Under Construction

It’s time to renovate!

Hummusapien is temporarily under construction due to some exciting new changes involving switching from WordPress to self-hosting.  The good news is that [hopefully] the site will look better and be easier to navigate once it’s all said and done!

The bad news is that it’s going to take at least a few days for to switch hosts; and nothing that I post from here on out will be transferred to the new site.  That means I won’t be posting until the transfer is complete.

Until we’re back up on running again…here are some new recipes to look forward to/drool over when you’re bored!

Warning: serious foodgasms ahead.

Oil-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Almond Berry Paleo Pancakes

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Goat Cheese and Spinach Salmon Burgers

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Stay tuned!

Baked Apple and Tempeh Stuffed Squash

Fall is the season to stuff things.

Stuff your grocery cart with yummies.

Stuff your turkey with stuffing.

Stuff your face with pumpkin.

Acorn squash is one of my favorite fall eats because it doesn’t require an intense arm workout when you hack it open. It also tastes delicious and the seeds are fabulous when roasted.

Usually I just slice it in half, add a dab of butter + a hefty dose of cinnamon and maple syrup and bake it.  But since it looks like a bowl, I figure I should use it as such and stuff it with some crispy tempeh and baked apples.  Because why not? Sweet, salty, savory.

Go ahead, stuff your squash with tempeh.  Your jeans won’t mind a bit.

Baked Apple and Tempeh Stuffed Squash

-serves two (tempeh inspired by Post Punk Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 8 oz package of tempeh
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried  fennel (ground)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice your squash in half  and scoop out seeds. Place in a glass baking dish filled with 1/4 inch of water (so squash doesn’t burn).
  2. Fill each half with a small spoonful of butter or coconut oil, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup or brown sugar.
  3. Bake for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dice apple and spread onto a sprayed baking sheet. Toss with cinnamon and maple syrup.  Bake for about 15 minutes (you can bake the apples while the squash is baking as well).
  5. While the apples and squash are cooking, heat a bit of oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Crumble tempeh and add to pan.
  6. Add in all the rest of the tempeh ingredients and sautee for about ten to twelve minutes or until browned and fragrant.  Add in apple mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Once squash is done, fill each half with tempeh apple mixture.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Stuff your jeans with your big happy belly.

Kalamata White Bean Hummus

Since my blog is called Hummusapien, you’d think I’d have a handful of humbelievable hummus recipes.

best apron ever

That’s not exactly the case.

I always have hummus in the fridge–usually two.

My favorites are Trader Joe’s original, Tribe roasted garlic, Sabra spinach and artichoke, Whole Food’s black bean hummus and Whole Food’s Greek hummus.

Trader Joe’s original (the one with the red writing on the lid) is my go-to hummus.  It has the most amazing whipped texture unlike any other hummus around.  It’s priced right at $3.49 for a 16 oz tub and has half the fat of Sabra.  This is important because a 16 oz tub that technically has 16 servings really only has about 6 for me.

Close second: Tribe roasted garlic

This one is supremely creamy and garlicky, just how I like it.  Fabulous texture. I hardly ever shop at Giant Eagle, but I always find a $1.00 off coupon tucked into the top label so I’ve been getting it there.  With the coupon, it’s usually around $3.00.   I believe they have an organic brand now as well.

Third: Sabra spinach and artichoke

This hummus is super creamy and addicting.  The downside is that it’s on the expensive side and has 6 grams of fat per 2 tbsp which adds up super fast when you eat it all the time!

Hummus is extremely easy to make and I really don’t know why I don’t do it more often. It is definitely less expensive than buying it at the store. For today’s version, I didn’t use tahini (ground sesame seed paste) since I know most people don’t  have it on hand in a pinch.  This hummus turned out super creamy and delicious with a nice salty bite from the kalamata olives.  Use fresh garlic cloves, not the kind from a jar– it really makes a huge difference in the flavor.  Feel free to leave out the olives if you’re an olive hater (just add a bit more salt).

Consuming weirdly large amounts of hummus is fine as long as you’re accompanying it with the best condiment known to man: Frank’s.  Twenty-three fluid ounces of Frank’s.

Kalamata White Bean Hummus

-makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can cannelini beans
  • 6 pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • heaping 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food proccesor.
  2. Blend until smooth!

My favorite ways to eat hummus are with Wasa crackers, Triscuits, cucumbers or celery.  Sometimes your finger or a spoon is a the only vehicle you need.

Do we or do we not die over the cuteness of mini Triscuits?

Welp, I just found Ethan’s 1st birthday present

Hummus Is My Homeboy Baby Organic Onesie Tshirt

I die.

I'm Not A Nugget Vegan/Vegetarian Baby Onesie CreeperToo bad we’re Jewish…

Funny Vegetarian Christmas Gift Tshirt

Three onesies and a side of hummus, coming right up.

WIAW

It’s time for What I Ate Wednesday!  Eeee!

Tonight’s post is going to be short and sweet because I’m super beyond tired.

Breakfast

A heaping 1/2 cup oats with chia seeds cooked in 1 1/3 cups of water and a pinch of salt with egg whites poured in near the end of cooking.  This has been my favorite breakfast lately because it satisfies my salty cravings in the morning and keeps my belly full until lunch. I also treated myself to a Starbucks grande coffee with soymilk.

Lunch

A lentil burger on whole wheat toast with hummus + almonds and grapes on the side.

Snack

A coconut banana muffin, celery and guacamole and un-pictured lemon tea.

Dinner

Baked apple and tempeh stuffed acorn squash (recipe coming this week)– so perfectly nutty, sweet and salty.

Snack

Trsicuits with kalamata olive hummus (recipe coming this week). I may or may not smell like garlic for days.

I didn’t get home from babysitting till late tonight and I still had to make/photograph/eat dinner, so I did this awesome workout  from pbfingers in my room. I modified it a bit by using a chair for step-ups and tricep dips and doing arm circles instead of lateral raises since 12 lb weights were all I had and are waaaaay too heavy for lateral raises. I did 2 rounds of the circuit and I was nice and sweaty afterwards! Burpees raise my heart rate like cray. halloween circuit workout See you Thursday for a seriously delish recipe!

Smoky Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers

I’m a big fan of veggie burgers. Would you have EVER thought?

My all time favorite is the Northstar burger, no question. God only knows how they master that perfectly smoky beet, brown rice and black bean heaven in a meatless burger. It’s nothing short of magical.

I’m not always in the mood to give an arm and a leg and $12.50 for that burger… unless it’s Earth Day AND after 3:00pm in which the burgers are free and the never-ending line makes you wonder if it’s worth it.

On normal days, I make one of my favorite burgs: double bean burgers or Greek veggie burgers. I also love the homemade veggie burgers at Whole World. Amy’s frozen ones aren’t bad in a pinch either.  I avoid most frozen veggie burgers because they usually have 20 gazillion ingredients with highly processed soy protein isolate as one of the top few ingredients.

Veggie burgers aren’t  super hard to make. The formula is typically a can of beans, some veggies, 1/2 cup flour or breadcrumbs, an egg or flax-seed to bind it and some spices.  I find that refrigerating the mixture for a while prior to cooking helps them to stay together better once cooked.

One of the happier moments in my life when I was at Heinen’s in Cleveland and stumbled upon canned organic lentils.  Lentils are kind of a pain to cook because they take 30 minutes.  Pre-cooked lentils are definitely the way to go for these burgers.  Trader Joe’s sells pre-cooked ones as well. You could also just whip up a big batch of lentils and have them throughout the week to throw on salads, in soups or mashed on toast with avocado, egg and hot sauce. Uh, yum.

I’m mildy obsessed with putting smoked paprika in everything I make. I highly advise that you invest in some.  The natural smoky flavor it lends to savory dishes is amazing.  I saw that they’re now carrying it at Trader Joe’s!

These burgers are a quick one-bowl deal and they make fabulous leftovers.

Smoky Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers

-makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups cooked lentils (one can, drained)
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup cooked sweet potato flesh (one small sweet potato, or even pumpkin/squash)
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup chopped greens
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup corn (I used TJ’s frozen roasted corn)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Poke sweet potato with a fork a few times.  Wrap loosely in a paper towel and microwave for 4 minutes, or until soft.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mashing lentils with a fork as you stir.
  3. Form mixture into 4 patties.
  4. Refrigerate patties for at least 30 minutes (I kept mine in the fridge overnight).
  5. Cook over medium heat in a bit of olive oil until browned on both sides.

Enjoy one on a bed of greens or on a whole wheat bun with loads of mustard.

Tonight’s post-dinner snackage included egg whites with hot sauce, mini Triscuits with kalamata olive hummus (recipe coming soon) and granola with soymilk.

Snack much?  Eeeee!

My Life as a Dietetic Intern

I thought I’d take a step out of my comfort zone and talk about what I’ve been doing lately in my Dietetic Internship because pretty much all I talk about on this blog is delish food.  I’m currently interning with The Breathing Association and The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at the medical center on campus.

The Breathing Association is a free lung health clinic that offers medical and nursing services to income-eligible people with a variety of breathing disorders ranging from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to asthma.   The Breathing Association received a grant to fund a program called “Every Step Leads to Success,” a nutrition education program that allows the patients to learn about healthy behaviors and eating habits through personalized nutrition care plans and modified behaviors.  The hope is that these patients will have improved overall health along with fewer hospital visits and emergency care.

The Breathing Association’s mobile medical unit

As nutrition interns, we meet with patients interested in the program and perform an initial nutrition assessment in order to gather more information regarding their dietary patterns, food intake and nutrition habits.  We help the patients set realistic goals such as increasing fruit and vegetable intake to three times a day instead of once a day or walking for thirty minutes five times a week instead of twenty minutes twice a week.  We also establish weekly exercise plans, set objectives for healthier eating, establish personalized goal weights and schedule follow-up visits.  All of the counseling is aimed at establishing the relationship between lung health, diet and weight, which are all inherently related.  We also help assess neighborhoods, looking for resources like safe parks for walking , food pantries for grocery shopping and affordable places to purchase fresh produce.

Food Pantry

The next portion of the grant includes conducting grocery tours with the patients, arranging visits to local food pantries and offering cooking classes that introduce new and affordable foods and meal planning tips.  We’ll also teach the patients simple ways to set up a more nutritious kitchen.  Diabetes patients will have the option to attend a diabetes education class though the Central Ohio Diabetes Association.   Additionally, there will be patient perks or incentives such as gas or grocery cards, one month gym membership cards, and even food apps for free phones provided by social services.  All the while, we will be tracking the patients’ progress on goals.

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We hope that in the end the patients will have improved dietary habits, a better understanding of the benefits of healthier eating habits and physical activity, how to eat well on a budget and increased knowledge of food and exercise resources in the community.

This is an extremely rewarding experience.  I can already tell that I love counseling.  These patients have problems way beyond the scope of what they’re eating for lunch, and sometimes all they need is some one to talk to.  My trivial problems are really put in perspective when I talk to a patient who doesn’t have a stove to cook with or a refrigerator to store the vegetables I’m advising them to eat three times a day. Though I’ve only counseled a few patients so far, I’ve already learned so much.  It can be difficult to consume enough fruits and vegetables when they only get two cans of vegetables a month at the Food Pantry. Even though most patients are on food stamps, struggling to get by and living with a chronic lung disease, they enter the office excited to see me and enthusiastic about my suggestions. It helps the patients to know that losing that extra weight could make their disease much easier to manage.  Our mental health is connected to our physical health and diet has a tremendous impact on both.

When I’m not at the Breathing Association, I’m at the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Division of  Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.  The center specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive tract, liver, pancreas and gallblader. On Wednesdays I shadow an amazing doctor and watch surgeries like upper endoscopies and colonoscopies.  The patients have a variety of disorders, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, fatty liver disease, reflux , celiac and IBS.

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This opportunity is close to the heart for me because last year my 25-year-old brother was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease.  He went through months of no appetite, serious weight loss, constant vomiting, diarrhea and pain.  I was worried that he wouldn’t live.  We had absolutely had no idea what was wrong with him.  Doctors kept misdiagnosing him until he had a proper colonoscopy that showed his severely ulcerated colon.  He has only had a couple of flare ups, so we’ve been pretty lucky.  He has eliminated alcohol from his diet and has learned to pay much closer attention to the effect that various foods have on his GI tract.

I’ll be in the nutrition clinic on Fridays counseling patients dealing with Crohn’s in addition to a host of other diseases ranging from diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.  Diets for these patients must be individualized since everyone’s  GI tract handles food differently.  In order to decrease inflammation, low-fat diets are typically recommended. FODMAP diets in addition to low-glycemic index foods are often recommended as well.

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These diseases can severely affect quality of life and proper nutrition is vital to maximize the patient’s well-being. The doctor I follow stresses a holistic approach to inflammatory bowel diseases, which I really admire.  The molecules that cause depression and anxiety are the same ones that cause Crohn’s and UC; hence the doctor stresses the importance of patients’ seeing behavioral psychologists if necessary.   As I mentioned before, physical and mental health are closely intertwined.  I believe in a holistic approach to nutrition as well, so I can’t wait to learn more.

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Random Fact:

Three words I continuously misspell:

 recommended, exercise, diarrhea

Anyone with me on that?

Have a great weekend!

Almond Joy Bars

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably chowing down on banana coconut muffins twice a day like they’re going out of style.   I’m guessing you’re in need of a new treat.

You probably want almond meal meets chocolate chips meets toasted coconut.

You probably want something that tastes like a candy bar since us health nuts are all so the candy bar eating type.

Okay, maybe we’re not the candy bar eating type (unless we’re talking peanut M&M’s). We’re the type that take the idea of a candy bar and make it into something socially acceptable for breakfast. Almond Joy oats.  Pay Day oats. Reese’s peanut butter cup baked oatmeal.  Whole wheat Twix muffins.   I rest my case.

Ummmmmm is it Halloween yet?

No, not yet.

Till then, there’s these.

Almond Joy Bars (gluten-free)

-makes 16 small bars, adapted from Daily Garnish’s Morning Mueseli Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 5 dates, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp canned coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8 x 8 non-stick baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Place coconut on a microwave-safe plate and heat for about 1 minute and 30 seconds (stirring every 30 seconds), until golden.
  4. In a large bowl, combine almond meal, oats, cocoa powder baking soda, salt, cinnamon, almonds, coconut, chocolate chips and dates.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract.
  6. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir to combine.
  7. Press  down mixture very firmly into baking dish so the bars don’t crumble after cooking.  You can line the dish with parchment paper if you have it.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes.  Allow them to cool completely before cutting.

Sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, dates and chocolate chips, these could be breakfast or dessert.  Or both.  Or dinner, because chocolate for dinner is all the noise right now.

My favorite thing about these bars (besides the awesome taste of course) is the soft center, just like the real candy bar version.

In workout news….

I did three rounds of this workout from pinterest with some tricep dips added in.  I definitely broke a sweat even though it was pretty short.  This quickie is great if you’re in one of those “the last thing I want to do is workout” moods but you want something fast and effective.

* * *

3 rounds of:

50 jumping jacks

5 pushups

20 crunches

20 mountain climbers

30 second plank

7 burpees

* * *

Then the roommates and I finished off a row and half of almond joy bars and that was that.

WIAW

It’s that time again–What I Ate Wednesday!

Special thanks to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for creating this awesome idea!

Fall is definitely in the air.  This beautiful leaf was stuck to my windshield today after driving in the rain. Talk about a photo opp.

Breakfast

Egg whites with hummus and hot sauce + a banana coconut muffin with almond butter.  Not the best photo opp.

Lunch

BBQ luna burger over romaine and spinach and Trader Joe’s reduced-guilt guacamole greek yogurt dip (so delish) thinned out with veggie broth for the dressing +  celery and hummus.

Snack

I also had some roasted wasabi edamame before I worked out. They’re packed with protein and fiber and super tasty except when you get one so spicy that your nose drips and your eyes water.  Truth.

Snack  II

I snacked on some heavenly eggplant parmesan around 5pm.

Dinner

I took the girls to Dewey’s pizza for dinner while their parents went out. We ordered half Killer Veggie and half Green Lantern (pesto, artichokes, goat cheese, mozzarella and red sauce).  I am OBSESSED with pesto and goat cheese on pizza

We also split a Greek salad.

After the pizza, we were craving something sweet so we headed over to Orange Leaf frozen yogurt.  We only had $4.00 left so we all split chocolate cake batter with raspberries and dark chocolate chips (plus four pieces of candy corn for Lia).  I rarely eat frozen yogurt (I prefer Jeni’s ice cream) so it was a nice change, but I still think frozen yogurt is too sweet for my liking.

When I got home, I still wanted MORE sweetness so I snacked on a few dark chocolate covered almonds and craisins.  Once I eat something sweet there’s no telling where it’ll take me.

Workout

I loved.loved.loved the total body circuit workout I did today.  It took less than 45 minutes and I was sweating like crazy.  Julie over at pbfingers is amazing!  If you follow me on pinterest, you’re probably aware that I post tons of her workouts.

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I’ve been doing a lot more strength training and a lot less cardio.  Less time  at the gym and quicker results is fine in my book!

Did you eat anything particularly humbelievable today? Let’s hear about it!