Tag Archives: lowfat food

White Bean, Spinach and Basil Hummus

Original Post: 4/29/13

I recently saw a recipe for White Bean and Roasted Garlic Hummus from The Big Giant Food Basket on Foodie Friends Friday (see button for party on the lower right of this page). I have been intrigued with the idea of using something other than chick peas for hummus and this recipe inspired me.

If you like hummus and you haven’t made it yourself, I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s another fun food to experiment with. Think of all the ways it’s offered in the store. You can do that yourself in minutes at home!

White Bean, Spinach and Basil Hummus
29 oz can of white beans like cannellini
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
fresh basil (a handful should do)
2 handfuls of fresh spinach with the stems removed

1. Put everything but the water in the food processor and process until it’s all combined. It will be thick.
2. Start slowly adding water until it gets to the consistency of Greek yogurt. You will not need more than 1/4 cup.

Serve with fresh veggies, crackers or as a spread on a yummy fresh veggie sandwich. We devoured ours with Triscuits. Have you tried Triscuits lately? They have lots of flavors!

Here are some other ideas for making Hummus:

  • Spinach and Feta
  • Garlic
  • Spicy with your choice of hot pepper
  • Red Pepper – stir in the peppers after you have everything else processed
  • Sun Dried Tomato – stir those in, too
This is a great summer picnic food since it has no dairy in it so you don’t have to worry so much about spoilage. Of course, if you add cheese, that’s a game changer.
Let me know how you make your hummus! Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken & Spinach Salad

gcssIt was a hot one today. A lovely salad is in order for dinner. Well, for me it is. No recipe here. Just an idea for a different take on Spinach Salad I thought you might enjoy.

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad
Baby spinach leaves
Chopped celery
Chopped green onions
Chopped grilled chicken

Choose the quantities appropriate for whoever is eating and throw it all together. I had about two cups of spinach for my salad and about four ounces of chicken. I topped my salad with a Raspberry Vinaigrette. I also threw a hard boiled egg in. If there had been some pecans in my house, I probably would have added those too.


Strawberry Orange Smoothie

sosIt’s nice to see strawberries back in the store. It’s a pleasant reminder that spring can’t be too far away. I normally wouldn’t buy them this early, but I needed them for a birthday cake. Then I decided they would make a great addition to a smoothie.

Strawberry Orange Smoothie
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup non fat yogurt
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
1 cup strawberries, cut up as needed for your blender
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein

1. Put the ingredients in the blender in the order listed.
2. Start blending on low and gradually increase to high.
3. Serve!

If you find that your smoothies are getting very frothy, it helps to leave them on a lower setting for a little longer, especially if you are adding greens.

No veggies hidden in this smoothie. I decided to give the kids a break. They appreciated it. One of them said this tasted like it had cream in it. No cream! In fact, hardly any fat at all, but chock full of calcium, some protein and Vitamin C, which were very helpful as we tackled clearing even more snow. If you want to add veggies, I would suggest some shredded zucchini.



Banana Smoothie Pops

Do you find your bananas getting ripe way too fast in the summer? We do. And really, how much banana bread can a woman be forced to make? Since I have successfully gotten my kids on the smoothie train, I decided to try my hand at freezing some banana smoothies in the cute little mold I got at some store at some point in the last few weeks.

If I had to review the mold, I’d give it a C-. It was pretty difficult to get the smoothie pop out of the mold. It could be that it was made specifically for freezing clear liquids and not smoothies. I set the mold in warm water for about 10 seconds. Then I pulled the handle and it came out. Empty. I ended up running a knife around the edge of the mold and working the pop out with the knife and then putting it back on the handle. I won’t fail the mold completely because it has a kind of drip tray thing with a spout that would be useful for serving juice pops to small kids.

Banana Smoothie Pops (6)
2 very ripe bananas
2/3 cup yogurt of choice. I used plain, non-fat yogurt
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Blend everything together until smooth.
2. Pour in mold and freeze for two or more hours.
3. Carefully remove from mold and serve

My test subject is not a huge banana fan and he had just eaten quite a large plate of Tofu with Roasted Cauliflower. He ate about a quarter of the pop, said it was good but he was full and put it back in the freezer.

I’m looking forward to trying out other pops in the mold.


Shrimp Spring Rolls

Summer is so hard for me! My kids are always hungry and I never seem to be able to make anything fast enough for them to eat. So, they roam around grumbling about how there’s nothing to eat or they dig into crackers, toast peanut butter, chips, anything fast. Then I get dinner ready and they aren’t hungry anymore. Then we end up eating very late and this whole sick summer cycle goes on and on and on…

I had to get my thinking cap on to try to come up with some easy things I can make FAST! I remembered that last year, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Washington made some really good spring rolls. I had never made them before I saw their recipe but they hit on all cylinders. Fast, healthy and hearty. Bingo!

Shrimp Spring Rolls (2)
2 Spring roll wrappers
10 medium shrimp, cooked, deveined and cooled
1/3 cup diced jicama
1/3 cup diced granny smith apples

1. Prepare the spring roll wrappers according to the package details.
2. Lay the prepared wrapper on a plate.
3. Lay 5 shrimp in the middle of the wrapper
4. Mix the apple and jicama and lay about half of it on top of the shrimp
5. Carefully fold the wrapper. Start at the top and fold down to cover the shrimp. Then fold in the sides and then very gently roll it down. If this doesn’t make sense, there are usually instructions on the packaging or you can look on YouTube.
6. Serve with the fold side down.

I enjoyed these without any dipping sauce. I liked the contrast of the apple and the jicama with the slight tartness of the apple being set off by the jicama. And both are nice and crunchy.

If you like the idea of spring rolls but aren’t interested in these ingredients, choose your own veggies and protein. Grab some broccoli slaw or julienne carrots. Slice up some avocado. Add chicken or fish. My plan for the week is to cook up a bunch of chicken and find some more easy recipes that I can quickly throw together in a flash for my two busy and hungry boys.

If you have ideas, please link to them in the comments!