Happy Monday Fit Friends! Welcome back to the blog. Today, I'm going to be talking about #MeatlessMondays! As you may already know, I am not a vegetarian. However, due to religious reasons, I eat vegetarian/vegan for a substantial part of the year (every Wednesday & Friday, periods of time leading up to holidays, etc). Nevertheless, my family and I have spent years experimenting with creative and unique meatless dishes! I think that #MeatlessMondays are not only a great way to improve your health, but they can also help save you money and benefit the environment.
Stef Health TipsTM Homemade Hummus
18 ounces of chickpeas drained (save the juice)
1 tbsp chickpea juice (this is the secret to the flavor!)
1 tbsp cold water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
Fresh cut vegetables for dipping
1) Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor. Blend ingredients until they have a smooth consistency. Then, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend until combined.
2) Spoon hummus into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with fresh cut vegetables.
Stef Health TipsTM Mediterranean Orzo Salad
8 ounces whole wheat orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup crumbled feta
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1) Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
2) Stir in olive oil, vinegar, red onion, red pepper, tomatoes, feta, and basil. Toss to combine.
3) Season with salt and pepper.
Stef Health TipsTM Whole Wheat Banana Bread
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed natural brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces greek yogurt
3 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1) Preheat the oven to 325F and lightly coat a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick olive oil cooking spray.
2) Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium size bowl.
3) In a large bowl, beat the applesauce, honey, and brown sugar for two minutes. Add the yogurt and lightly beat until just combined. Carefully mix the mashed bananas and vanilla.
4) Gradually beat in the flour mixture in three separations.
5) Dilute the baking soda in 1/4 cup of hot water. Proceed to beat the baking soda mixture into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.
6) Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 325F for 50-55 minutes.
7) Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!