Hummus is a food group for vegans. It’s tasty and versatile, and often it’s the only “vegan option” at parties. It can be used as a dip for veggies, a salad dressing, a potato topping, or a spread on a sandwich or wrap. I like to top my rice and veggie bowls with a generous scoop for extra flavor. The only issue with hummus is that it is rather expensive if you buy it already prepared. For the cost of one container of Sabra Hummus (generally around $4 dollars), I could make three batches at home. The homemade batches also yield more hummus than the store bought containers. Homemade hummus can be made without the added oils and preservatives found in prepackaged brands, which makes it a bit healthier. All you need is a food processor.
I like flavored hummus much more than plain. When I saw the Buffalo Hummus recipe in the No Meat Athlete book I knew immediately that I had to make it. Spicy hummus!? Get in my belly!
The Buffalo Hummus recipe is available HERE.
I truly loved this hummus recipe. It’s spicy without being overpowering, and the roasted red pepper matches the smoked paprika and gives it such a depth of flavor. It’s not incredibly spicy; it’s more of a background heat. If you want more heat, just add some cayenne pepper or use more hot sauce. I used two tablespoons of liquid from the canned chickpeas instead of oil, and I don’t think it affected the creaminess of the hummus at all. An important point is to let your food processor run for a least a few minutes – I let mine run for five minutes. The longer it runs, the smoother and creamier the hummus will be. Be patient. Check facebook or do some dishes while it whirs away.
I have tried the Buffalo Hummus as a dip for carrots and peppers, as a mayo substitute on a veggie sandwich, and as a topping for a bowl filled with yellow rice, green beans and tofu. It’s perfect cold, but it tastes great warmed up as a topping for hot food also. This is the first recipe I’ve made from the No Meat Athlete book, but I’m quite sure it will not be the last. I bought the book for the running knowledge and tips on how to be a better vegan athlete. The recipes were a bonus! There’s many high protein and macro-friendly meals in this book, which makes it perfectly suited for athletes. There’s also a few recipes for energy gels/snacks, and recovery drinks – items that are generally not that healthy when purchased from a store (like Gatorade). I’m quite happy I purchased the book, as it’s a great resource. You can also check out NoMeatAthlete.com to view all of the information they give away for free, including a great podcast.
Vegan Test Kitchen is a way to share my collection of vegan cookbooks with you, my wonderful readers! This way, you can “try before you buy” on many recipes from the best vegan chefs out there.
The season of Spring Break is here! I’m very excited to be participating in Spring Break V, a fun collaboration between some amazing vegan blogs sharing recipes this week! First up this week is Beachy Chickpea Salad Lettuce Wraps!
This chickpea salad is a delightful start to warm weather. It’s slightly sweet and tart from the granny smith apples, deliciously filling from the chickpeas and cashews, and the lettuce it’s rolled in is refreshing and crisp. Plus, it’s fairly low in calories, so it’s friendly to all the spring breakers wanting to watch their waistlines.
Spring break here in Florida is all about the beach. The high temperature today was 80 degrees, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. That’s perfect weather to pack up a cooler, grab your beach chairs and umbrella (and sunscreen!!), and spend the day lounging by the gentle waves. I used to pack sandwiches when I went to the beach, but the bread would get soggy from being in the cold cooler. These lettuce wraps mean no more soggy bread! When you pull them out of your cooler, they’ll be just as crisp as when you put them in, and the first crunchy bite will be a refreshing break from the sun.
Beachy Chickpea Salad Lettuce Rolls
While these lettuce rolls are crunchy, creamy perfection, you can also enjoy this chickpea salad between two slices of whole grain bread for some extra oomph! Add thick slices of juicy tomato and top with extra dijon mustard.
For the Chickpea Salad:
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup finely chopped green apple
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
- Large lettuce leaves
For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons mild low-fat vegan mayo
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pinch of salt
- Mash the chickpeas in a bowl with a fork until just a few whole beans are left. Add the chopped apple, carrot and cashews, and stir to combine.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing into the chickpea mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Spoon into lettuce leaves and roll up. Enjoy!
Follow all the Spring Break V posts this week by looking for #springbreakv on social media!
This post is part of Spring Break V, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media at #SpringBreakV. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here.
Crostinis are usually comprised of toasted, crispy bread with toppings. In this recipe, baked polenta replaces the bread for a unique twist on a classic appetizer. This is a perfect snack to serve at your ugly sweater Christmas party!
Polenta is easy to make at home, but takes some patience. To same time, many grocers carry pre-made solid polenta that can be cut into slices easily.
Shiitake mushrooms are the key to this dish. They are a bit more expensive than the normal white or bella mushrooms, but just sniff one when you take it out of the package (yes, sniff it!). It smells like a savory vegetable broth, salty and earthy and rich.
Polenta Crostini with Shiitake
- 1 tube polenta (about 1 pound)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced relatively thin
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 7 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (about two normal packages from the grocery store)
- 3/4 cup white beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 large tomato, de-seeded and diced
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking, or use a silicone baking mat. Cut the polenta into 1/8 inch slices and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for twenty minutes, then flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- After flipping the polenta, add 1/2 cup of the water to a skillet and saute onions over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and sage and saute 60 seconds.
- Reduce heat to medium and add sliced mushrooms and remaining 1/4 cup water. Saute 5-6 minutes, until mushrooms have cooked down and soft.
- Add mixture to a blender with the white beans, salt, pepper, and paprika. Blend until smooth (hummus-like consistency). Add a splash of water (no more than 1/4 cup) if your blender has a hard time.
- Top each polenta crostini with a dollop of shiitake spread and diced tomatoes. Enjoy!