Friday, April 6, 2012

Carb Convenience vs. Protein Power

Fun poetry to end your spring break on. 

Last day of spring break. Bummer! But only 7 more weeks of school, and then we can have months of break.
I just finished the girls' dresses. I will post pictures on Monday-with them actually wearing them.
Meres has a cold. Poor baby. She is snotty and watery eyed. And she is working on two more teeth. Like I said, "poor baby."

Some advertising from the Hippie offspring
We eat hummus. It keeps us looking like stair steps.
I love carbs. They are so tasty. So delicious. So convenient. Though when I run a lot, my body craves protein. Give me some red meat. Protein builds muscle. But carbs are energy. And they are always right there. Bread, cookies, granola, granola bars, fruit.  Protein takes work. Opening a can of tuna, and making tuna salad. Cooking fish, chicken, or meat. Pouring that glass of milk with cookies.=) Yogurt, cheese, nuts and beans are all good sources of protein. But, nuts make my face look like a teenagers-and I don't mean wrinkle free either. And who just wants to eat a can of beans? Yuck!

Hummus is my favorite way to eat beans, namely garbanzo beans. It is very easy to make up, and packs a protein wallop. It is delicious. Personally I prefer mine, which is heavy on lemon and garlic. Hummus experts say that hummus is best at room temperature, not cold. Personally, I think it is best right out of the blender, but any temp will do.=) Hummus is good on fresh bread, pita bread, pita chips, bagel chips, pretzels, crudités, or just with a spoon(or finger) right out of the blender. I make it probably about once a month, and I enjoy having it right after a run. Here is my top secret recipe. The key is in blending it for a good long time. You want hummus to be a smooth thick dip rather than a clumpy paste. But not too thick. It should have little granules in it. But they shouldn't be noticeable as you are eating it.

Bernadette's Hummus
2 cans garbanzo beans, reserve liquid from one can
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tahini paste
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt

-Add all ingredients to the blender before adding beans. Pour half of the reserved bean liquid in the blender on top of the beans, and pulse until smooth. Add more liquid as necessary to get the thick dip effect.

In my quest to try a new recipe every other week or so, I have stumbled upon some good ones. Here is an amazing pasta recipe. The key ingredient is the spicy Italian sausage. It makes it. Don't try it with mild sausage. It won't be the same. Trust me on this. This a a recipe from the March Food Network magazine, with a few Hippie adjustments.

Pasta with Spicy Sausage
16 ounces medium shell pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 links of fresh spicy Italian sausage
3 spring onions-white and light green parts only
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese.

-Cook pasta in salted boiling water until done. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid.
-Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove sausage from casings, add to skillet, breaking up with a wooden spoon until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
-Add the onion, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
-Add the garlic, mushrooms, salt, and pepper to taste; cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms start to brown, about 3 minutes.
-Add the cherry tomatoes, and cook until they soften lightly-about 3 more minutes.
-Add the broth to skillet and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat.
-Place all in a large serving bowl, with pasta and cheese, and reserved pasta liquid as necessary to moisten. Serve with more cheese and the darker green tops of the onions.

*This is how I have made it, but I think it is a good base that can be changed up a bit. I am going to try switching mozzarella for the parmesan. I also think broccoli or broccoli rate would be a good switch for the tomatoes. I am going to play around with the ingredients the next time I make it. Though, come to think of it, why mess with a good thing?

And, that, my friends, is two for the price of one. Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Christ is Risen Indeed!