all about the beans

Sometimes I just want a big bowl of hummus.

I’m aware that this isn’t entirely normal, and that most people who experience any sort of food craving won’t usually find themselves craving mashed-up beans of any sort.

“Quick!  Run to the supermarket!  I need my bean fix!”

Or…

“You know, I always stash a couple of extra beans in my purse.  You just never know when that urge will strike.”

You see?  Totally not normal.

I’m not trying to exaggerate my craving.  Because, really, when I want a big bowl of hummus, I want a big bowl of hummus.  This is serious stuff.  And so, tonight, when I found myself with such a craving—and no cans of chickpeas in sight!!!-–I needed to improvise.  White beans, I decided, would do just fine.  I added a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of zingy red wine vinegar and a sprinkle of rosemary to pull it all together.

It’s that simple.  It’s that delicious.  And it’s how my dinner became my dinner.

Anyways.  Continuing on with the bean theme…

I found this bag of “Beanitos” at the grocery store the other day and simply had to purchase them.  It’s nice to see a corn-free version of tortilla chips, especially when it revolves around black beans!

Love the ingredient list…

Love the nutrition facts…

Low salt!  High fiber!  Protein!

(Love those beans!)

Love that flavah and c-r-u-n-c-h!

A big ol’ scoop of the white bean dip found its way onto my roasted vegetable salad.

Dinner was simple.  Dinner was fabulous.  Simply fabulous.

Sometimes it’s all about the beans.

White Bean Dip

Beans are loaded with fiber, protein and nutrients.  They’re also loaded with flavor and they can be incredibly versatile.  Try whipping this quick dip together and make a veggie sandwich out of it.  Or serve over a couple of crunchy crackers.  Add it to a platter of veggie sticks for an easy appetizer.  Enjoy! 😀

  • 1 15-oz. can of white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary
  • pepper to taste
  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Enjoy on your favorite crackers, salads, flat wraps, etc!
QUESTION: What is your favorite kind of bean and what is your favorite way to eat them?

an unlikely pair.

No matter how unlikely it may seem, you just never know who you’re going to hit it off with.

Who might suddenly be your new best friend.

Chick peas and pumpkin are a very unlikely combination.  Slightly unexpected.  And while they’re not quite on the level of black bean brownies, they’ll still make you step back for just a moment or two.

Chick peas and pumpkin? Who would have thought.

I still haven’t decided if this is a smooth and creamy hummus or a sweet and spicy, gingerbread dessert spread.

I have decided that I love these flavors together.  That blackstrap molasses makes everything (yes, everything!) better.  That walnuts and molasses were meant to be.  And that next next year I need to stock up with one or two more cans of pumpkin.

Serve the spread on a crispy cracker.

Or swirl it into your yogurt with a sprinkle of Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola.

No matter how unlikely it may seem, you just never know who you’re going to hit it off with.

Who might suddenly be your best friend.

Gingerbread Hummus

Serve this sweet and spicy spread with crackers or yogurt.  Or, top off your morning bowl of oats (or pancakes!) with a scoop or two.  There’s not a trace of “bean” flavor to be found, and—like me—you will probably find yourself wondering why you didn’t stock up with more cans of pumpkin as well.  Enjoy!

  • 1-15oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients together.  Adjust salt and molasses to taste.  Enjoy! 😀

QUESTION: Hummus…yay or nay?  What is your favorite hummus flavor?

toodles to tahini

Back when summer was still here, along with its surrounding warmth and sunshine, I pretty much lived off of basil hummus.

Bunches and bunches of home-grown basil found their way into my heart, my home, my food processor.  I worried that the family would grow tired of this beautiful combination, but nobody every did.  We ate it with lunch.  With dinner.  And sometimes I even snuck in a spoonful or two for an afternoon snack. 

But when summer disappeared, so did basil hummus.  Until next year.

Tonight, I was craving hummus once again.  And since basil was no longer a viable option, I would simply have to discover something new and exciting. 

Secret ingredient of choice?

Yes, you actually did see that correctly.

Peanut butter.

The idea came to me while I was flipping through countless hummus recipes, all asking for ‘tahini.’  Well, I don’t commonly have tahini in my pantry.  Let me rephrase that.  I have never had tahini in my pantry. 

“So,” I asked myself.  “Why not peanut butter?”

I googled the idea—just to make sure I hadn’t completely gone off the deep end—and realized that other people have tried this before as well.  Some people claimed that the peanut butter flavor threw them for a loop.  Others said this peanut flavor disappears by the following morning.  Others said they preferred the peanut version over tahini.

That’s it.  My interest was piqued.  There was absolutely no turning back.

My dusty food processor was pulled out of hibernation and put to use, once again.  No basil this time.  Just peanut butter.

Zwurrppp…20 seconds in the processor.  The result was puffy.  Whippy.  Garlicky.  Tangy.  Soft. 

In one word: Interesting.

I couldn’t decide if I liked it on first bite.  So I took another.  And then I loved it.

Obviously, the hummus is finding its way into my lunch for tomorrow…

…along with some veggies and a slightly battered (but still delicious) apple. 

I’m kind of excited. 😀

Peanut Butter Hummus
This is definitely a complex and savory “peanut butter” flavor.  If “sweet” is what you’re after, you may want to nix the garlic and lemon juice.  Try adding some cinnamon or another common “sweet” spice to add some excitement. 😀  I also think this would go well with canned pumpkin.  Just sayin’.

  • 1 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt (less or more depending on sodium level of beans and peanut butter)
  • garlic powder, sprinkled liberally
  1. Process ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. 

 Question: What is your favorite flavor of hummus?  Have you ever tried an “unusual” or slightly “unexpected” flavor?

Beach Babes

Yes!  Finally!!! 

I am a beach bum at heart.  Warm sand on my feet.  Wind in my face.  The smell of salty sea air.  The water—delicious, refreshing, and shimmering water.  I’ve always been a fish, but this trait comes out even more after a few days or so of (barely) surviving a major heat wave.  Water.  Give me water.  Preferrably the ocean.

Yep, the beach is where its at. 

Oh, and just FYI, this is not the only shirt I own.  I realize that I’m always wearing it whenever my picture gets taken, but it just so happens to be my workout, slash, “I don’t care if it gets sweaty and dirty” shirt.  Not to be gross or anything.  Just figured I’d point that out. 😉

Beach bum partner!  Aka, Mom.

Aside from all the obvious reasons of why I love the beach so much, I also happen to love the food.  Growing up, my mom would pack my siblings and I egg salad sandwiches, along with orange soda.  There’s something about swimming all day and then running back through warm sand, feeling achy and jiggly in the legs from being all active, and then being welcomed with a big beach towl and cold-packed sandwiches.  It makes me smile.  Just the thought of it. 😀

Today I packed snacks and sandwiches for both my mom and I, keeping it simple, cool and beachy. 

Speaking of beachy fare, you will love this hummus recipe if you (a) like the taste of garlic and/or (b) sigh over basil. 

Basil Hummus

  • 1, 15oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half OR garlic powder sprinkled liberally
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor.  Add a little water if you want to thin it out a bit!  Enjoy! 😀

There was also fresh fruit in the form of kiwis and sliced pears…

…plus sandwiches!  Always sandwiches.  It’s a must for every beach occasion. 😀

I smeared some Justin’s honey roasted peanut butter with a dab of homemade strawberry jam onto two slices of bread.  So cold.  So sweet.  So beachy.

This grumpy guy was getting mad at me.  “Share!  Share!  Share!” he seemed to be screaming.  But I didn’t listen.  I blocked him out and resumed my reading.  He then flew over to another beach bum gal and won her—and her sandwich—over.  I swear he gave me an evil glare before flying away to find another willing soul.  Ah well…

Today was such a blast.  I love the beach.  I love Maine.  I love New England.

Already, I’m counting the days until I return. 😀

Question: Do you love the beach?  What is your favorite part about the beach?