine, salsa, diced tomato tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, roasted red bell pepper, cucumber, raw sunflower seeds and ½ of an avocado. This is one of my favorite salads. I could eat this every day as you may have noticed. ;-)

My afternoon snack was 6 falafel from the freezer with a couple tablespoons of salsa and a few marinated mushrooms and red peppers.

Next I started one of my favorite soups. It begins with a tray of roasted veggies. I cut up an eggplant, 2 red bell peppers, 1 poblano, 2 carrots and 1 red onion. I sprinkled these with a little freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of oregano. I roasted these in a 400 degree oven until they were getting brown.

Veggies before roasting.

Veggies after roasting.

Next place the roasted veggies in a blender with some veggie stock and puree until smooth. Adjust the flavors to your taste and serve hot. I love this soup and make it often when the temperatures are starting to fall. You can use any veggies you like in this same way but know that the color of the soup will change depending on which veggies you include. Because this soup is only veggies the flavor and mouth feel will be very clean. You can add some raw cashews for creaminess if you think it needs it. I prefer it without the cashews in the summer but will go back to adding those during the fall and winter. For some reason I am not as fond of creamy soup in the summer.

While the veggies were roasting I decided to make no sugar apple butter. I will give you the recipe for that in another post. It is still simmering away and I wanted to get this post up before it got much later.

Dinner tonight was the roasted veggie soup I made earlier today topped with a few sliced almonds

We also had a small plate of both types of hummus I made today and red pepper and cucumber for dippers, pictured at the top of this post.

Tomorrow is going to be another busy one here. I will try to post late in the day tomorrow but whether I can do that or not depends on what we end up getting into tomorrow. I hope you all have a great Friday. Talk to you again soon.


  1. Totally digging the hummus flavors and I don't use tahini in mine either.

    Rudolph???? LOL LOVE IT!

  2. Heather,

    I like to make different flavors or hummus. Since I know you like Mexican try that one.

    Thanks for supporting my Rudolph habit. I also love the Grinch. ;-)

    BTW Dan says hello.


  3. Wow so much to take in! Both of your hummuses (is that correct spelling?) sound great! I will definitely add jalepeno to my next batch! I think after I finish this huge amount of hummus I might be all hummused out for at least a week ;) Oh and I saw that exact same Rudolph and I almost bought him! He's adorable:)

  4. Another beautiful week of eating :) The humus variations are fab.

  5. All your recipes and salads look excellent, as usual! Your diet is so inspiring and I keep thinking "if you can do it, I can do it", yet so often I end up searching our pantry/fridge for less healthy foods to snack on (last night it was granola). I wish I could have been satisfied with all the fresh fruit I ate after my healthy dinner. It's frustrating, but I can only keep trying!

    I was wondering if you have ever frozen that type of soup? I bought an eggplant but probably won't have time to cook with it before we leave. Yet I might have time to make soup.

  6. Carissa,

    Let me know if you like the jalapeno in your hummus. I love the bit of heat in the background. ;-)

    Good to know I am not the only Rudolph fan.


  7. JL,

    Since I posted three days at once I got finished and thought, wow that was a lot of food, LOL.

    hope you had a good week,

  8. Laura,

    I find that when I add nuts to my fruit it helps me to stay satisfied longer. Just 6 walnut halves does the trick for me.

    I have not tried freezing that soup before but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I have froze caponata before and that works great so you can always do that with your eggplant.

    Enjoy your next trip!

  9. Oh my goodness...they have Christmas stuff out in the stores already?!? Are you kidding me?! isn't even Halloween yet, not to mention Thanksgiving! Wow.

    How big are your cookie sheets? I could never fit all those veggies for your soup on one of mine! I would need to use multiple sheets for roasting for sure. You must have some very large ones! I am jealous , lol :-)

    I am happy to hear you tried the apple butter without sugar! What did you think? Were you pleased with how it turned out?


  10. That falafel looks mighty tasty! And both hummuses sound good. I always use tahini in mine as I'm a huge fan of the good fats. But my friend made some tahini-less hummus for a picnic the other day and I was surprised by how hummus-like it tasted without tahini.

  11. You are a domestic godDESS!!!
    Love the hummus recipes...can't wait to try them.

  12. I looked for the book you recommended at my library, but they don't have it. I looked on the online card catalog; I should just go browse the shelves. Looks like you found another interesting read.

    Good idea, too, to spend your time with Dan together and not on administration. Nicely put.

    And good looking food, as always.

  13. oh you found my reindeer! can you send him home?....not buying it? darn it:)

    wnen i make my hummus (i love to use northern bean, so it might jsut be called a bean dip?) i used tahini one time and then didnt the next few times, it really doesnt need it once you get used to it. have you ever added miso to your hummus? i might have gotten that idea from you. it is SO good! husband approved also:)

    grapes are a perfect snack/on the go food. sorry you didnt get to go to the beach as planned, you got to adopt a reindeer i dont feel sorry for you...just a little jealous still lol:)

    i dont really like "odd" movies either, i wait and watch and when they dont get better i feel like ive wasted my time. a few indie films are really good, but you get lots of odd ones too. now my movie "duck" many people might think its odd/ unbelievable but i loved it! i guess "too each his own" :)

    i LOVE APPLE BUTTER!!!!and ill be lurking till you put it up!!! all that they have in the store is a hfcs slurry...

  14. Courtney,

    They do seem to put Christmast stuff out earlier and earlier each year. *shakes head*

    My pans are half sheet pans which I think are 11.5 by 17 inches. I use them all the time, they are my go to roasting pans.

    I had a few tastes of the apple butter while it was cooking and it was good. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

    talk to you later,

  15. Bianca,

    I am a fan of healthy fats too but try to keep my overall consumption reasonably low. Being 5'2" I don't need many calories. ;-)

    I like all flavors of hummus. It is such a nice bland flavor palate to play with.


  16. Aimee,

    You are too kind. Thank you for your nice comment.


  17. Jessica,

    I always check the areas of the library I frequent just to see if anything looks interesting. I have found some good reads that way. I hope it works out for you too.

    Dan and I also had a great Friday together. We have been making up for lost time.

    Thanks for the food compliment. :-)


  18. Michelle,

    Rudolph is cute isn't he? LOL

    I do add miso to okara dip so I would think it would be great in any bean dip. Good idea, I will try it in hummus too. Thanks for sharing the idea.

    Indie movies can be hit or miss but when they are good they seem to be very good. ;-)

    I will try to get the apple butter recipe up this weekend. It is very, very easy.

    talk to you later,

  19. Haha--they put out the Christmas stuff so early because people buy it ;-) He is/was really cute, though...I can see how you were smitten, lol :-)

    Oh good, I am happy to hear you like the apple butter...I was worried you might think I was crazy or something! It is good, right?! I love it full of cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg...mmmmmm :-)


  20. Courtney,

    Cloves would have been perfect in the apple butter. It is a shame I forgot them. I did use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger though.

    Good point about they sell the holiday stuff so early because people buy it, not just me apparently. LOL, I have always had fondness for Rudolph and the Grinch. I guess I have never really grown up. ;-)


  21. Hi, Ali! I'm still here and am loving the food ideas in this post! As always, your creativity in the kitchen is awesome!!

    I am still happily living the Eat to Live program and have lost more than 50 pounds now. I still have yet to do any exercise and I know that at this point in my journey that it is critcial for me to start. So today is the day...
    I need to blog more regulary, as well....that is another goal!

    Hope you are doing well!!


  22. Lolly,

    Wow! You have lost over 50 pounds since May, that is amazing. Congratulations!!! I know you must have been really focused and sticking to the parameters to get that much success.

    I can't wait to read your next post. ;-)

    I hope the exercise went well today. If you need any tips or ideas send me an email and we can chat about it offline.

    Congratulations again, you are such an inspiration!

  23. hi love your recipes,i am desperately looking for a recipe for macrobiotic cider and apple butter The harvesting of apples has begun so i will try a few experiments myself.thanks,great if you could help.Joan

  24. Joan,

    I can't help on the cider but apple butter is easy. Core the apples and cut them into small chunks. Add a splash of water and cook over low until the apples break down and turn brown and thick. Add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and powdered ginger to taste. Process the mixture in your blender to obliterate the peel. If desired add stevia to taste but we didn't think it was necessary.

    If I come across a cider recipe I will try it out this weekend and post it if it works.


  25. thanks ali for your apple butter recipe.I am going to add cider to it as an experiment.thanks for all your help, Joan

  26. Joan,

    I imagine cider would be great in there. I hope you like the way it turns out. :-)



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