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.

 

 

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Bourbon Smoked Paprika-Lime Corn on the Cob

Bourbon Smoked Paprika-Lime Corn on the Cob recipe from www.YellowTurtleFitness.comSummer cookouts often have fatty, unhealthy side dishes, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

One of my favourite sides to make is not only super easy and delicious, but healthy, too. This time of year, the fresh corn is at its best – so get it while you can!

You can throw these on the grill for 15 minutes, as written, if you’d rather, but this particular recipe is for the oven. So you can make your Bourbon Smoked Paprika-Lime Corn on the Cob rain or shine.

*note* Regular smoked paprika is fine to use, but I prefer the bourbon smoked, and highly recommend it. 

INGREDIENTS:

– Bourbon Smoked Paprika (or plain smoked paprika)
– Sea Salt
– Husked and cleaned Ears of Fresh Corn, as many as needed for your guests
– 1 or 2 limes, cut into wedges
– Aluminum foil
OPTIONAL: Cilantro, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400F, and prepare squares of foil large enough to wrap securely around each ear of corn.

2. Place each washed and husked ear of corn onto a square of foil.

3. Squeeze wedges of lime generously over each ear of corn.

4. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on each ear of corn.

5. Generously dust each ear of corn with Smoked Paprika, then roll each ear up tightly with foil, being careful not to rip foil.

6. Place all ears on a cookie sheet to catch any drips, then place in oven for at least 20 minutes.

7. Unwrap and serve! Dust with Cilantro, if desired.

Even without butter, and at only 125 calories per LARGE ear of corn, they are anything but bland. Lots of flavour, natural sweetness, and perfect for Summer(or any time!).

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:

Lean Vegetable Beef Soup(w/ Vegetarian option!)

Lean Vegetable Beef Soup (with Vegetarian option!)One of my favourite comfort foods is Vegetable Beef soup. In the 80s, it was a classic cold day meal, with a grilled cheese on the side.

My version is not only clean and lean, but a meal in itself.

There are times when I do make a vegetarian version of this, and the switch is ultra easy to make. So if you want to prepare this for a Meatless Monday meal, or just prefer Vegetarian style, it only requires you to switch out a few ingredients.

Also, don’t be frightened off by the large ingredient list. Most of these are staples that are in my house 99% of the time. You probably have most of it on hand already!

In the Winter, don’t be afraid to use frozen vegetables. Most are flash frozen at their peak, preserving their nutrition for your convenience. I make heavy use of them in this recipe, but feel free to switch them out for fresh if you prefer.

My Vegetable Beef (or “Beef”) Soup recipe is easy, clean, low calorie, and perfect as a warming meal on a cold evening.

lean beef and vegetable soup

Ingredients:

– 1 lb of extra (96%) lean ground beef / VEG OPTION: 1 medium sized bag of ground meatless crumbles

– 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

– 1 cup of frozen corn kernels

– 1 cup of frozen peas

– 2 cups frozen green beans

– 1 and 1/2 cups of carrots, sliced into coins

– 3 or 4 large stalks of celery, sliced

– 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic

– 1  28 oz can of diced tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)

– 1  14.5 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)

– 2 bay leaves

– 1/2 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tsp smoked paprika

– 1 tsp dried sage

– 1 tbsp dried thyme

– 1/2 tbsp parsley

– 2 cups beef broth / VEG OPTION: 2 cups vegetable broth

– 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce / VEG OPTION: leave this out. Substitute liquid hickory smoke + 1/2 tsp salt, if desired)

– extra salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Mist olive oil evenly into the bottom of a large soup pot. Add onion, beef (or meatless crumbles), and garlic.

2. When beef is mostly browned, add carrots and celery. If using crumbles, add carrots and celery in the first step. Cook until carrots and celery are beginning to get tender.

3. Add all tomatoes and broth to soup pot. Stir frequently and bring to simmer.

4. Add all remaining vegetables, paprika, sage, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir frequently while bringing back to a simmer.

5. Add bay leaf and parsley. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Check on soup every 15 minutes and stir.

6. I recommend giving it at least a 1/2 hour of low simmer + stirring. Add any additional salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaves, then serve.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds + Easy Recipe

Carving a pumpkin this weekend? Save those seeds!

Pumpkin seeds are powerhouses of nutrition, boasting the following benefits, and more:

Carving a pumpkin this weekend? Save those seeds! Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds + easy recipe

– Excellent source of Zinc, boosting immunity throughout the cold & flu season

– One of the few foods that increase in nutritional value as they age. Tests have shown protein content increases exponentially in storage. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze them, so they don’t become rancid, however.

– Phytosterols help reduce LDL Cholesterol

– Great anti-inflammatory food! May provide some relief for those with arthritis

– Runs the gamut for B-Vitamin content. Contains riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folate. This spells E-N-E-R-G-Y for you!

– Those same B Vitamins also help support a healthy Metabolism

– L-tryptophan content aids in sleep, as well as contributes to alleviating depression symptoms

– A few studies have shown that Pumpkin Seeds may assist in preventing formation of kidney stones

These are just some of the many benefits of eating pumpkin seeds regularly.

While I have posted a basic recipe for seed roasting below, it’s not the only way to enjoy them!

You can also add seeds to loaves of bread, top cereal or yogurt, add to soups, ground into meatloaf, combine with grains or beans to make vegetarian “burgers”,  use in desserts(top a pumpkin cheesecake or pie with whipped cream and candied pumpkin seeds!), in pilafs, salads, chopped with goat cheese, and much more. Use your imagination, and enjoy them year round for the most health benefit.

Basic Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Ingredients:

– Pumpkin Seeds

-Oil of choice (I recommend pumpkin seed oil or olive oil)

– Salt

OPTIONAL: Cayenne, Paprika, Cinnamon/Sugar, Oregano, Parmesan, etc. from spicy to sweet, you can make many different versions to suit any palate.

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 375F

– Rinse pumpkin seeds in a colander to clean, then boil seeds for 10 minutes in moderately salted water.

-Remove from boiling water, and strain. Lightly pat with paper towels to dry.

– In a gallon sized Zip-Loc bag, pour just enough oil to coat seeds lightly. Add seeds, then shake until all seeds are coated.

– With seeds still in bag, add desired amount of salt, and any additional spices. Shake to coat.

– Pour seeds out onto ungreased baking sheet, spreading evenly.

– Place in oven, and bake for up to 25 minutes, checking progress and stirring every 5 minutes or so. Seeds are done when very lightly browned.

– Let cool, and enjoy!

Refrigerated in an airtight container, will keep for approximately 2 weeks. You may also freeze them for longer shelf life.

Awesome Autumn: Turkey Sausage, Pumpkin, and Sage Pasta Recipe

Awesome Autumn: Turkey Sausage, Pumpkin, and Sage Pasta RecipeFor years now, I’ve been making this Turkey Sausage, Pumpkin, and Sage Pasta recipe for my family. It’s a recipe that I had modified from a slightly less healthy version, and has become an Autumn staple for us.

Hopefully, it becomes a staple for your family, as well.

Ingredients:

– 1 regular sized box of tri-colour/veggie(or whole wheat, quinoa, or other “healthier” version) Fusille pasta

– 1 package of Jennie-O Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage

– 1 pint of fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced

– 1 yellow onion, chopped

– 2 tbsp of fresh minced garlic

– 2 cups of chopped frozen collard greens

– 1 can of Pure Packed Pumpkin Puree(NOT Pumpkin Pie Filling)

– 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth

– 1 and 1/2  tbsp dried sage

– 1 tbsp parsley

– salt and pepper, to taste

– olive oil, for pan

– shredded Parmesan, as garnish

Directions:

1. Cook pasta as directed on box. Drain, setting aside with 1/4 cup of drained pasta water.

2. Remove turkey sausage from casings, and cook in large saute pan lightly misted with olive oil. When halfway done, add onions, mushrooms, and garlic.

3. When sausage is no longer pink, add broth, pumpkin, collard greens, and sage to pan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring until warmed through and thickened.

4. Add pasta(+ reserved 1/4 cup of pasta water), parsley, salt, and pepper to pan. Reduce to low heat, and stir with soft spatula until well combined.

5. Serve garnished with shredded Parmesan.

pan

Key Lime Pie Protein Shake

keylime

This powerful blend of fiber, protein, and healthy fats will keep you full for hours. The avocado, lime, and protein combo helps repair cell damage to build muscle and make your skin, hair, and nails look great.

So it’s perfect for a meal substitution or as post-workout fuel.

I absolutely would have taken a photo of the shake… if I had thought about it before I drank the whole thing. ha.

Next time I make it(and there WILL be a next time), I’ll edit a photo in here. For now, though, you’ll just have to trust me that it looks as great as it tastes.

I can already see a few of you making side-eye at me for the avocado.

“Avocado in a smoothie? Umm… no.”

Umm, yes! It lends a lovely creaminess to the concoction, and you won’t taste it at all. Promise.

This smoothie tastes Just. Like. Pie. Seriously. Just like it!

On with the recipe, adapted by me from the January 2013 issue of (now defunct) Oxygen magazine.

Key Lime Pie Protein Shake

Ingredients:

– 1/2 an avocado

– 2 tbsp lime or key lime juice, Fresh or Bottled. Doesn’t matter which.

– 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein. I have a feeling taste may vary quite a bit between brands. I can only guarantee the flavour will be perfect if you use the same brand that I did(BSN Lean Dessert in Whipped Vanilla Cream)

– 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

– 1 cup milk of choice(dairy skim, almond, coconut). I used skim.

– 1/2 cup very cold water

– handful of ice

– OPTIONAL: sweetener of choice, to taste. I used 1 packet of Stevia.

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy!