Try This— Sweet Potato Hummus

this sweet potato hummus recipe is the perfect Paleo addition to your summer menu!

Since Winter basically refused to end this year and all the farmers’ markets and farm shares are either opening late or decidedly scant because of it, I thought I’d try my hand at hacking my favorite summertime dip. Hummus is a staple in my house. We smear raw veggies with this creamy delicacy all summer long as a healthy snack and sometimes it even winds up replacing a meal all together because we just can’t stop eating it. This recipe comes from the appetizer menu of Miss Ada, a cute little Mediterranean restaurant on Dekalb Ave. a few blocks from where I went to High School (Brooklyn Technical High School). Chef Tomer Blechman brilliantly uses sweet potatoes as a base instead of chickpeas in this recipe, so it’s perfect for anyone on a Paleo diet, or anyone that wants to use their chickpeas for something more productive like these beauty recipes. Best part is that by using sweet potatoes, your adding a healthy dose of complex carbs and fiber, oh and it makes your finished hummus totally Instagrammable. Drop everything… You must try this!!!

Chef Tomer Blechman in the outdoor eating area of Miss Ada 184 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Sweet Potato Hummus

Ingredients

serves 6 people

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves,
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 cup smoked paprika
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 red onion, small diced
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Baharat spice mix (1 Tbsp each of cinnamon, cardamom, and English pepper)
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium pot, boil sweet potatoes until tender.
  • Allow to cool. Add to a food processor and blend with garlic and tahini until smooth.
  • Make the paprika oil: In a medium saucepan over low heat, simmer paprika and canola oil for five minutes. Allow to stand for 20 minutes; strain into a squeeze bottle.
  • In a small bowl, combine creme fraiche and onion. Set aside.
  • On a baking sheet, spread almonds in an even layer. Toss with remaining canola oil and baharat spice mix. Bake for five minutes.
  • Scoop sweet potato mixture onto a plate. Create a nest and place creme fraiche in the middle. Add the almonds, paprika oil, and Aleppo pepper. Garnish with thinly sliced onion and parsley sprigs.
  • Serve with pita or sliced vegetables.

Try This—Homemade Oatmeal Almond Power Bars

These power bars are packed with protein, healthy fats, and carbs giving you a much needed post workout boost, or midday snack. I’ve spent a small fortune on those Kind bars and Quest bars until I finally figured out that I could make these snacks at home with very little effort. Best part: I actually know what’s in them. No guess work, just a simple healthy snack that tastes great and stays fresh in the fridge and the freezer! Winning! You must try this!

Homemade Oatmeal Almond Power Bars

ingredients (makes about 12 bars)

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 5 medjool dates
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp. boiling water

Directions

  • Place almonds and oats in food processor (I use my trusty Nutribullet) and blend until you have a coarse crumb.
  • Add cacao powder, cranberries, and dates and blend again.
  • Begin adding the boiling water, a little at a time and continue blending, until the mixture becomes well incorporated and forms a ball.
  • Press the dough into a baking tin lined with wax or parchment paper and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours before slicing into bars.
  • For grab and go storage, wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.

***Because all of the ingredients have a super long shelf life, you can store them on the counter top for several days, in the fridge for several weeks, and in the freezer for up to 6 months. Trust me when I say you’ll eat them all long before you run into any shelf life issues.

***Each bar contains about 200 calories.

Customize It!

This recipe is delicious, but there are so many ways to customize these energy bars. Check out this neat infographic to get you started!

Hormone Balancing Cinnamon Almond Oat Milk Smoothie

So I’ve been going oat milk crazy. It totally has my vote for the most delicious cow’s milk alternative out there and I’ve literally made dozens of recipes in the last month alone using oat milk. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on some Oatly immediately! This is my go to brand of oat milk. There’s no weird aftertaste like with some other non-dairy milks and it blends into every recipe that calls for milk without changing the taste or texture. I’ve made everything from mashed potatoes to the deliciously redundant creamy bowl of oat milk oatmeal. This stuff is the real deal. Of course, oat milk really has a chance to shine in a well made smoothie.

This recipe is adapted from the Wallflower Kitchen. It’s totally vegan and is an excellent source of plant based proteins and healthy fats, essential for balancing your hormones and alleviating some of the symptoms you might be experiencing. Best part? It tastes like a snickerdoodle! You must try this!

Cinnamon Almond Oat Milk Smoothie

ingredients

  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 – 2 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups oat milk

Directions

  • Simply add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth

Refuel, Repair, Rehydrate: Post-Workout Eats For Each Exercise

Confession: I didn’t really like working out much… that is until I got my hands on some sports bras that actually got the twins under control. Now I’m really digging my workouts… that is until I’m post-workout hangry and reaching for the most convenient, yet least satisfying crap I can find. I’ll spare you the long backstory and just get to the plant-based protein of the matter. You gotta eat after you workout. More than that, you gotta eat the right stuff in order to refuel, repair, and rehydrate.

Refuel

  • Refuel your glycogen (carbohydrate) stores to avoid muscle tissue breakdown and low energy.
  • Lack of glucose to fuel the brain can lead to decreased alertness and concentration, and low mood.
  • Aim for high quality carbohydrates sources (think wholegrain breads and cereals).

Repair

  • Repair damaged muscles with protein.
  • Consuming protein post-workout will provide amino acids for the building and repair of muscle tissue. This will help you to recover more quickly.
  • Aim for lean protein sources (think eggs, nuts, legumes, tofu and dairy).

Rehydrate

Post-Workout Foods

Here’s a breakdown of what you should be eating after your workout according to your preferred exercise.

Cardio

Cardio includes running, spin class, and any endurance training. It’s important to replenish your carbohydrate stores after any cardio routine. Think foods that are high in quality carbs, protein, and healthy fats.

  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana slices
  • a banana and a handful of nuts
  • 1-2 slices of whole grain toast with either ricotta and fruit or cottage cheese and tomato (try this delicious recipe)

Yoga and Pilates

It’s important to repair tired muscles after any yoga or pilates routine. Protein and low GI carbs are key here. Think foods like tofu, hard boiled eggs, roasted vegetables, or trail mix.

  • Yogurt and muesli that contains fruit and nuts
  • chopped veggies and hummus
  • two hard boiled eggs with a slice of multigrain toast

Resistance, Strength Training, Crossfit

These are the most intense workouts of the bunch. Nutrient dense foods are essential. Think foods that are high in protein and other nutrients, but low in fat (especially if muscle gain is your goal). Smoothies are an excellent choice, but if you need something more think eggs, oats, yogurt, and pineapple. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that may help reduce inflammation brought on by exercise.

  • omelet with red or green bell peppers and spinach
  • fruit salad (remember to include pineapple!)
  • overnight oats- simply combine oats, yogurt or non dairy milk, mashed banana and chia seeds and place in the fridge overnight. It’ll be ready for tomorrow’s workout

Source: HuffPost

Try This— Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe

I’m heading out on another European adventure this Summer. First stop: Rome. This will be my first time visiting the Eternal City  and while I imagine the Sistine Chapel is really impressive, I’m mostly looking forward to dining out on really real Italian food. Everybody I know is telling me that I have to try cacio e pepe while I’m there. Cacio e pepe, literally translating to ‘cheese and pepper’, is standard Roman fare, and if the name is any indication, it sounds like it’s as close to perfection as food can get because, well, cheese and pepper.

Anyway, I scoured the internet for a recipe that I could prepare at home so that I when I try it in Rome, I can slowly lean back at the table, loosen my jeans button, and arrogantly say, “the cacio e pepe I make at home is waaaayyyyy better.” #petty. So, I found this amazing recipe from the fine folks at Food52, and I’m pretty confident that this dish will hold up against any cacio e pepe I order in Rome. For real, this recipe is real life weeknight dinner goals. You must try this!

Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns crushed in a mortar and pestle or 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 (16 oz) package spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • About 3/4 to 1 cup of cooking water

Directions

  • In a pot over low heat, heat the crushed peppercorn with the olive oil.
  • In a pot large enough to cook the spaghetti, bring water to a boil.
  • Turn the heat off under the olive oil and add about 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water from the pot into the pan, then set aside.
  • When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add the salt, stir, then add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti until 2 minutes under the lowest time recommended on the package. Using tongs (you don’t want to get the rid of the water), add the pasta to the pot with the pepper. Turn the heat onto very low and turn the pasta continuously until most of the water is absorbed. At this point, remove from the heat and transfer to a warm bowl.
  • Still tossing, begin adding the two grated cheeses, a couple handfuls at a time. If it starts to get dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of pasta water. Keep turning and turning, adding cheese and pasta water, a little at a time, until all the cheese has been incorporated and you have a lovely creamy sauce coating each strand of pasta. Eat immediately.