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.

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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!

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.

Banana Coconut Muffins (gluten-free)

Lately when I wake up in the morning for work I’m faced with a serious choice.

Like do I take the time to sit down at the table and eat my eggy oatmeal with hot sauce or use that time to tame my lion’s mane that we call hair?

Do I slap on a band-aid, embrace the blisters and sport the cute cheetah flats?

Do I take the time to dump pumpkin, soymilk, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg into my not-yet-brewed-coffee when I’m already ten minutes late?

Um… yes to the first, second and third question.

The bottom line is that even if I wake up an hour early, I’m never ready on time. This morning I ate my oatmeal in the car in between red lights.  There may or may not have been Frank’s on the dash.  And my chin.

The bottom line is that if I don’t have mini greek quiches or pumpkin pancakes all cooked and ready to go when I wake up, breakfast is a scramble. And if it’s not eggs, I don’t want to scramble. So here is a mildly fabulous muffin recipe that you and me can grab and go for breakfast.

These muffins are super moist, packed with nutrition, low in added sugar and DELICIOUS.  Each muffin has about 165 calories and nearly 5 grams of protein.  You can get almond meal for $3.99 at Trader Joe’s and you can make oat flour by simply blending oats in the magic bullet or food processor.

Cheers to gluten-free goodness.  And getting to work slightly on time.

Banana Coconut Muffins

-serves 12, adapted from this banana bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 1 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 cup mashed, overripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1/2-1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray a muffin tin liberally with cooking spray.
  3. Toast coconut by microwaving it on a plate for 1.5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent burning.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together maple syrup, eggs, melted coconut oil, banana and vanilla.
  5. Add in dry ingredients (including toasted coconut) and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into muffin tins and top with a sprinkling of brown sugar and coconut.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean!

Banana and coconut are a seriously underrated combination by the way.

While we’re on the subject of delicious, does anyone remember that one guy from NSYNC that wasn’t really anyone’s favorite?  The one on the left?  The roommates and I are on a quest to find out his name.

Pizza Night

Dinner tonight was courtesy of Dewey’s pizza.  I always loved Dewey’s salad, but I wasn’t always obsessed with the pizza.

Until tonight.

Half buffalo for him and half caprese for me.  The crust had an amazing light fluffiness while maintaining that perfectly crispy bite. I really enjoyed the pizza tonight.

I also got a Greek salad that was waaaay bigger than it looks in the picture.  It was by far the best $7.95 salad I’ve ever laid mouth on.  Complete with cloves of roasted garlic, kalamatas, feta, cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes and a homemade greek vinaigrette   You know how I feel about Greek food…

I finished off the entree-sized salad along with two pieces of pizza and maybe some chocolate chips and strawberries when I got home.  Maybe.

It doesn’t get much better than whipping out the phone at the dinner table for a blurry iPhone picture, huh?

I came home to find a package I had been anxiously waiting for… the do-it-yourself granola I won from Lauren’s giveaway! I’m super excited out this because it’s the first giveaway I’ve won.  I’m the kind of person that never wins anything. The granola is filled with awesome ingredients like organic oats, almonds and coconut.  All you have to do is add a bit of honey and bake it.  There will be several apple granola crisps in the near future.  Thanks, Lauren!

source

Nice.

Hope you all have a fab weekend!

Pesto Sweet Potato Chickpeatza + Life Before Hummusapien

Today I’d like to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I ate quite differently than I do now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a “healthy” eater.  Growing up, we ate dinner as a family of five at a set time and those dinners usually included an entree, salad, some kind of bread and a fruit salad.  I looked forward to eating dinner with my family at night and to this day I think that family meal time is immensely important.

I remember begging my mom to ditch the healthy, seedy all-natural blah blah blah wheat bread she packed my sandwiches on for those soft super-market breads with dough conditioners and high fructose corn syrup.  I asked her to get me the “normal” peanut butter, ya know, the super smooth kind made with partially hydrogenated oil to keep the natural oils from settling at the top.  I didn’t want the kind that was freshly ground at the store and contained only peanuts.  Waaaay too healthy for my 12-year-old taste buds.

I remember telling my mom I wanted a bagel for breakfast and her telling me that there was no nutrition in a bagel.  I sighed, told her I didn’t care, and ate half a bagel with cream cheese.  But she was right.  I really didn’t need to fuel my body with 350 calories of fiber-less white flour.

I always thought my mom raised us with the perfect ideals of “healthiness.”  She bought real food.   Now keep in mind, we ate plenty of cookies, but these cookies didn’t have artificial colors and trans fat.  They had less than 10 ingredients and I could pronounce every one.  It was a cookie made with flour, butter, sugar and baking soda. It was what a cookie should be.

I remember my mom calling Sweet-N-Low “chemicals” because that’s what it was.  I didn’t understand it at the time, but she was just trying to teach me to eat real food.  Looking back on it now, I couldn’t be more thankful.  She didn’t deprive us.  We came home from school greeted at the door with the scent of homemade brownies and chicken paprikash.  We happily ate her delicious food as a family, discussed how our days went, and indulged in a brownie.  She rarely made us anything from a box.  There was never anything fake.  It wasn’t always organic whole wheat and it wasn’t always low-fat, but it was home-cooked with love and real ingredients.  Nothing tastes better than that.

As I grew older, my interest in food and nutrition grew exponentially.  I decided I wanted to study dietetics in school and spend the rest of my life counseling people on embracing a healthy lifestyle.  I still had never tried almond milk, chia seeds, coconut flour and almond butter.  I ate well, but I didn’t go out of my comfort zone.  I put splenda and cream in my coffee.  I had a completely different definition of “healthy.”

Then I went to Israel and met a girl who was vegan.  I was fascinated by her diet and her ridiculous consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.  I was in the holy land surrounded my amazing produce, fresh juice stands at every corner and vegetarian restaurants galore.  I always ate meat growing up and I never considered for a second being a vegetarian. In fact the thought was completely foreign to me.  As a fun little healthy challenge for myself, I decided to try being vegetarian.  I remember reading Skinny Bitch when I was in Hilton Head with my friends and looking up from my book saying confidently, “I mean I understand the point, but I’d still never be a vegetarian.”  Little did I know, that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

And then something dramatic happened my sophomore year of college. I discovered food blogs that literally changed my life.

Peas and Thank You. Oh She Glows.  Happy Herbivore.  I discovered not only these amazingly inspiring plant-based cooking blogs, but a giant network of people united by a genuine passion for healthy and delicious cuisine.  I had never been so inspired by anything in my entire life.  I woke up every morning looking forward to reading five different blogs.  I know for a fact that I would have never been able to learn about the incredible versatility of food if I hadn’t discovered these blogs.  I had never cooked tofu in my entire life.  It was a mushy, weird white thing that my dad ordered at Chinese restaurants.  Then before I even knew it, I was eating tofu twice a week and it was beyond delicious. Months later, my roommates were doing the same.  It was a magnificent chain reaction of inspiration.  Infectious inspiration.

I fell in love with my new plant-based  lifestyle.  Forks Over Knives and In Defense of Food were my anthem. I was exploring  new foods that I never even knew existed.  I figured out how to cook tofu and tempeh in ways that made me come home from class craving them.  I discovered how much I loved reading about recipes and found myself staring at my phone during class just to find a recipe for that night’s dinner.   I couldn’t wait to get off work so I could go home and experiment in the kitchen.

I started drinking green smoothies with frozen bananas, chia seeds, spinach, almond butter and almond milk regularly.  I learned to make pizza crust out of chickpea flour.  I used flaxseed and water instead of eggs in baking.  I was slowly learning about these incredible alternatives that I couldn’t believe I had lived my whole life without.  Farmer’s markets, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s became my second home.

Then, after the realization that nearly every one of the 1,000 + pictures on my phone were of food, I started my own blog. I needed to channel my passion and enthusiasm.  To this day, Hummusapien is by far my biggest accomplishment.  I  have finally found an effective way to personify my love of writing, humor, food, nutrition and delicious recipes.  As silly as it sounds, I felt as if I were destined to inspire everyone around me to embrace whole foods, cooking, and a healthy lifestyle.

It was never about eating or not eating meat or dairy or eating exclusively organic or any other controversial ethical issue.  It was, and has always been about showcasing my passion for the versatility of food and exploring a world of once foreign ingredients that come together to create culinary magic.

Now I’m the one pointing out to my mom that though her bread is organic, the first ingredient is unbleached wheat flour (ahem, white flour).  I’m the one buying Ezekiel bread that has to be frozen because it has no preservatives and topping it with the most natural of natural peanut butters. Ohhhhh the irony.

In honor of foreign ingredients that kick butt, let’s talk about chickpea flour.

It’s just dried, ground chickpeas that we conveinely call flour because it looks like flour.  There’s no wheat; in fact it’s gluten-free just like almond flour and coconut flour.

To answer the question I know will be asked, no, it really isn’t a fancy expensive flour. I got mine at Whole Foods for under three dollars.  You can’t use it as a direct substitute for regular flour because it does have a but of a beany (though delicious) taste.  Playing with the ratios is a challenge, but a fun one.  The best part is that you’re really just eating chickpeas, which means tons of healthy protein and fiber.  It’s a win win situation.

I love using chickpea flour as a base for pizza.  It doesn’t taste like pizza crust but it has a wonderful texture and is also a fabulous way to eat pizza that’s not void of fiber.  It’s just so darn versatile!

Pesto Sweet Potato Chickpeatza

-serves one

Ingredients: 

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Spread pesto onto crust followed by the cheese.
  3. Broil, watching closely to avoid burning, until the cheese is slightly browned.
  4. Remove from oven and top with sweet potatoes and green onions.

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine.
  2.  Pour batter into a medium-sized pan sprayed liberally with cooking spray over medium heat.
  3. Cook for about five minutes and then carefully flip and cook for a couple minutes more.  It should be lightly browned on both sides!

Check out these recipes for more chickpea flour inspiration:

Real food tastes so.darn.good.

WIAW + Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa

I love cooking up a bunch of stuff on Sunday so I can be lazy all week and pack my lunch without having to think.  Blissful mindlessness.

This week I made pumpkin chilli, pumpkin cornbread muffins, greek quiches, and pumpkin mac and cheeze.  I went a little pumpkin overboard this week, but not really since I am OBSESSED with pumpkin and really don’t get tired of its healthy deliciousness.  Breakfast was a couple quiches and some fruit, lunch was chilli + a muffin + an apple, and dinner was something quick I threw together at home.  The prep on Sunday really proves to be worth it when you come home from work or class too drained to make dinner let alone think about packing breakfast and lunch for the next day.

Breakfast

Mini greek quiches with strawberries on the sides + coffee with soymilk and honey.

Lunch

Pumpkin chilli with a pumpkin cornbread muffin + an apple.

Snack

Plain greek yogurt with strawberries and granola.

Dinner

Sweet potato pesto and cheddar pizza on a chickpea flour crust. Deeeeevine.  Recipe on Thursday!

Then I snacked on, or ate a fourth of, this attempt at a pumpkin bread pudding/french toast bake.  It wasn’t quite sweet enough when I took it out of the oven so I tucked a chocolate chip or two or eleven here and there and shoved multiple forkfuls into my mouth.

Aaaaaaand it’s 10:30pm and the tummy’s growling so I will probably eat hummus with some vehicle within the hour.

Or maybe pumpkin spice hot cocoa.

Since you probably have an awkward amount of pumpkin left in a Tupperware in your fridge due to all the pumpkin recipes I’m forcing upon you, I present you with a delicious little seasonal drink in an effort to get rid of that last tablespoon.  I actually drank this Sunday night, made it again Monday morning and then added it to a cup of coffee to make a pumpkin latte.

It was a really, really good idea.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa

-serves one

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • ½ tbsp chocolate chips
  • ½ – 1 tsp pure maple syrup (or sugar)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Pour milk into a microwavable mug and heat for about 90 seconds.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir very well to combine.
  3. Sip and enjoy.

I wonder if my skin will start to turn slightly orange.  I really wouldn’t mind that one bit.

Greek Mini Crustless Quiches

Step aside, Mr. Broccoliandcheesequinoaquiches.

There’s a new quiche in town.  And I don’t want to cause any drama, but these bad boys juuuuust might be better than you.  Ouch.

Now don’t get me wrong– the combination of buttery broccoli, freshly grated cheddar and browned onions with the sneaky superfood quinoa is definitley delicious.  I had three for breakfast every day until they were gone.  Tears may or may not have been shed.

As soon as I made the broccoli cheese ones, I knew I would want to make about a hundred variations, give or take.  Greek food is very close to my heart.  No, I’m not Greek.  While we’re on the subject, nor am I Arabic, Italian, Mexican, Indian and any other ethnicity that I’ve been mistaken for. Even though I’m not Greek and I can’t spell the word Mediterranean without going to Microsoft Word to type it out and spell check it fist, it’s by far my favorite cuisine.  If there is a Greek salad, Greek pizza, or Greek sampler platter on the menu, there is a more than good chance I’ll order it.  Same goes for anything involving hummus, baba ganoush, tabouli and falaffel.  Aladdins and Mazzah are a couple favorites. Moral of the story: If it has feta, kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and spinach, I’m IN.  ALL IN.

P.S. If you are at work, do not click on the Aladdin’s link.  It will play an awkwardly loud ethnic tune that will overide your Pandora and make everyone stare at you.

The debacle is that you can’t really have Greek salad for breakfast.

Until now.

Have you ever tried Trader Joe’s feta with Italian herbs? SURPRISE…It’s amazing.  Greek AND Italian…aren’t we so diverse today?

These perfectly eggy, dare-I-say-MOIST, muffiny, vegified quiches of Greek heaven are one of those recipes that you need to make ASAP.

Easy? Check.

Just under 90 calories a pop? Check.

Utterly delicious? Check PLUS.

Greek Mini Crustless Quiches

-makes 12

Ingredients:

  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 packed cups of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup milk (I used soymilk)
  • ¾ cup feta cheese
  • 12 kalamata olives, chopped
  • ½ cup tomatoes, diced
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin liberally with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, sautee onion in a bit of oil for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and spinach and sautee for a couple minutes or until the spinach is wilted.  It will look like a giant mound of spinach but it’ll shrink down to nothing. Remove pan from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
  5. Add in cheese, olives, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Stir in onion-spinach mixture.
  6. Pour into muffin tin using a 1/4 cup measure.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a bit, and devour.

Is it weird that I actually think these are ridiculously good-looking?

Nahhh, it’s normal.

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In the news: Multiple brands of peanut and almond butter have been recalled due to a Salmonella outbreak. Check your cabinets and get the full list of contaminated brands here!