Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ugly Duckling

I hate to be so harsh, but there’s no getting around it: curries are the ugly ducklings of food. The fish out of water for photo-taking food bloggers. The book who’s cover you just can’t help but judge.

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They may not be the most beautiful thing to look at (or even the easiest to photograph—in fact, it’s almost impossible to make them look good), but what they lack in appearance, they more than make up for in taste. A kind of diamond in the rough, if you will.

If you’ve popped over to my recipe page before, you know that I’m a pretty big fan of curry powder. I love its complexity of flavor and subtle warmth. When cooking with curry powders, however, it is important to remember that not every one is created equal. Curry powders are composed of a multitude of varying spices from different regions and do not have a set composition. Accordingly, you may love one curry but hate another. If you’ve written off curries before, I urge you to try a different blend that might be more to your liking. (My favorite is Simply Organic Curry Powder that I buy from Whole Foods or Meijer.)

Source

As if the combinations of spices for curry powders being so endless that you will never get bored were not enough, the fact that curry powder is already a premixed blend of spices makes seasoning even easier. When I’m making lunch for the next day on a school night, it saves me so much time to just be able to add curry powder for full-bodied flavor rather than having to think about a million different spices and how they would taste together.

Lately I’ve been using a combination of curry powder and ginger to make flavorful stir-frys for lunch in just a few minutes. While I do usually enjoy my curries warm when I’m at home, I love how this quick and easy curry is just as flavorful, if not more so, after chilling in my fridge when eaten cold the next day (perfect for summer!).

Chilled Red Cabbage, Bell Pepper, and Broccoli Curry Stir-Fry

  • 1/4 cup onion (40g)
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped (40g)
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup red cabbage, cut into think slices (140g)
  • 3/4 cup broccoli, cut into small flowrets (66g)
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • Herbamare, or salt&pepper to taste
  1. Over medium-high heat, saute onion for 3-5 minutes until beginning to soften.
  2. Add red bell pepper and saute for a minute more. Deglaze the pan with a bit of water and saute the ginger for 1 minute.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stir well, and cover. Cook over medium heat for ~8-10 minutes, or until the veggies are soft but have a bit of a bite. You may need to add more vegetable broth or water to keep the vegetables cooking and  from sticking to the pan.
  4. Enjoy hot or wait for it to come to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to chill. (I recommend serving over wild rice or quinoa…especially if it has been cooked in coconut milk—YUM!)

Questions: what do you think is the hardest thing to photograph? What’s your favorite “ugly-duckling” meal or snack?

Have  a lovely day!
Mandiee
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Welcome, Fred!

I don’t know how, but I keep getting way busier than expected. I’ll go into the week thinking, “Oh, this won’t be so bad,” only to realize after its over with that I did a heck of a lot. Does this ever happen to you?

My focus this week has been on writing a huge AP US History paper on the Dixiecrats. Now that it’s signed, sealed, and delivered, I couldn’t feel more free… well, except for the American Literature paper I have due on Tuesday, the finals starting Friday-Wednesday, the SAT on Saturday, and the ACT after that. You know, no big.

Luckily I was able to take today to relax a little bit. My prom date asked me if I wanted to hang out so that we could get to know each other a little better before the dance. I’m really happy he did because it kind of forced me to take some time off. We chatted outside at Starbucks while sipping hot tea and enjoying the warmer temperatures. (Can you believe it was winter coat weather yesterday? Don’t even get me started.)

He had plans to go to a baseball game with his guy friends tonight, so after a good time filled with smiles and laughter, we parted ways. He went to the game while I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to replace my old mini food processor. Now that’s my kind of sport.

Sadly my mini food processor broke after years of good service. Honestly I’m surprised it lasted so long considering how much I used it. In fact, the reason why was not even a mechanical problem; instead, it broke when the top fell on the floor and the safety lock broke off.

new + old

Anyway, I’m just glad to have another one. I’ll probably use it tonight to make more black bean brownies so I’ll make sure to do a review as soon as possible.

Say hello to Fred the Food Processor!

Speaking of black bean brownies, this week I adapted my recipe to make lemon poppy seed chickpea blondies. Oh my goodness, eating them was such a treat! It brought me right back to my lunch table in elementary school on “dessert day.” Although I loved when we had fruit for dessert, slices of lemon poppy seed loaf were always my favorite.

Before these blondies, I had yet to find a lemon poppy seed muffin or loaf that even came close to the ones I remembered. I’m so pleasantly surprised that a sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan lemon poppy seed recipe—made of chickpeas, no less!— that was a complete experiment ended up being so amazing!

Other than blondies, my week has been filled with good savory eats as well. This past week I really challeneged myself to make more creative lunches, and it was a success! I look forward to sharing these recipes with you soon.

However, in order to manage my time wisely for homework, studying, and paper writing, my dinners have been usual staples. I’ve really been loving Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes lately!

Questions: do you experiment in the kitchen a lot? What was the most suprising kitchen success or disaster you’ve ever had?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Wake Me Up for Breakfast

It’s no secret that I am a night-howl. Baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies at 1 AM? Cookies are good at any hour, especially spiced oatmeal chocolate chip ones.

Doing homework or studying for the SAT in the dark on a Saturday night? I’m such a party animal.

Washing and drying clothes before going to bed? Well, it’s got to be done sometime.

sock monsterSource

Once the clock hits a certain time, it’s all the same to me. In fact, I definitely get my best work done when most people are sleeping. I like to blame my affinity for nighttime on the fact that I’m a teenager, and therefore my melatonin (sleep hormone) releases later than that of adults. However, even when I was much younger I was known for begging for “bonus minutes” to stay up later. Clearly there’s no changing my body clock.

Regardless of what time I go to sleep, though, I still have to wake up just like everyone else. Saturday mornings I wake up early to go to yoga, but Sundays I get the special treat of sleeping in a bit longer before my afternoon yoga practice. The weekdays are another story. Without the promise of practicing yoga to motivate me, getting out of bed is a challenge. Rather than a warm room with sweet music and an energizing flow, my weekday mornings usually start with the rude swaking of my alarm clock and continue with early morning classes. Rather than let the stark contrast get me down, I make sure to make every morning special, regardless of the day of the week.

Breakfast provides the perfect way to ease me into the day by tantalizing my taste buds and fueling my body. Fluffy bowls of popped amaranth cereal, refreshing smoothies, doughy breakfast bakes, and creamy oats are some of my favorite breakfast delights. This morning, however, I’m trying something a little different thanks a new find and the wonderful Jess.

Since discovering my sensitivity to gluten, I’ve really been missing my oats. While oats are generally considered gluten-free, they are almost always contaminated with wheat. I didn’t initally experience problems with conventional oats, but as my body got used to eating gluten-free, I started to see symptoms when I ate them. However, I refused to give up and tested my luck multiple times. Let’s just say I paid for it. Well, thanks to Bob’s Red Mill, I no longer have to be away from my love.

Oats are back in my life, and they’re coming back with a bang.

Peanut Butter Coconut Banana Muffin Bake (PBC Muffins)

serves 1 (makes 3 muffins, 3 mini ramekins, or 1 average ramekin)

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 TBS peanut flour (15 g)
  • 1-1/2 TBS coconut flour (10 g)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 banana (59 g), mashed
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine oats, peanut flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  3. In another small bowl, mix mashed banana, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until well combined.
  5. Place batter in 3 reusable muffin holders (or 3 greased muffin cups + fill the empty ones with water) or ramekins.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, depending on preferred consistency. For a baked oatmeal consistency, bake for a shorter amount of time; for a more muffin or bread consistency, bake longer.
As I write this post, the lovely aroma of peanut butter, bananas, and coconut is drifting through my house. It’s absolutely intoxicating! I may not like getting out of bed early, but I can assure you there won’t be any problems this morning. Just make sure to wake me up for breakfast!
Edited to add: this post ended up posting a bit later than expected (obvisously), but that’s okay because now I can tell you all about the muffins. Holy deliciousness! I would venture to say that these were possibly the best muffins I’ve ever had! They were delicious, filing, and nutritious to boot. I’m not really sure what more you could ask for. Please, do yourself a favor and make these as soon as possible. Heck, you don’t even have to wait for breakfast; these would make a lovely snack or healthy dessert as well. What are you waiting for? Get cooking!

Questions: what is your favorite breakfast? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Have a lovely day! 
Mandiee

Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

So here’s the thing: the school year is almost over, and while my workload has been random at best, it really is crunch time. The excitement of prom is overwhelming us, but so is the drama of everything else. It seems like everyone I’ve talked to in the past few days feels like their world is about to end. What gives? Isn’t this supposed to be  a good time before summer?

I tend to be a very positive, optimistic person, but Tuesday was just not my day. I even wrote a post lightly touching on the issue and giving a list of foods that fight the blues. However, I decided not to post it and instead write about recent good things. I guess I just needed a little time to vent, kind of like writing an angry letter but never sending it (except I wasn’t angry or writing a letter hehe). After a little yoga, a little baking, and even a nap (it was glorious!), I’m over it. I’ve come to realize that when I’m angry/upset/dissappointed/grumpy, the only person I’m hurting is myself, so why not just be happy?

Anyway, onto the goods. First of all, just look at this tree.

I’m so thankful to go to school on a beautiful campus that absolutely glows this time of the year. In fact, as I write this post, I can hear the birds chirping and see lush bushes and flowering trees right outside my library window. Just looking at nature’s beauty makes me smile.

I had my first taste of “real” vegan ice cream since going vegan. In all honesty, since I started to eat cleaner, I haven’t had any cravings for sweets, let alone ice cream. I know that my body feels a million times better if I don’t eat them, and I value that above all else. However, when I heard So Delicious was coming out with a sugar-free coconut milk ice cream, I just couldn’t resist. Since coconuts and I have been really jiving lately (more on that in another post), and I knew the sugar-free (but still real food) base wouldn’t bother me in small amounts, I figured, why not?

Holy deliciousness! I am oh so glad I did. Although I only eat a few bites at a time (it’s all I really want since it tastes very sweet to my almost non-existant sweet tooth), I enjoy it all the same. I absolutely love chocolate and mint, so clearly the combination of creamy coconut, sweet chocolate, and refreshing mint couldn’t be more appropriate. If you see any of So Delicious’s new Sugar-Free Coconut Milk Ice Creams in the store, just do the dang thing and buy one. You’ll thank me later :).

After all that worrying about dress-shopping, my mom and I scored on the first try! We walked into Betsy Johnson on a whim, and the first dress I tried ended up being the one. Of course we still went through the whole mall just to make sure there was nothing else, but we ended up returning anyway. I rarely if ever can find clothes that: 1. appropriate and cute, 2. are in my size, 3. fit me well, 4. don’t cost me an arm, a leg, and my first born. You know how it goes.

I also made delicious gluten-free pizza. I practically lived off pizza when I was younger, so I’m surprised it took me this long to make a vegan and gluten-free version for myself.

Although I don’t stress about getting enough protein (I believe that a well-balanced, real food vegan diet usually provides that), I often wondered how to make vegan pizza hearty/nutritious (aka with protein + fiber) and delicious enough to satisfy my appetite and taste-buds.

Luckily for me, both buckwheat and chickpeas, which can be ground and used as gluten-free flour, fit the bill. I actually liked the combination so much that I’m going to work on creating a gluten-free bread out of it. Yum, yum!

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust for One

  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour (30 g)
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour (30 g)
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp Italian herbs (ex. basil, oregano, marjoram, or Italian Seasoning)
  • 1/4 tsp Herbamare or salt
  • 1/4 cup warm water + ~1 TBS, if needed
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • dash of sweetener (I used 1 drop of pure NuNaturals Stevia, but 1/4 tsp stevia or other sweetener should work; do not omit it because it feeds the yeast)
  • sauce + veggies + nutritional yeast/(vegan) cheese + etc., for topping
  1. Mix all ingredients (except toppings, of course) in a bowl until combined.
  2. Preaheat oven to 400*F. Let the dough rise in a warm area while the oven is preheating (optional, but recommended—-I let my dough rise for ~20-30 minutes by chance).
  3. Form dough into a ball and flatten it into a desired shape.
  4. Bake without toppings for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove crust from oven. Spread with sauce and add toppings. Return to oven to bake for ~5 minutes, or until the golden-brown to your liking.

*I ground my own buckwheat flour using raw buckwheat groats and a coffee grinder. Commercial buckwheat flour is typically made from roasted buckwheat groats and has a more distinct, earthier flavor. 
*This recipe serves ~1, with possibly a little left over. I separated a small portion of the dough and made a itty-bitty pizza for this purpose. Of course I ended up eating it later since it was so good, but it definitely helped so I didn’t feel too stuffed initially. 

Questions: have you ever written fake letters or emails in order to relieve some of your feelings after a difficult situation? What toppings do you like on your pizza?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

The Cookies That Started it All

Yesterday was quite the rainy day! In fact, it actually rained all weekend, but yesterday was special because of the especially frigid temps. High 30s, wind, and rain? Does Michigan even know it’s the middle of May? It seemed like everywhere I went someone was complaining about the weather. Although I often voice my distaste for gobs of snow, I don’t usually have a problem with rain. I enjoy the soothing noise and natural beauty of it.  While I used to use rainy days as an opportunity to stay in my PJs all day while watching movies, I utilized yesterday’s weather in a different way.

Naturally I started my day off with a little yoga. It always sets my day with a good vibe. Next I went to a few grocery stores to take advantage of sales, prepare for the week, and just plain look at pretty food. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: fresh produce is absolutely breathtaking for me! With yoga practiced and errands crossed off my list, there was only one thing that seemed fitting left to do: bake cookies!

This is the recipe that started it all.What I mean to say is that this was one of the first recipes that I tried that was vegan, immediately fell in love with, and made me curious about veganism. One thing led to another, and now I’m the veggie-loving, yoga-practicing, midnight-baker vegan that you see today.

Their impact on me aside, these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies have been the biggest hit with my friends and family, too. I’ve made countless batches of them over the years, brining them to parties, charities, and even just to school. I believe they have really made veganism accessible. Almost all of those who have tasted them have said they are as good as, if not better than, “normal” cookies, venturing even to say they are one of their favorite cookies they’ve ever tasted. That’s quite a big statement for a little vegan cookie! With real food ingredients just like grandma used to use, a little spice, and a whole lot of love, I’m sure these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies will bring smiles no matter who you serve them to.

Spiced Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes enough to share generously (aka ~4 dozen)

  • 1 cup Earth Balance
  • 1-1/4 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend or organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend or organic sugar
  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBS flax seed meal + 6 TBS hot water + ~5 minutes to gel)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-3/4 cup flour (can use gluten-free, spelt, whole wheat, or AP)
  • 1/2 cup oatbran
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream together Earth Balance and stevia (or brown sugar and sugar) for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy and very creamy.
  3. Beat in flax eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in stages, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Mix in oatmeal about a 1/2 cup at a time until well combined.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips until evenly dispersed.
  8. Use a small ice-cream scoop to place ~2TBS balls of dough evenly spaced on a cookie sheet. You can either leave them as is or pat them down for a flatter cookie.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
  10. Remove cookies from oven. Wait 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Before I go, I have a special feature to share with you all. The beautiful and creative Alaina Rose of Sweetness of Life recently gave me the Stylish Blogger Award, which I could not be more honored to receive. I love reading about Alaina’s adventures and seeing all of her yummy food. I immediately connected with her love of good music, delicious veggies, and relaxing yoga. Basically, she is awesome and writes a really cool blog, so you should go check it out!
Anyway, here are the rules for the “Stylish Blogger Award”: 
  1. Say seven things about yourself.
  2. Pass on to other bloggers.
  3. Contact them and let them know you have done so.
Here we go! 
1. I absolutely love to travel. I have a cottage in Canada, have traveled extensively in the US, but most importantly, have engaged in 5 international exchanges. My travels have taken me to Germany, Denmark, Greece, and England. 

Me and my Danish exchange partner (aka my twin) ❤

My friends from Italy and I in Athens, Greece (I'm the 2nd one from the left in the white shirt)

2. I am a dancer at heart. I danced for ~9 or 10 years before injuring my feet and making the hard decision to discontinue. Although I’ve been away from it for a few years, I know I will return eventually. I have always dreamed of taking classes at the American Ballet Company or cute small studios if I end up in New York City!
3. Yoga has changed my in ways I never thought possible. I simply cannot explain how much it means to me. 

Acro Yoga

4. Honesty is one of my most important values, and dishonesty is my absolute pet peeve! I believe that one must be true to themselves to act with integrity and respect towards others (people, animals, plants, everything). 
5. I am an only child and often told I act older than my age. I may be the only teenager (or child, other than my baby cousin, for that matter) in my family, but sometimes I can barely tell. My family has a wonderful sense of humor and child-like quality.
6. I have a crazy love for vegetables. It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago my diet consisted mostly of bread, pasta, and chocolate, because now I insist on tasting the rainbow. Call me crazy, but I often have a big bowl of steamed veggies and roasted kabocha rather than dessert. 

7. Music is the soundtrack to my life. Although I’m not quite as dependent on it since I started practicing yoga (aka now my inner peace means I don’t need earbuds in my head to keep my from getting bored, though it’s cool if that’s how you roll), something ignites in me when I hear it. Acoustic guitar melts my heart, and so do these guys. I haven’t listened to them in nearly a year (mostly because they remind me of someone), but listening to this while writing this has definitely brought back memories.

There are so many blogs that I am inspired by that it is so hard to choose just 7 bloggers for the award. If you aren’t tagged here, please accept this award as well and post it on your blog (and send me a link, please!) I’d love to learn more about all of you stylish girlies!

Questions: Do you have a no-fail recipe that you’ve made so many times you could practically make it in your sleep? What’s one random fact about you?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Bye-bye Calculus!

Hey friends! Guess who’s done with APs?

Answer: Thisgirlrighthere^.

Luckily I don’t have to sit through seemingly unending exams anymore. In full, I spent more than 14 hours in AP testing. After that, my 2-hour finals will be such a breeze. At least I have a few weeks to recuperate though!

Finishing AP exams is definitely a relief, but I still have a busy schedule until the end of the year. The light at the end of the tunnel is definitely prom. It’s actually on the night of my last final, so it will be a true celebration of the end of the school year.

I wasn’t planning on going this year (don’t worry, I’m only a junior—I was planning on going as a senior regardless), but [insert drumroll here] I got asked! It was a surprise to say the least. Even more surprising was the boy who asked me. We were friends freshmen year, but I literally haven’t talked to him in 1.5+ years. Although I’m worried it might be awkward, many people at my school have already congratulated me and told me how he truly wants to get to know me better and wants to be friends again. How sweet! And did I mention he even gave me flowers and asked me with lyrics from one of my favorite songs (Wonderwall, naturally)? What a gentleman!

Anyway, now I have to endure prom dress shopping. I know what you’re thinking: endure? Isn’t it supposed to be fun? Yes, my friends, dress shopping is one of the most fun parts of prom! But unfortunately, finding a unique, cute, classy dress that is in my size AND that looks good on me/fits me well is quite the challenge. Although I love dress shopping and dressing up beyond belief, finding “THE” dress is never easy for me. Being a perfectionist and an odd size does not help matters. Sigh. I’m definitely excited though!

Probably one of my all-time favorite dresses---Audrey Hepburn can do no wrong!

I’m actually about to head out for my first dress attempt in just a little while. It’ll be such a great way to relax with my mom after feeling so bogged down by studying for AP exams. Backing up a little bit, I spent the morning practicing yoga in one of the hottest classes I’ve ever taken. The room was already at 96*F before we started, so you can imagine how hot it got as the class went on. A little (okay, a lot) heat, flowing, and even laughter kept us going. At the end of class, one of the men I practice with was so drenched I couldn’t help but laugh. He literally needed a drain next to him because of how wet his mat was. It was almost like his own personal lake! (Look like he could use some of this to re-fuel.)

It was hilarious, albeit a bit gross, none the less. I think practicing yoga has given me a whole different opinion of sweat. Although I still feel disgusting if I don’t shower immediately, I do love the feeling of sweating during class. It’s like my body’s own cooling system; how beautiful it is that our bodies can regulate themselves and respond to the changing environment!

But enough about sweat. After yoga (and a shower—a cold one at that!), my grandmother and I went shopping. We hit the usual suspects, Trader Joes and Whole Foods. At Whole Foods, I restocked my coconut butter. As the weather gets hotter, I find myself craving it more an more. I think it has something to do with the fact that coconuts are from tropical climates, so my body is adjusting to warmer weather foods with the increase in heat.

I also snagged a bag of sprouted lentils and a bag of sprouted mung beans, both on sale. I’ve been wanting both to grind into flour and make a variation of socca. I absolutely adore socca, but believe that my body needs variety. Since I don’t eat mung beans very often, I think they will be a nice change of flavor and nutrients.

In addition, we also stopped by Meijers to stock up on my favorite kind of tofu and cocoa powder, which I cannot find anywhere else. Naturally we also browsed the kitchen- and table-ware section. Last week I made homemade gluten-free bread using an oddly shaped cake pan, so I wanted to get a 9x9inch pan for better sized slices. As I walked through the isles, a donut pan also caught my eye. I’ve wanted one irrationally for a while now, but I just couldn’t justify it. But hey, this donut pan was cheaper than it is at the mall and on sale. I just couldn’t resist. I guess I’ll be making donuts asap!

I also bought two bamboo bowls that were $5 off each! I have a serious thing for bamboo. It just looks so cool and is totally eco-friendly! The bowls are the perfect size for fruit or side-salads—great for summer!

With that, I’m off to the mall on my quest to find the perfect prom dress. I’ll be back soon with a recipe for super-heatlhy, super-delicious macaroons. I’ve almost felt guilty keeping such an awesome recipe from you all this time. Get excited!

Questions: Do you like getting dressed up? What is your favorite store for dress shopping, and what style of dresses do you like best? What did your prom dress look like?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Hummusy soup? Soupy hummus?

Hey there! Thanks so much for your support while I’m so busy with testing. It seems like a lot of you are in a similar boat, and if not, can at least sympathize. Is it just me or do things seem to pick up when the season changes to summer? Spring summer cleaning anyone?

Speaking of summer cleaning, apparently the Fates think that I have to do some of my own. People from my past keep walking back into my life as quickly as wildflowers grow. And as someone who has a cottage that gets usurped by flowers every year around this time, I can tell you that that is mighty lot of flowers and people for one girl to handle. Let’s just say some flowers you hold close to your heart and others you would prefer to leave where they are. Either way, these people (and increasing number of deja vu moments) must be coming back for a reason. It’s time to do some serious rekindling, talking, and just plain hanging out. I feel summer coming on!

I also feel another AP coming on, but I’d rather not think about that right now (though I will have to soon when I go back to studying). I’ve been working so hard lately that this last test barely even phases me. I think once you reach a certain amount of work, your stress level plateaus. 5 page paper due tomorrow? And in French? Got it covered. 100 word vocab test in two days? No big deal. Oh, and start (and finish!) Conduct Review Board application (aka a lot of deep thought) by Wednesday? You betcha. Never mind the fact that you have to wake up an hour early, miss your free period, shorten your lunch, and miss a class in which you’re working on a research paper, just in order to mentor a group of girls.

Okay, I’m done now. I don’t think you really want to hear about my busy schedule. I promise my life will get a little more interesting once school gets out. Or maybe a bit before. Let’s just say I have a fun little announcement coming up.

But back on track. You like hummus right? Okay, silly question. Seriously, hummus is amazing. Hummus and I took a little break after I had a little (okay, A LOT) too much about 2 years ago. But as with any love, I was definitely ready to come back. And what better way than with a new flavor? This recipe is pretty much broccoli cheese soup in hummus form.

With creamy, cheesy goodness and a little broccoli (because really, broccoli makes everything better,) this hummus is the perfect savory dip that keeps me finding more things to dip in it. Nutrition-wise, it also has stellar stats. Can you believe that it has more than double the protein and fiber of normal hummus, not to mention the nutritional benefits of broccoli and from the nutritional yeast (um, can you say b-vitamin heaven?)? If hummus and broccoli cheese soup got together to create a super hybrid, this would be the result, and a tasty one at that!

“Broccoli Cheese Soup” Hummus (Vegan, GF)

  • 1/2 (heaping) cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3 TBS vegetable broth or water, or more to achieve desired consistency
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth. Add more vegetable broth to adjust the consistency.

Questions: Are you a spring cleaner? If so, what has been your greatest “cleaning” feat this year? And have you ever gotten sick of a food from eating it to much?

Have a lovely day! 
Mandiee