May is here, which for me equals parties, parties, parties! Graduations, birthdays, going aways, end of year events… Every weekend there is something new going on. This tends to be killer for any one on a diet and also all that BBQ makes not eating meat an extra hurdle.
My best guess for a solution (since my will power sucks) is to bring healthier alternatives. Here are a few swap out guidelines I’ve used recently -
1. Allow yourself to eat what you LOVE. My mom ships this BBQ Sauce from Cleveland to Miami - Winking Lizard is my favorite! Instead of drenching chicken wings in BBQ Sauce, I used a small amount of the sauce on a sweet potato skin that I baked with cilantro. Yum! I avoided the meat & the fried food & still answered the craving I had for BBQ sauce.
2. Hummus is wonderful, but what we dip in our hummus is sometimes our downfall. I try to mix in a veggie & a cracker. These Fiber Selection 5 Grain Garden Vegetable Wheat Thins are not only delicious, but also lower in calories than pita chips. Also, celery is a no brainer as a low cal dipping option. Mix it up!
3. Take two minutes & think of the easy swap. These potato skins are significantly better than restaurant skins because they are baked, bacon free, & use a sweet potato rather than a regular potato. Lower in calories, fat, and sweet potatoes have some serious health powers!
- 4 fennel bulbs, cut in half and take out heart
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 large onion, diced
- olive oil
- salt, pepper
Put fennel bulb halves face down in casserole dish, sprinkle chopped basil, garlic and onion over, pour tomato and add salt and pepper. Cover. Bake at 350F for 20min, then uncovered for another 10, or until fennel is tender.
- 2 red bell peppers, seed, dice and roast for 15 min at 375F, then set aside an let cool
- 3 cups cooked fava beans
- 1 cup tahini
- 4 tbsp granulated garlic
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp parpika
- 1/2 cup olive oil (give or take)
Throw all ingredients in a food processor except olive oil. While mixing slowly pour in olive oil until you get desired consistency.
Fava beans make great hummus because they are so creamy!!!
Serve half a bulb with lots of the sauce on it, a dollop of hummus with toasted bread and small salad, garnish with toasted pine nuts for the perfect final touch! I like to save the fennel leaves to garnish. This beautiful dish is sooo tasty and so gourmet looking. Yet easy to make! Perfect for a dinner party :)
Today’s mission is to do things I love; a day to refresh & reenergize - with work, school, my capstone project, triathlon training, volunteering, and figuring out the rest of my life - I am exhausted.
My garden was the perfect place to start. I have SO MUCH basil and I hate not using it, so I made a basil based hummus.
The recipe is super simple - a can of garbanzo beans (drained & rinsed), 1/2 cup of basil leaves, lots of garlic, 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, salt & pepper (I used garlic salt & pepper) - and then enough olive oil to get the consistency you want in the food processor.
Thankfully my DVR was stocked with a live in NYC Springsteen concert to serenade me throughout the whole process. My mom says there is no one better than the boss, and as I’ve gotten older I can’t help but agree. Alison
Swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress. But my feet they finally took root in the earth, but I got me a nice little place in the stars. And I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car. - Growin’ Up
So today for lunch I had some AWESOME falafel… the best falafel I’ve had in the 2 years I’ve lived in Miami. In the search of the greatest falafel ever, here are my current top-3 (which I understand is limited because it’s only in the states):
- from an unnamed stand in the Lexington Market in Baltimore
- Old City Cafe in Washington DC
- Daily Bread Marketplace in Miami
In other chickpea news… if you are not accustomed to watching former Oscar winning shorts, which most people are not. Then you should take my advice and check out the West Bank Story… the Kosher Kings v. the Hummus Hut - a musical comedy about true love and chickpeas, trust me… it’s incredible.
Ok. So here is the question… What is the best falafel you’ve ever had?