Quick & Easy Recipe: Homemade Hummus

Quick and Easy Creamy Homemade Hummus Recipe from www.YellowTurtleFitness.com I have very specific preferences when it comes to Hummus, and often times, the store-bought stuff just doesn’t cut it. I like my Hummus to be mild, creamy, with lots of garlic, plenty of tahini, and a generous touch of cumin, paprika, and parsley. I also like it to be light and fluffy, as opposed to the pasty, glue-y stuff you find in stores.

Lucky for me, not only is it easy to make Hummus at home, but it’s also cheaper and (usually) healthier.
I like to make a batch whenever my tahini canisters(which I go through fairly quickly) get down to about 1/3 of a cup left. Then, I can refill the can with the Hummus I just made.

You can see exactly what’s going in there, and spice it exactly the way you enjoy it. If you prefer spicy hummus, just add the spices you like. Don’t like Cumin? Don’t use it. Want a black bean hummus? Switch them out with the chickpeas.
Want it to look extra fancy for a party? Throw some extra olive oil drizzle, a dash of paprika, and some extra sesame seeds on top when serving.

Serve it alongside fresh cut vegetables, cut pita bread pieces, etc – One of the easiest party appetizers ever.

Best of all, you can make a big batch of Hummus in less than 10 minutes. What are you waiting for?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 – 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup tahini (doesn’t have to be exact – eyeball it)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp water (approx)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • OPTIONAL: extra sesame seeds for garnish/crunch, other spices, hot sauce, black pepper, etc

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender.
  2. Pulse until creamy, fluffy, and the texture you prefer. Add more water to thin it, use less water for a thicker hummus.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container if not using right away. Will keep approximately 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

 

 

Healthier Comfort Food: Chicken & Dumplings

Healthy Comfort Food Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings from www.YellowTurtleFitness.com

Healthy Comfort Food Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings from http://www.YellowTurtleFitness.com

Chicken and Dumplings is one of my family’s favourite comfort foods when the months start turning colder. Many traditional recipes utilize butter, shortening, cream, dark meat, and/or high sodium ingredients like “cream of…” condensed soups.

It’s really not very difficult to make over this recipe to be a much healthier option.

Experiment with the basic recipe by switching out similar ingredients. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, you can alter the recipe by switching vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and by switching the chicken breast for “Chicken” meat substitutes.

You can make the dumplings yourself, or save time by using pre-made frozen dumplings(check the nutrition labels, and choose the cleanest, lowest sodium brand you can find) or a healthier brand of canned biscuits(like Immaculate Baking Co) and tearing the biscuits into small chunks. It’s quick, easy, and usually just as good(however, this will likely add more sodium and sugar to the recipe. Your call).

Serve your healthier chicken and dumplings for dinner on those upcoming chilly evenings.

INGREDIENTS

For the Dumplings:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup skim milk

For the Soup:

  • 4-5 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup thawed frozen, or fresh, green peas
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tbsp parsley
  • 1/4 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for cooking
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large soup pot, pour the tbsp of olive oil, and bring to medium heat(#5 and 1/2 on numerically labeled stovetops).
  2. Throw in chicken, onion, and garlic. Saute while stirring, until onions are just turning translucent/just beginning to brown, then add carrots and celery. Allow to saute while stirring for 1-2 minutes more. Chicken does not need to be fully cooked to continue.
  3. Add in broth, peas, sage, and thyme. Bring to boil, then place lid on pot, and lower temperature to medium-low(#3 to 4 on numerical stovetops).
  4. Allow to simmer in 15 minute increments. At each 15 minute mark, stir soup thoroughly, then replace lid quickly. You will probably need to do this 2-3 times, until chicken is fully cooked and flavours have melded well.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your dumpling batter by putting all dumpling ingredients into a bowl, and stirring until combined. Set aside.
  6. When soup is about 10-15 minutes away from being served, put remaining parsley into soup, stir, then slowly drop in large spoonfuls of dumpling batter, stirring between every few spoonfuls. If you choose to use pre-made dumplings or canned biscuit dough, make sure dumplings are thawed first, or biscuit dough is torn into pieces. Drop them in the same way, and cook the same length of time.
  7. Replace lid, and allow to cook another 10-15 minutes before ladling into soup bowls. You may choose to garnish with a liberal sprinkling of parsley and black pepper. Makes 4-5 servings. Enjoy!

Easy, Healthy Dessert: Walnut Stuffed Figs w/ Spiced Honey Creme

Healthy & Easy Dessert: Walnut Stuffed Figs with Spiced Honey CremeThis time of year, the biggest fig crops are bursting forth – bringing with it one of nature’s healthiest and most luxurious desserts.

Figs are nutritionally dense with B-vitamins, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, and lots of Fiber.

This makes them a smart snack or dessert, as well as an amazing addition to salads and entrees.

This is probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever posted, but I’m a huge fan of simple healthy dishes. Eating healthy never has to be difficult or especially time consuming.

Each extra large fig half with honey and walnuts is approximately 70 calories. 2 halves would probably be the ideal portion size, bringing your dessert to a very reasonable 140 calories.

Less than 150 calories for a dessert this delicious, healthy, and elegant? Amazing(not to mention impressive looking to guests, with not much work on your part)!

On with the recipe.
INGREDIENTS:
serves 4

  • 4 extra large, fresh figs
  • 3 tbsp slightly warmed Spiced Honey Creme (my favourite brand here)
  • Fresh unsalted shelled walnuts (chopped or whole. your choice) 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice each fig in half, and line up neatly on your serving plate.
  2. If using chopped walnuts, press a generous amount into the middle of each fig half. If using whole walnuts, press a walnut half into the belly of each fig.
  3. Lightly drizzle the warmed Spiced Honey Creme over the figs, concentrating most of the honey over the areas with walnuts.
  4. It’s that easy! Serve and Enjoy.

When to Spend the Money for Organic?

Yes, buying Organic can be expensive, but the trick is knowing when it’s actually necessary to spend the extra money. 

Those listed under the “Always Buy Organic” heading tend to be heavily laden with pesticides, while those on the “Non-Organic is Okay” list are not.
Those that are okay to buy conventionally tend to not need pesticides, due to the natural protective properties of the plants that ward off insects(such as in onions and cabbage) and/or have a thick protective layer that the consumer peels away before eating.
If buying a leaved vegetable, always peel away the outer layer of leaves to ensure removal of the bulk of pesticides and debris.

This doesn’t, by the way, mean that it’s okay to skip washing your fruits or vegetables(even when you buy organic!).

Keep a spray bottle of full strength vinegar next to your kitchen sink. Spray each vegetable or fruit(even those that you peel – remember that bacteria can be transferred to the fruit during the peeling process) and wash before eating.
This helps remove surface debris and safely kills germs.

Print and keep this list in your wallet when shopping, so you can refer to it regularly, and save money.

When should you buy Organic? + tips for safer produce, from YellowTurtleFitness.com

 

In-Season Produce Throughout The Year

It has now been a full year since I began posting monthly in-season produce infographics, with their nutritional and health benefits described. They started out very simple last June, and became much more elaborate as time went on. So you’ll see the style change a bit when looking through them all.

These images have been passed around Pinterest and Facebook like wildfire, and have been incredibly popular with you guys. So I have decided to put them all on one page  to bookmark for your year-round convenience. You may find them below.
Enjoy!

 January  ||  February  ||  March   

  April  || May  ||  June   

 July  ||  August  || September  

 October  ||  November  ||  December  

seasonal fruit

What are the Health Benefits for February’s In Season Produce?

February’s range of Fresh Produce is perfect for Women’s Heart Disease Awareness Month, providing strong protection for the heart and its associated functions.

Which Fresh Produce Is In Season for February, and What Are The Health Benefits?

Which Fresh Produce Is In Season for December?

Which Fresh Produce Is In Season for December? + Health Benefits of each!Acorn Squash, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Kumquats

Cancer fighters and immunity boosters are staples of the season.

Vote for your favourites here: