Basil Avocado Hummus [Recipe]

Creamy hummus is the key to life.

I’m on exaggerating a little.

I first learned the secret to achieving store-bought-creamy hummus at home a couple of years ago.  If you peel the beans before you blend them, the resulting hummus is almost impossibly smooth.  And that’s exactly what I did for this week’s Basil Avocado Hummus.

Peeling garbanzo beans

Peel EVERY little Garbanzo?!  I thought you had to be nuts to waste all that time peeling a can of beans… until I tried it. … 

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#StrangeButGood New Years Party Recipes

We’ve made it through the family thing.

Not that it’s so bad… but you know…

Now it’s time to gear up for the last blow out of 2014 – New Year’s Eve!  If your friend are anything like mine, the night can get a little strange.  In a good way.

I encourage you to being the night with some strange but good food.  7 foods, in fact.  For lucky 7s… and because THE 7!!!

1. Black Eyed Pea & Roasted Garlic Hummus

Black-Eyed Pea and Roasted Garlic Hummus

2. Spinach Tofu Dip

Spinach Tofu Dip

3. Butternut Thyme Hummus

Butternut Thyme Hummus

4. Brussels & Prosciutto Skewers

Brussels & Prosciutto Skewers

5. Spicy Butternut Mac ‘n Cheese

Spicy Butternut Mac 'n Cheese. With Bacon. [Recipe]

6. Turkey Beer Chili

Turkey Beer Chili

7. Sparkling Cake Balls

Sparkling Balls


How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table


Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


Pro tip: Don’t drink on an empty stomach!

What are your NYE plans?

Do you eat the traditional greens and black-eyed peas on New Years?

Hatch Chile-Cherry Breakfast Wrap

Cooking is hard on one foot.

Rather, motivating to cook is hard.

I’m feeling a bit better now – limping much faster – but it was a struggle earlier in the week.   Sunday morning it took me 3 hours to convince myself to get up to make breakfast.  If you know me at all, you know that if I delay a meal, the struggle is real.  When I finally dragged my ass off the couch, I knew I had to make it worth the effort.  That’s just what I did with the strange sweet ‘n spicy combo.

Hatch Chile- Cherry Wrap

Hatch chiles are only in season for a few weeks.  They’re grown in one region, the Hatch Valley, along the Rio Grande in New Mexico.  The terroir gives them an deliciously strange smoky, earthy flavor.  I’m in love.

Craving some sweetness for breakfast, I loaded up my last Julian Bakery coconut wrap with cherries too.  I sautéed the hatch chiles and cherries with a bit of turkey (totally optional), and I added a schmear of Roots sriracha-mango hummus.  (I had to mix in more sriracha… some like it hot!)

Hatch Chile-Cherry Breakfast Wrap

It’s not breakfast without #yolkporn.  If you’ve never bitten into a wrap or sandwich that’s stuffed with a runny egg… well, you just haven’t lived.  The joy in insurmountable.

I’m not exaggerating.

Hatch Chile-Cherry Breakfast Wrap

That’s a wrap.


Hatch Chile-Cherry Breakfast Wrap

Hatch Chile-Cherry Breakfast Wrap

  • 1/2 C cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 1 Hatch chile, sliced
  • 1 oz turkey (optional)
  • 2 T hummus
  • 1 wrap
  • 1 whole egg

In a small pan, sauté cherries, chile, and turkey (if using).  Meanwhile, shcmear a wrap (or toast) with hummus.  When cherries and chiles are softened, transfer to the wrap.

In the same pan, cook an egg to your desired level of doneness.  Place egg on top of wrap, roll up, and enjoy!  

Note: I added basil for garnish.


How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table



Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


I know you’ll ask… yes, I really like the wraps.  But yes, the are extremely expensive.  I buy them and hoard the pack for a couple months.

Have you tried a hatch chile?

How do you like your eggs?

Dips, Dessert, and a Drink

Happy 4th of July!


aka National Sunburn Day.

I have a tradition of running the Peachtree Roadrace (the world’s largest 10K) and enjoying the sweltering heat sunshine.  Since I’m off doing that, today’s #strangebutgood is a round of of things you might like to enjoy during your weekend festivities.

Some are stranger than others, but I assure you they’re all good.  And they’re relatively quick and easy – especially the oh-so-addicting S’Mores Brownies!

Chipotle Corn Hummus

Chipotle Corn Hummus


Cilantro Hummus Salsa

Hummus Salsa


Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats (Lightened Up)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats



S’mores Brownies

Smore Brownies


Piña Mezcalita

Piña Mezcalita


How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

If you’re not a blogger, you can still share your recipes on Instagram with the #strangebutgood hashtag.

Sprint 2 the Table



Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


I may have to cool off at the mall.  There are sales… all the things… this won’t end well.

What are your plans for the 4th?

What is your favorite poolside treat?


Black-Eyed Pea & Roasted Garlic Hummus

Black-eyed peas supposedly bring luck on New Year’s.

Don’t we all want to get lucky?

This year I could use a little extra luck, so I made sure to concoct a black-eyed pea dish to share with friends at our New Year’s Eve pairing dinner.  I used traditional hummus ingredients, but replaced chickpeas with canned black-eyed peas.  What resulted was a fantastic, black-eyed pea hummus.

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus


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The Most Luxurious Hummus Ever

This is a bold statement.


I didn’t make it.

Claims like these typically make me skeptical… but I make an exception when it’s made by a Greek food blogger.  After reading her recipe below you will be a believer too.  I started drooling at the mere mention of truffles.

I first met Anna at a Food Buzz conference a few years ago.  She immediately impressed me with her height ability to eat copius amounts of hummus #strangebutgood approach to food.  Her blog has been in my Reader Feedly ever since!


When she proposed we do a hummus recipe exchange, I was a little nervous. I mean, this IS the lady that dreamed up Peanut Butter Bacon Hummus.   After gathering my balls courage, I finally came up with a recipe for Guacamole Hummus.  It’s pretty gosh-darn good if I do say so myself.  Why wouldn’t you combine the two best dips ever?!

Note: My recipe includes THE secret for achieving perfectly smooth hummus. 😉

Guacamole Hummus 1

Check out Anna’s Luxurious Hummus below, and then hop on over to her blog for my Guacamole Hummus.


I first met Laura at a food blogger conference in San Francisco.  Coincidentally it was a conference of hummus, sponsored by hummus giant, Sabra.  The first night of the conference we all got absolutely bombarded with hummus. The grand finale offering was hummus dessert, which the world might not just be ready for yet.  I’ll leave this to Laura as a “Strange But Good” challenge.


Anna is in the middle

Anna is in the middle

I’m Anna from Banana Wonder. The six-foot spawn of a Greek mathematician and Californian hippie, I’m fanatical about almond croissants, pretzels, and most importantly, hummus. I am addicted to making and eating hummus!  Ever since I got my first mini food processor five years ago, I have not stopped.  The mash-ups are countless!


On this occasion, I made the most luxurious hummus ever.  It’s hummus in a tuxedo and vegan snake-skin boots.  It’s got cashew cream, velvety cannellini beans, white truffle extra virgin olive oil and black truffle salt.  Creamy, rich, and downright elegant, this is the treat yo-self hummus.

Luxurious (Truffle) Hummus bowl


Now, you may be thinking, but hummus is made with chickpeas… ok, ok, so sometimes I blend up other beans with tahini and to me it’s still hummus. Feel free to make it with chickpeas.  I do love chickpeas, but I find white beans made an even smoother, creamier dip.


Truffle oil embodies the dip, giving it body and depth.

Truffle salt boosts the above.

Cashew cream. Well, it’s kind of like butter…


Peep Laura’s Guacamole Hummus over at!


 Luxurious (Truffle) Hummus

The Most Luxurious Hummus Ever

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (do not skip the draining and rinsing part or else your hummus will come out like chunky glue)
  • 1/4 C raw cashews
  • 1/4 C warm water
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp truffle salt
  • 2 T white truffle extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • dash of rice wine vinegar (totally optional)


Combine cashews and water, let stand for about 10 minutes. Blend until smooth in a processor, blender, or whatever you emulsify in. 

Add garlic, tahini, olive oil, salt and vinegar and blend until smooth. 

Whirl in the beans until smooth. 

Finish with extra cashews and olive oil if you choose. 


I emailed Anna as soon as I read this to complain that I’m out of truffle oil.  Looks like a trip to Whole Paycheck is in my future…

What is your favor hummus flavor?

Do you like to make your own hummus or prefer the store-bought?


Easy Meal Ideas + Bar Recovery

Stress does funny things to people.


Or it makes you find odd things funny…

I’ve been traveling this week and with the possibility of more travel looming and a bunch of personal stuff on the horizon, the stress level is high.

So I looked for the humor.  Turns out, all I needed to do was look down… and then coin my new favorite hashtag: #meetingfeet.

You know you’re in Florida when an exec rocks the sock-less loafer look.

Those would be beer mugs on this business leader’s socks.


Speaking of stress, my friend Kat is stress-free after the Bar Exam!!!  I am so proud of her – I can’t even imagine having the discipline to get through all that.

Today she’s sharing her relaxation strategy and a couple of quick-yet-awesome recipes.  I cannot WAIT to try her Thai Coconut Hummus!  But I’ll let her tell you about it…


Easy Meal Ideas + Bar Recovery

Thank god the bar is over!!!!  It was not fun, and I hope I never have to take it again.  Unfortunately, bar results don’t come in until October 28 or so.  Yeah, that seems like a LONG time.  But, “patience is a virtue,” and I guess it gives us some time to get over the trauma of a two-day, four-session, exhausting marathon of a test.  (Editor’s note: It is downright cruel for them to leave you hanging so long!)


One text I got in the middle of the first day was, “You’re 25 miles into the ultramarathon,” and that’s how it felt… taking it a few steps at a time, leaving whatever happened in the first parts of the test behind to focus on success in the future.

Hard to Fly


After the Ultramarathon (the Bar Exam), it was time to start letting go of the built-up stress, tension, and the parts of me that really aren’t so pretty when I feel so overwhelmed.

Two days after the exam, I took off to the beach for a long weekend!  It was wonderful to get away, and not study!  I got to read for fun on the beach, meditate, collect seashells and just let go anything weighing me down.  (Editor’s note: Most deserved trip ever.)

Reading on the beach at sunset.  Heaven!

Reading on the beach at sunset. Heaven!


It was also fun!  We found a dog beach, where our newest rescue, Scout, was able to go swimming and play with all the other dogs!

I had never seen anything like it.  There were probably over 50 dogs that I saw, all playing, swimming, rolling in sand, and enjoying the day.

Dog Beach

By the end of our first day at the beach, I may have had 1st or 2nd degree burns on my butt and back.  No, this is not a joke.  (Editor’s note: Ummm… why did the sun see your arse?!)  My back-side has not had a lucky summer…. between poison ivy and now not being able to sit due to a sun bum burn!  But I was still so happy to get away.


In my bar recovery regimen, I also need to give a shout out to the cuddle bugs, the animals in my life.  They are the most wonderful beings who help ground me, and who love me unconditionally, and I do not know how I could have survived the bar without them!  Scarlett and Echo are my kitties (Echo turned 5 on Saturday).  And then Gracie the golden, Murphy, and Scout the lab.

Fur Babies

I love them!


Before I took the bar, I had no time for any fancy meals or kitchen projects, so I kept it super simple.  Here are two super easy, fun recipes that allow you to enjoy delicious food, when time is not on your side.




Gluten-Free Tortilla Pizza

  • 1 Rudi’s Gluten-Free tortilla, thawed
  • Handful of spinach
  • Tomato paste, spread thinly
  • Olive oil, lightly drizzled over the spinach, before the cheese
  • ¼ sautéed onion, sliced
  • 3 baby bella mushrooms, sautéed and sliced
  • 1 oz honey goats cheese, crumbled
  • 1-2 oz drunken goats cheese, sliced
  • Any other toppings of your choice


Preheat oven to 425.

Top pizza and bake ~15 minutes, or until your cheese begins to brown a little. 


This is a meal I had several times while studying through dinner.


Thai Coconut Hummus

Thai Coconut Hummus

  • ½ C plain hummus
  • 3 T coconut cream
  • Thai Curry Almond Seasoning (found at Whole Foods)


Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and eat! 

I’ve been snacking on this with raw beets, carrots, chips, gluten-free tortillas, and anything under the sun!  It’s light and flavorful.  A new staple.

thai Coconut Hummus


And now that I’m done, it’s time for more adventures!

I have a few trail runs in California in the coming weeks, and some adventures to wrangle (Editor’s note: What adventures?!  I want to wrangle…) before I really get serious about working full-time! :)

All Great Things


No, I didn’t crawl under the table for the sock shots.  I just casually held my phone down.  😉

How do you recoup after a long stretch of go-go-go?

What’s your favorite quickie meal when you’re too busy for a big-deal meal?


Strange But Good Hummus French Toast

It’s no secret that my favorite meal of the day is breakfast.


Wouldn’t you think this means I’m a morning person?

Lately I’ve been wondering why I don’t just eat breakfast all day long.  There’s no rule that says I can’t.  So I did… it was sooo good that I decided to have it as a savory breakfast.

You many recognize this pic I posted to Instragram yesterday morning and asked you to guess what it was.  It was hummus french toast topped with roasted cherry tomatoes, avocado, bacon sprinkles, and cilantro.   Meg was the closest to guessing correctly!

hummus french toast


It may look fancy, but this was the EASIEST thing to throw together.  All you need for the eggy dip is an egg white and hummus.  It’s not even that strange… think savory eggs… with bread!

I added some spices too, but you can do your own thing depending on the hummus you use.  Mine looks a little green because I used spinach hummus.  Fitting for #strangebutgood, no?

hummus french toast


On my brinner version I roasted broccoli slaw along with cherry tomatoes as a topping.  I also used some of my no-salt deli turkey for a little more protein.

The bread I used as the base is P28 high protein, but you can use whatever you like.  The P28 slices are HUGE, so if you use another bread you may need 2.

hummus french toast


 hummus french toast

Hummus French Toast

  • 1 T hummus
  • 1/4 C egg whites (or 1 large)
  • 1 small garlic clove (minced) or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 large or 2 small slices of bread (I used P28)
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, roasted broccoli slaw, cherry tomatoes, turkey


In a wide bowl, mix together hummus, egg whites, and garlic.

Over medium-low heat, heat pan coated with a thin layer of oil or PAM.

Place the bread into the bowl, letting it soak up egg mixture for a few seconds, then carefully turn to coat the other side.

Transfer bread slices to pan, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown.  Turn and brown the other side.

Serve hot, topping as desired.


Who else has enjoyed making co-workers, friend, or family stare with strange but good creations lately?

The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above.

In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends!  Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.


Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


Someone else guessed this was Mexican French Toast... that may be happening this weekend...

What is your favorite french toast recipe?

What is your go-to brinner (breakfast-dinner)?


Semi-Normal Eats + WIAW




It makes me happy.

After a week of boring, #stinkypee eats, lean white protein and asparagus are NOT What I Ate Wednesday. 


My post-competition trip to Whole Paycheck Foods was the stuff of dreams.  I had a list and nothing but time.

2 hours later I emerged from Whole Foods almost $200 poorer and without a single piece of meat in my cart.  I even skipped the bacon (the line at the meat counter was too long).

Of course I had to fuel up properly before making this epic grocery trip.  Toad in the Hole made with P28 High Protein Bread and a local farm egg.  Cooked in truffle oil and topped with sriracha.  Welcome back, #yolkporn. 


I’m so happy to get to post a semi-normal What I Ate Wednesday!  I say semi-normal because It has been a busy day and I didn’t get to be quite a funk with my foods… and I went to an election night gathering… so I had a bug ‘ol treat dinner.  Woot!

Also different is how my meals are labeled.  No “Meal 1, Meal 2,” etc. this week!  I ate a proper Breakfast-Lunch-Snack-Dinner.  I’ll have another meal plan soon, but these are my days “off” before we start training again.  I hate to admit it… but I kind of missed eating more meals!

Check out my semi-good habit eats below, and then click here to head over to Jenn Peas and Crayons to get to see how everyone else ate on Election Day.



Somethings will never change.  I started out with my morning cocktail (mix of Apple Cider Vinegar, Glutamine, and Fitmixer Aminos).

This was followed by my TVP “Oatmeal” done up apple pie-style.  I add apple pie spice and mixed in fresh apple at the end.  Topped with a peanut butter drizzle and cinnamon.



I brought my leftover’s from last night’s dinner to work.  Roasted brussels, cauliflouwer, and baby bellas.  I tossed then in salty fish sauce, red peppe flakes, and coconut oil pre-roasting.


The noodles are kelp noodles.  I heated them in hot water to soften and toss in a pad thai-ish sauce.  I’m enjoying my freedom from measurement, but here are the ingredients for the sauce:

  • Peanut flour
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Grated ginger
  • Lime juice
  • Cayenne
  • 1 drop lemon Stevia


Still trying to get my protein in (and because I wanted them), I had a bag of Veggie Pizza Protein Puffs from Kay’s Naturals.  I ordered online; click here to find them and get 20% off your order. 



Pumpkin hummus, cauliflower, and edamame.

Eating carbs mid afternoon still feels so scandalous!


I spent the evening with my friends Todd and Jeff watching the election results like some people watch football games.  If people watch football with Malbec and cookbooks…


Election Day = pizza night!  Mellow Mushroom pizza (side note: I worked there in college for a hot minute) with meatballs, red peppers, and feta cheese with a side salad.  

Look at this plate and that glass of wine above.  Then multiply it by 2.  It was a 2x dinner.  



A celebration bowl of pumpkin ice cream (real ice cream – full fat and yummy) topped with a crumbled cinnamon muffin and chocolate syrup.


The protein count for the day: KIDDING!!!  I have NO idea.  Freedom from numbers.

What’s the most you’ve ever spent on groceries?

Did you do any election night partying?


My Last Supper

I can be so predictable.


If only my life could be predictable…

Allie was in town this weekend for a training session with my trainer… excuse me… OUR trainer. :)

She came in Friday night and since we are on the same nutrition plan (minus the sodium restriction for her) so I volunteered to make dinner.  Obviously, I made cauliflower crust pizza.



We had a little pizza-topping party.  Allie’s (in the back) had a veggie burger and asparagus.  Mine (in the front) had tomato sauce, sauteed kale and red pepper, butternut squash, and chicken.


And then we went to Whole paycheck Foods where we bought pumpkin hummus.  I also got a kombucha on tap.  Typical bloggers.


When we got back home I made PB & Ceggs (Peanut Butter & Carrot Eggs – the vegan tofu version).  I won’t bore you with yet another pic of those.

The next day we woke up and I had what will probably be my last runny egg before my competition before we headed to the gym for a leg session and posing practice.  Obviously, we were armed with a cooler of smoothies, proteins, and veggies.



This was the most predictable 24 hours 2 bloggers could have.  And it was a BLAST.


The unpredictable was just as fun.  We trekked up the highway to my hair stylist, Karen at Lava Hair Studio (I drive an hour to see her – that’s dedication).  Allie got a trim too – how cute are those blunt edges?!  Karen decided brown with red undertones were the way to go for the show – I have NO vision; I always ask her to do whatever she think would be cool.  I think she made the perfect color choice!



Annnnnd… then we had my last supper.  Last cheat supper, that is.  Allie and I met new guest blogger Kat at STG Trattoria,

We started with a bruschetta of butternut squash, ricotta, and arugula.  It was supposed to have cashews but they didn’t make it on our plate.  It was good… but the added crunch and richness of cashews would have made it better.

For our main, Allie and I split a pizza.  Yes, more pizza.  This was an Italian-style crust and was topped with ricotta salatta, sweet onion, mint, and lamb sausage (Allie ordered her half sans lamb).  The lamb sausage was was flavorful without being over-powering or greasy.  I loved the char on the crust; however, the middle was a big soggy.  It was a solid effort.  You better believe there wasn’t a crumb left!



Of course, I couldn’t pass up one last dessert.  Our chocolate mousse was topped with whipped ricotta, macerated strawberries, sea salt, and olive oil.  This may have been my favorite part of the meal – the mousse was dark, letting the strawberries provide much of the sweetness.  The olive oil and sea salt on top was absolutely perfection.  I love a dessert that is rich without being painfully sweet.


Workout Recap

I’m starting to freak out a little.  Watching other people prep, I never understood why they were so obsessive and worrying over every little detail… and then I woke up Sunday morning feeling guilty about the last cheat meal and began reading every body building forum I could find.  My abs are not wonderful.  They have always been my most-hated body part.  I blame genetics and a really short torso.

After talking myself off the ledge, I went to the gym and had a great workout.  Apparently 100 daily (assisted) pull-ups develop the muscle under your arms as well as your back.  Excuse the bewildered look.  It was a tough arm day.



Workout Recap (10/15 – 10/19):

  • Monday – Shoulders/Glutes, 1 mile incline walk 100 pull ups
  • Tuesday – Chest/Bis, 100 pull ups, Calf raises, 1.25 mile incline walk
  • Wednesday – Shoulders/Glutes, 1 mile walk 100 pull ups
  • Thursday – REST, 100 push ups
  • Friday – Back/Tris, (180 pull-ups were part of the workout), Calf raises
  • Saturday – Legs (with trainer)
  • Sunday – Chest/Bis, 100 pull ups, Calf raises


OMGOMGOMG… less than 2 weeks!!! I bought my bling this weekend too. :)

Are you loyal to a hair stylist?

What would your last cheat meal be?