Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is amazing.  You can always find a fresh batch of hummus in our refrigerator.  A patch this size used to last about 1 1/2 – 2 weeks.  However, now that Max enjoys eating it too I find myself making it almost every week.  I typically use raw garbanzo beans (soaking them overnight speeds up the cook time for the following day). However in a pinch, canned beans are fine.  Try to be sure the can says BPA Free. The less chemicals in your body, the better.

This hummus is so creamy and flavorful. I believe once you see how delicious and easy it is to make, this hummus will become a staple in your home too.

The Ingredients:

4 cups garbanzo beans (3 cans)
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
2 garlic cloves or MORE!
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper

The Variations:

1 cup or MORE roasted red peppers
1 cup or MORE artichoke hearts
1 cup or MORE kalamata olives

In a food processor, combine beans, tahini, water, olive oil and lemon juice.  Blend until smooth.  I mean really smooth.  Smooth and creamy. Pausing to scrape the sides 1-2 times.

Add the garlic, salt, cumin and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Add roasted red peppers or any other variation you would like. Blend again.  Note – the plain version is fantastic too.

Refrigerate in air-tight container.  This hummus can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 – 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

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Our Baby Bean Has Arrived!

babybean

 

Our baby bean has arrived.  Miles was born on January 5th at 4:42pm.  He weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and 22 inches long.  We had a pretty smooth labor and delivery.  My OB cleared me of my Gestational Diabetes right after his birth.  Miles, on the other hand needed to be monitored for his first 24 hours due to low blood sugar.  By the second day his levels regulated and we were discharged .  Once we were home we ran into a few issues; Miles experienced weight loss due to my low milk supply.  He also had a shallow latch which was extremely painful.  After what felt like an eternity of sticking it out and my stubbornness to not give up we made it and he is now nursing beautifully (and pain-free). phew!

As most of you know, after being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes I had to change my diet significantly.  I was no longer vegan or dairy-free.  As hard as that transition was I promised myself (if it felt right) I would go back to eating a plant-based diet once I was truly free of GD.  I received the official clear from my endocrinologist just around Miles’ 2 month birthday–just a few weeks ago.  I am thrilled to say I am back to eating my plant-based diet and am feeling great.  I can honestly say, even though I couldn’t control my insulin levels with food while pregnant and had to give myself 4 insulin shots and prick my finger 6 times a day it was worth it.  This little man was a gift and I am so thankful.

I have been feeling really grateful these past couple months.  There is a great sense of bliss in my life.  A lot more than usual.  I look at my family and just smile.  These three boys in my life complete me, and I am so excited to see what the universe has in store them.  I look forward to cherishing every milestone they experience and just letting them be little.  Being present and soaking up all those sweet moments is what being a parent is all about.

I am very anxious to share more recipes with you all and have a few new ones coming your way.

Until then.

babybean2

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Top 3 of 2014

This has been one incredible year!  I started The Blissful Bean just 11 months ago and I feel grateful and blessed to have so much love and support from all of you.  I love cooking amazing, healthy foods and posting new recipes each week.  I have come to learn that blogging, cooking and photographing my creations is a true passion of mine.  I have met a lot of wonderful people both readers and fellow bloggers and I am thrilled to have developed many great friendships. It has been an exciting and very rewarding year.  I am looking forward to many years to come.

As this year comes to a close, I would like to share with you My Top 3 of 2014 recipes.

Not a tuna melt

Not A Tuna Melt

Coconut Panckakes w Strawberries

Gluten-Free Coconut Pancakes with Strawberries

SpringRoll

Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

What will 2015 bring?  I will be making a temporary change to The Blissful Bean.  First a little back story…  Although this past year has been wonderful, I have recently had some unforeseen health issues.  I will not go into detail but as a result I have been advised to incorporate eggs back into my diet (temporarily).  This was a very hard for me to hear.  I have been vegan for almost 2 years and this decision was not easy.  As most of you know I am very particular about what goes in my body and although adding eggs back into my diet is not what I planned, it is something my body needs right now. In order to be honest with myself and accept this change I have to be honest with all of you.  The Blissful Bean recipes will continue to be mostly vegan however there may be on occasion, some recipes containing eggs.  I will be sure to clearly note that a recipe is vegetarian vs. vegan.
I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Years!
Much Love,
The Blissful Bean
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Dairy-Free Lasagna

Dairy-free lasagna

This Dairy-Free Lasagna is so delicious you will not even realize you are eating a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan dish.  I truly think that is the ultimate goal when making an alternative to a classic recipe.  You want your guests or whomever is eating with you to not even know the difference.  I learn this from my mom.  When my sister and I were diagnosed with Celiac Disease (13+ years ago), my mom worked really hard at changing all her gluten-filled recipes to gluten-free.  If my dad and brother could tell the difference between the two she would keep working at it.  My mom is a great cook to begin with and I thought it was always fun to see the reaction of our dinner guests when my mom would reveal that the meal they just ate was gluten-free.  Their expressions and comments were always utter amazement.  They would say thinks like, “You are kidding.” or “Are you serious?  It did not taste like it.” or “That was delicious!”  I was so proud of my mom in these moments.  For one, she nailed it and that is always so cool to see and  second, it showed all our loved ones that what my sister and I now had to eat for the rest of our lives did not suck.

Changing a recipe to gluten-free and perfecting it is something that comes pretty easily to me.  My newest challenge is changing and mastering dairy-free and vegan.  Practice makes perfect right?  Converting recipes to dairy-free and vegan is certainly getting easier and I feel I owe a lot of that know how to my mom and Nanny (grandma) for showing me the ropes.  Thanks ladies!

I think you will be pleasantly surprised of how good this lasagna tastes.

The Ingredients:

1 lb gluten-free Tinkyada lasagna noodles
4 c homemade tomato sauce
2 c dairy-free ricotta “cheese”
1 c Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese
1/4 c Vegan Parmesan

Cook pasta according to package.

Pre-heat oven for 350 degrees.

In a large baking dish, coat the bottom with a thin layer of tomato sauce.  Place one layer of noodles on top of sauce (as many will fit).  Next place ricotta cheese, mozzarella then sauce.  Repeat until pasta is all used.

Dairy-free lasagna

For the last layer of pasta, place sauce, mozzarella cheese then sprinkle parmesan.

Dairy-free lasagna

Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes or until lasagna starts to bubble.

Dairy-free lasagna

Garnish with parmesan.

Enjoy!

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Meet My Sous Chef

Blowing Kisses

Meet My Sous Chef, Max!  When this little guy was 2 months old (about a year ago) I decided to change my lifestyle and began eating a plant-based diet.  I would have never thought after so many years of struggling with my weight, this amazing boy would be my greatest inspiration.  He is the reason I want to be a better me, a healthier me, and live the longest life this universe will allow.

So, this is Max.  He is mostly a plant-based baby.  I have been making his food since he started eating solids.  Veggies and fruits only.  When it came time to test out dairy and eggs, they did not agree with his tummy or skin.  So they were out. Then when he was old enough to try meats, we offered him chicken, turkey and beef.  He is such a good eater that he tried everything we gave him.  Though he would inevitability spit it out and eat his vegetables instead.  This kid LOVES  his fruits and vegetables!  He will pretty much eat anything that is green.

Sweet Potato Art

Sweet Potato Art

Raw Brussel Sprouts

Raw Brussel Sprouts

Max with Hummus

Homemade Artichoke Hummus straight out of the Vitamix

Green Smoothie

Each morning his breakfast consists of diced fruit, 1 slice of gluten-free, vegan toast with either mashed up banana or cream “cheese” followed by a Green Smoothie.  This kid loves green smoothies so much that if for some reason I am running behind in making it, he will let me know he is ready for his smoothie by pointing and waving at the Vitamix with excitement.  Hah! I have created a green smoothie monster.

So, this is my little man.  I hope you enjoyed meeting him.

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Chew Your Drink, Drink Your Food

Chew Your Drink

Chew Your Drink, Drink Your Food.  Wait, what?  What does that even mean?  Well, if you have never heard this before, you should read on.  This past Friday I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. Ouch!  Since then I have pretty much been living on a puree diet.  I have been eating, Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, Split Pea Soup, Green Smoothies, Hummus and Almond Ice Cream.  Yum, right?!  Yes, very yummy.  However, as I ate my purees I would find myself reciting this saying in my head.

“Chew Your Drink, Drink Your Food,” is such a funny thing to say nevermind actually do.  With the amount of pain I was in and the sheer terror that I may cause more damage to my mouth by eating, I was very careful when I chewed and drank anything.  As crappy as it is to have this surgery and be in such pain, it was a nice reminder to slow down when eating.

It is so easy to guzzle down a meal when it is pureed in some fashion.  How many of you have chugged a smoothie, milk shake, soup or even yogurt?  I mean, you do not even have to chew it, right?!  Though after doing so, how many of you have found yourself feeling bloated, uncomfortable or have that feeling like you have a rock sitting in your stomach?  Well, if you stop to think how your digestive system actually works you will begin to see why it is so important to Chew Your Drink and Drink Your Food.

Let me explain further…

Chew your drink!

When we drink foods such as smoothies or soups without chewing them, they enter our digestive system way too fast.  Your body is not aware you are drinking actual food so digesting process has not started.   Saliva is the very first act of digestion.  Just the act of chewing starts that process.  The whole point in chewing your drink is to get your saliva going and start digestion.  Try it now.  Without anything in your mouth.  Start chewing.  You will notice you will start salivating.  When we drink something quickly, we do not give our digestive system a chance to get started which can lead to that uncomfortable bloated feeling.  The easiest way we can help our system out is by chewing our drinks and giving our digestive system a heads up that food is on its way.  Trust me.  Your gut will thank you.

Drink your food!

Similar concept here, but when we eat quickly and mindlessly we do not chew our food properly.  We swallow bigger chunks of food causing our digestive system to work much harder than it should. I’m sure you have heard at some point in your life that it is so important to chew your food well or even count your bites.  Well there is a lot benefit to chewing your food this way.  With each bite we take, our food should be chewed so well it turns into a liquid.  This is not only easier on your digestive system but, it also helps you to be more present at your meal and not over eat.

So…Chew Your Drink, Drink Your Food.

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