For the Love of Hummus

So, as you should all know about me, I think my biggest food obsession is Red Pepper Hummus. But why? Why this delightful smooth-textured glorious dip, you may ask. And fair enough. Here are the reasons I enjoy it… how I enjoy it, and what you can do with it too!

Reason One: It’s delicious.
Although I like regular hummus, there is something fairly bitter about it. Having the sweet tooth I have, I always go straight for the red pepper. Regardless, I still love myself some regular hummus with raw veggies, pita, or chips.

Reason Two: It’s easy to make.
Chickpeas (although for raw, use zucchini), tahini, lemon juice, garlic, some salt, maybe a touch of nooch, (red pepper if you will), olive oil and some playful other spices here and there to your liking, and wham! You have it!

Reason Three: The health benefits.
Hummus is high in fiber, full of healthy fats, and low calorie. Check out the great article on LiveStrong here -> link.

Reason Four: It’s versatile.
Hummus doesn’t need to be just a dip. I personally use mine for salad dressings, spreads, kale chip flavour and even pasta sauce! For the dressing, I usually just add a bit of water, and some times play it up with tamari, mustard and agave. The pasta sauce is easier, as you can even just add water, tomato sauce, or some almond milk! Mm…. Not to mention, you can make various flavors with just a simple base (ie. Dill and “cheez”, Creamy Cucumber, etc)

Shoot me a tweet or message about YOUR love for hummus, and recipe ideas!! Let’s spread the Hummus-Love!

My 7 Day Liquid Cleanse

For the last week of “Stage One” of my new fitness plan, I decided to schedule a raw vegan liquid smoothie/juice cleanse. It would last for seven days (a Monday to Sunday), and consist of a diet of only raw vegan juices and smoothies, leading into Stage Two of my fitness plan that will last through the month of July.

The Meals:
I had 3 smoothies a day, with tons of added water, and the occasional fresh juice. The smoothies contained fresh (or sometimes organic frzn) fruits and/or vegetables, with always at least 2-3 cups of a dark leafy green such as Kale or Spinach, and more often than not, a banana. For a couple of the smoothies, especially after workouts, I added either hemp seeds or a small amount of Vega protein powder. I did not use any almond mylk, almond yoghurts, any soy, or nut butters, as after research I found to slow the detox of the cleanse (and obviously so). I made only smoothies at home, as unless I have lots of time to clean the juicer after, I find smoothies are an easier go-to food. I was worried that if I were to attempt to make juice every time I would want a snack or food, that I would have a higher chance of ‘giving in’ so to speak. The smoothies were delicious, and as time went along I found myself sometimes getting a little adventurous.

Best combination for detox?
I found that when I used pear and pineapple, mixed with either kale or spinach and some wheatgrass that I felt the most cleansed.

I found that face became greasier at times, but in return I have clearer complexion, a better sense of clarity on when I’m actually hungry (and also realizing that fruits and vegetables are all I crave now!), and slight weight loss. Since I was still taking in a fair amount of calories, but not working out as heavily, I didn’t lose as much as some people might. It was a good 5 pounds, but I’m assuming it was mostly water weight. Plus, I have to consider that I was eating fairly clean before hand, anyway. Since I wasn’t doing this for a scale drop, I’m not at all let down.

How it went? Would I do it again?
It went more smoothly (pun) than I had imagined it would… not to mention how easy it ended up being for me to avoid all solid foods of any kind. It’s weird to say, but I think I’m a tad disappointed that it wasn’t more challenging! At the end of Stage 2, I will challenge myself with a 7 day juice cleanse. I will continue to probably have 1 to 2 smoothies replace meals for the next couple weeks, with exceptions of course. I realize now that smoothies satisfied my body more than food ever could for the amount I was having. I’m super happy with how things went.

I recommend a week cleanse for anyway! It was definitely an amazing experience.

The Great Seattle Vegan Chili Cook-Off

I would just like to start off saying that this truly was the most amazing event I’ve ever been to. Not only was I immensely happy, and surprised, to see so many vegans/ vegan-minded people organizing and helping out, but also, how many people came! By the time it was 6 o’clock, it was PACKED.

I invited my mom to come down to the event with me, as I know she is the open-minded one in my family, and I knew I’d have tons of fun with her. We drove done from Vancouver at about noon, and stopped off at Barnes and Noble to grab me a raw cookbook.
We arrive a tad early, so we helped out, setting up the electrical stuff for the crock-pots. Of course, we were counted down the minutes until we could try the AMAZING smelling chili, the mouth-watering donuts on the table, and the huge array of cornbread.

Finally at 6, we dove in, and tried all the Chili, up to level 3. We aren’t super fans of mega spicy, but MAN was the chili good. Our favorite 2 were:


The brain chili was our favorite by far; it was sweet and spicy, and we can’t wait to make it at home. The other was delicious because of how much mushroom was in it… but it was the corn-bread sweet-spicy waffles that did us in.
As if the amazing chili wasn’t enough… there was the sweets table. By donation of course, my mom and I tried the Raspberry Glazed, and Good Ol’ Glazed donuts from Might-Os, and great Cheeze Dips from Wayfare Foods. Of the dips, the Hickory Cheddar was by far our favorite, as it tasted like Smoked Gouda! Yum!

Then came the cornbread table.


We tried a bunch of different types, but my love went to the cornbread cupcakes by Julia McCracken, and also, the Cheezy- Cornbread. I was so stuffed on the deliciousness, that I’m surprised I even had room for MORE chili.

It was all-in-all a beyond amazing day. I’m sad to say so-long to all the great cooked foods, as I’m back to my raw Challenge today.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who put on this event! I can’t wait for the Vegan Iron-Chef!!

A Very Vegan Easter

[Original Post from the first vegan Easter I had at home last year, in 2011]

Happy Easter everyone!!
So today was filled with Vegan food I made. Tofu scramble and parfait for breakfast, both of which were delicious. To satisfy my Easter Chocolate wants, I made Almond Butter Cups with cashew-date crust, Brown Rice Krisp Bunnies + Ducks, and Choco-krisp balls!

So.. full….




Review: Saturn Cafe (Santa Cruz)

My friend recommended this place, remembering that it had a tasty vegetarian/ vegan menu. It took forever to get a table, but when I saw the menu, I knew it would be worth it. VEGAN BREAKFAST ALL DAY! This was definitely what I wanted for dinner.
    We ordered a half-size Vegan Nacho order for an appetizer. This was massive for a half order, and had everything in it – black beans, gauc, veg-cheese, tomatoes, olives, jalapenos.
    For my main meal I ordered the French toast with a tofu scramble on the side and their home-fries. The scramble was a tad pathetic, but it tasted good with the French toast, so I didn’t mind. The toast was amazing though! It tasted like the real thing on a great multigrain loaf. I enjoyed the home-fries as well, but only found them interesting slathered in maple-syrup (mmm).
    My friend got the banana pancakes, and those were fantastic. With banana baked right in, as well as on top, these were full of rich flavor. They were fluffy and full of walnuts as well. I was so full by the end, but it was certainly worth it. In retrospect, this place was actually pretty cheap, as my fries, toast, and scramble only came out to 10 bucks.
I recommend this place for anyone wanted a great cheap vegan eat in Santa Cruz. I know I would definitely head over there again!
    Another jem in Santa Cruz is New Leaf, their natural food store. It had amazing vegan options, and even a deli with vegan items. I managed to find MORE vegan gum there, as well as a few flavours of vegan jerky which are certainly interesting to say the least. I enjoyed looking around in here. It has the feel of a classier Trader Joes, with a less uppity feel of Whole Foods. They also had a great raw food section.

Beautiful weather, the beach, great friends, and vegan meals made an awesome day in Santa Cruz.