Archive for June 11th, 2011

June 11, 2011

these are a few of my favorite things

Guest Post by Kinley Weaver, Sister

And no, I promise I won’t break out into song and start singing songs from the Sound of Music (hear raindrops on roses and wiskers on kittens…), but I am pretty sure my mom has a nice Beta tape with me singing that in church when I was about 4, so seek her out if you really want to hear it :D.

But anyways, as you read this, Kels and I will be partaking in one of my favorite things, refueling after a long run!  But I am here today to offer a guest post on another of my favorite items in the world… hummus!

I have no recollection of when my love for hummus started, but I think it is safe to say we have been tight for the last 10+ years ;).  If any resturant we go to has hummus, it’s a pretty safe bet that I WILL be ordering that hummus as either an appetizer or just not even pretending and scarfing it down for my main meal.  But despite my love for homemade hummus/restaurant made hummus, I have never really found a packaged store-bought hummus that satisfies my criteria for good hummus!  Maybe it has something to do with the overprocessessyness of it and how long it sits on the shelves??  Who knows, but since I currently cannot live without hummus at least once per week, I have had to create a recipe of my own that I can whip up and chow down on, so here it is!

Don’t worry, I don’t eat THAT much hummus in a week, I used this to make enough (and then some) hummus for the Sissy’s grad party a few weeks back.

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz can organic garbanzo beans (read the label and make sure they are not putting anything weird in the can as you are going to need the gravy), peeled or 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (from dried), peeled
  • 1/4 cup reserved liquid from the garbanzo bean can or if using homemade, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon or 1-2T lemon juice
  • 1/4-3/4 tsp cumin (the more cumin, the more bite this will have. I like it somewhere in the heavy 1/2 tsp range)
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder (can go for more or less, you can also use fresh garlic but I really HATE the smell and taste of raw garlic so I much prefer the powder)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Additional salt to taste

Plus, if you are feeling fancy, any mix in ideas you want to try i.e. olives, carmelized onions, sun dried tomatos, pesto, other spices/herbs, etc (I am currently a big fan of adding 1/2 Tbsp honey and 1/2 tsp curry powder – skip the cumin in this one)

Now on to the annoying part,

Step 1: Peeling the banzos!

This may seem super tedious and rather annoying and if you are not as commited to hummus as I am, an optional step that CAN be skipped, but I am not going to do that because the end result is sooooo much better when you do this!  Drain and rinse your beans and set yourself up with the empty can and a bowl.  Take each bean and remove the little outer skin that surrounds the meat by gently pinching/rolling the bean between your fingers.  You will probably even see a few loose “skins” in your bowl if you have rinsed your beans thoroughly.  Place your “skins” in the empty can and your “meat” in the bowl.  Once this very annoying but very crucial (to me) step is completed, you are on to…

Step 2: Make the hummus base!  Add the peeled beans, reserved liquid, lemon juice, cumin and garlic powder to your food processessor.  Blend for a good minute, scrapping the sides down 2-3 times. You will know you are ready for step 3 when you no longer see any chunks in your hummus.

Step 3: Emulsify!  I suppose if you were really not into having a little healthy fat in your diet, you could stop right here and eat away, but I really love the extra creamyness and flavor adding a little oil brings.  (Plus, I prefer to skip the tahini in my base recipe to reduce the extra fat as I find it does not add enough flavor/texture for me to shell out $6+ for a container of it! – so this recipe is already a bit healthier than most).  Be ready to turn your processor on and leave it on for this step.  I normally measure out my oil in a little dish and have it ready to pour.  Then, turn on the machine and slowly drizzle your oil down the feed chute of your food processor until you can tell the hummus has emulsified and has creamed and whipped up.  I normally let this go about another minute or so.  If will be visibly fluffy if you have done this correctly :D.

Step 4: Try really hard not to eat this all in one sitting, your family members will thank you!  Also, note to self, keep mints in your drawer at work so all your co-workers are not forced to smell your stanky garlic breath EVERY day at work!

As for dippers, my current favorites are tortilla chips, carrots, green peppers, spoons, broccoli and cucumbers. I also am quite found of hummus sandwiches, especially hummus, broccoli and tempeh sandwiches.  (Please don’t judge until you try!  But I am currently experimenting with a wheat free diet for awhile so this will have to be cleared off the menu plan for the time being :( ).  Hummus also makes a delicious salad dressing or topper for pretty much any meal!  So I hope now you don’t think me completely insane for ranting on and on about a bean dip, but once you try this, you probably will want to as well!

And did I forget to mention that my post-race refueling is hopefully including PUMPKIN HUMMUS??? Excited!!!

June 11, 2011

running tools

I’ve had this post put together for a little while right now… and since I am running in the Bellin Run 10K today, I figured I would share what helps me during my runs!

Now, I would still consider myself a new runner and am still trying to figure out how to best arm myself with the running tools and tricks I need to get through both short as well as long runs.  Whether you’re new to running in general, or if you’re just getting back into it after a running hiatus, I have compiled a few tools that I use to help me in my runs which I find useful.

Nike+

This is definitely the most valuable tool I have.  I have actually had Nike+ for a few years, having used it for walking in the past.  You connect the one sensor part to the bottom of your iPod Nano (the iPod Touch and iPhone have a build-in sensor), and then put the other sensor on your shoe.  If you get Nike+ enabled shoes, there is a handy little spot in the bottom of the shoe where this can be placed and you’ll forget that it’s even there.  The data can then be uploaded to the Nike website so you can see your splits, compare runs and see how many miles you ran each month.  You can even make goals for yourself, whether it be increasing your time or just the amount of runs you do each week.  It’s kind of ridiculous to look at how many miles I have covered over the past few years!

Proper Running Shoes

Getting fitted for shoes was helpful for me in the beginning.  I went to a running shop in Milwaukee that offered free assessments with running to see what shoes would help my stride and posture while running.  At the beginning of the assessment, the person said I had pretty good stability in my feet, but after trying on a few different pairs of shoes I ended up getting ones that were quite supported to stop one of my feet from turning in during my stride.  I ended up with these Brooks shoes.  I am currently reading Born to Run, which features barefoot, or less assisted running which I might look to for future shoes I buy to strengthen and stabilize my feet naturally.

Nathan Sensor Holder

I used to use Nike+ enabled shoes for running so the sensor thing was no problem, but when I got my new Brooks running shoes I had to get a sensor holder.  I ended up with this one by Nathan that the running store I went to had.  It was only like $10 and hooks to the laces of any pair of shoes so you can use Nike+ with the shoes of your choice.  It is also reflexive so helps with nighttime (or early morning) runs!

Decent Running Clothes 

This is one area that I am still lacking in.  I bought a few pairs of nicer shorts and compression shorts and capris to wear, however I still need some better shirts!  I am a big fan of UnderArmour.  I think their quality is really nice without having too high of a price tag.  It really does make you feel more motivated to run when you have some nice stuff to go out in!

I will be sporting all of the aforementioned “tools” to help me today.  Here goes nothing!

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