Saturday, August 1, 2020

How to Make Scrumptious Hummus, a Recipe Roundup

Hummus is a scrumptious vegan food that is simple to make from cooked chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and seasonings. 

Hummus is versatile, and much more than just a snack food. It's loaded with plant-based protein. Hummus also contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin K, zinc, iron, magnesium, and vitamin C. To top it all off, hummus is a high fiber food that helps reduce and prevent inflammation.

Hummus tastes delicious smeared on veggies or bread, as a dip on a crudités platter, stuffed in a wrap, English muffin, bagel, pita pocket, or as a sandwich filling. Hummus looks and tastes fabulous atop luscious salad greens as well.

Hummus has its origins in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. Today this tasty dish is enjoyed by millions of people around the globe. 

I LOVE hummus, and I'm always on the lookout for interesting variations on this main theme. That's why I'm posting this.

 How to Make Scrumptious Hummus,
 A Recipe Roundup

It features flavorful hummus recipes and reveals the secret to making hummus both creamy and savory. 

Each recipe in this roundup is unique. Try them all and learn new ways to tempt your palate, satisfy hunger, and make meal time prep so much fun. 

Here's the first one...

Creamy, Savory Hummus
Recipe from Yours Truly (Nancy Andres)


30 oz. or approx. 4 cups cooked homemade chickpeas, or 2-15 oz. canned chickpeas drained and rinsed (chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1 or 2-1 inch chunks of fresh peeled ginger
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon tahini, a condiment made from toasted hulled  ground sesame seeds. Julie at the Simple Veganista has a one ingredient recipe to make tahini. If you prefer, buy it in most markets or online.
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Optional herbs and spices: I often add fresh chopped basil (2 teaspoons) from the garden, a pinch of fresh ground black pepper, and a pinch of ground turmeric. Select those you enjoy.

For more, check out savory spice blend. Recipe from Dr. Michael Greger and Robin Robertson from The How Not to Die Cookbook.

What to do:

The traditional and most economical way to make hummus is to use dried chickpeas. Soak the chickpeas the night before you want to make this recipe. Here are tips from the bean institute to speed up soak and cooking time. 

Cook chickpeas in an instant pot, slow cooker, or Dutch oven on the stove top or in the oven. To save even more time, use the extra-quick method of opening cans of chickpeas.

The secret to making hummus creamy is this. After using any cooking method you like or opening cans of chickpeas, place chickpeas in a medium saucepan and add the baking soda. Cover chickpeas with several inches of water, and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. 

If necessary, reduce heat to medium to prevent overflow. Continue cooking for approx. 15-20 minutes. 

You’ll know the chickpeas are ready, when they look bloated, skins fall off, and they are quite soft. Drain thoroughly and place aside.

Prep ginger, garlic, and fresh herbs, while the chickpeas are cooking. Then place a 1 inch knob of fresh peeled ginger (add more ginger to heighten flavor) and any fresh herbs you select, to the chopping bowl of your food processor. Chop them until fine. 

Then add chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, oregano, and any optional dried herbs or spices you've selected. Process until the chickpeas and other ingredients are very creamy. 

If the mixture is dry, add one drop of water at a time until creamy. 

Serve creamy savory hummus the day you make it, and store leftovers in a refrigerated airtight container. Use it all within 5-7 days.


Here's my favorite hummus tip: Make hummus dishes delicious, and eye-appealing with spices, herbs, and colorful extras including avocado slices. cilantro and lime, sprinkling of toasted pumpkin or other seeds, or shredded zucchini, cabbage, carrots, beets, or tomatoes.

Everyone eats with their eyes as well as their appetite, so make foods look luscious with colors.

To improve health, eat meals that provide a wide variety of colorful plant-based foods. 

Hummus is a fine topping for baked sweet or russet potatoes. Use it in a Greek salad with grape leaves and tofu feta, or combine hummus with brown rice, veggies, and fold into a corn tortilla. 

We especially enjoy eating hummus sandwiches on toasted whole grain bread with sliced red onion, fresh tomatoes, basil, and shredded red cabbage (pictured in the blue framed photo above).

There's no added oil in my recipe, so it doesn't add any unnecessary calories and works well in a vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, whole food, or conventional meal planning repertoire

Just be careful. You may find hummus irresistible

Now on to my blogger guests in this scrumptious hummus recipe roundup...

JD over at In the Kitch offers a hummus dip recipe that mixes hemp seeds, figs, olive oil, and greens with chickpeas.

 Hummus bowl with fresh figs, greens, nuts, hemp seeds and olive oil on a wooden background. Napkin with a fabric flower and small spatula on the side.
Photo from JD at In the Kitch. What a yummy combination of ingredients.

Here's another...

This instant pot hummus recipe is an original from Corrie Cooks, instant pot lover and food blogger.

Corrie's presents his hummus recipe in a crockery bowl with fresh parsley, paprika, and extra-virgin olive oil to create an inviting look. 

My next guest is

Elena from Happy Kitchen.Rocks whose recipe for Roasted Beet Hummus with Pita Chips sure is colorful as well as healthy, and tasty. 

Roasted Beet Hummus in a Bowl with Pita Chips

Kristi Wheeler, the sustainability blogger at is next. She shows us how to use colorful herbs, spices, seeds, veggies and other toppings to make hummus look glamorous. Check out tips at Garnishing Hummus.  

Our last but not least guest blogger is Robin over at the Vegan Dollhouse. Her Vegan Hummus Recipe incorporates red cabbage sauerkraut and dill to heighten flavor and health. Yum, yum.

a plate of sauerkraut hummus with carrots and pretzels

Now that you've seen this array of hummus recipes, I hope it has whet your appetite. 

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Tucson Fun-Street Art for Wordless Wednesday

Feast your eyes on Tucson Street Art for Wordless Wednesday!

Metal Sculpture Along the Rillito River Park Trail

After months of lock down, it's refreshing to recall the fun I had as I saw these sights.

Cute display in a front garden.

Gate at the Tucson Botanical Garden

Kindness Tree on side of a building

The next three photo were taken this month as I walked in my neighborhood. I'm grateful to the artists and the City of Tucson for improving the character of the street with colorful sculptures.

Have you been outdoors exercising or strolling since the pandemic began?

Which outdoor art installations do you like and why?

Are there any sculptures (see below), mosaics, or murals you enjoy seeing near where you live?

Sculpture Marroney Theatre UA Campus

I believe street art is a colorful life enhancement project for any neighborhood to embark on. Do you agree? 

Please comment below and share on social media (with link back to this post).

I read every comment, and appreciate you taking a moment to reply.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Amazing Affirmations and Tips for Self-validation

Research reported in Clinical Psychological Science indicates that taking time to think kind thoughts about ourselves, has psychological and physical benefits.

Being loving and gentle with ourselves helps us see ourselves more honestly. We aren't afraid to recognize our shortcomings and admit to our assets. Self-love encourages us to be flexible, and gives us confidence and freedom to change aspects of our makeup that no longer serve us well. 

Are you considerate, tender, and supportive  of yourself all the time?

At various moments during the last couple of weeks, I have gotten in my own way. I felt emotionally drained and unhappy. 

I know I'm not alone in feeling off-kilter. It appears that most of my friends, family, business contacts, and acquaintances are finding it hard to find peace and feel centered in the midst of this Pandemic. There is so much uncertainty. 

To add to my anxiety, we in Tucson are affected by the Bighorn Fire, a 120,000 acre fire that is filling the air with smoke and is only 54% contained as it burns in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Yet, I haven't been stuck in despair.

One of the most amazing methods I continue to use to  center myself is to recite and repeat affirmations aloud daily. I write out new ones or use ones that are tried and true. 

I've discovered from personal experience and research, conducted as a health and lifestyle writer, that affirmations have healing power. 

When we express these positive statements aloud each day, it puts a positive spin on things, elevates  mood, and comforts us. Science backs this up.

This post presents amazing affirmations and additional tips to self-validate and empower ourselves. 

Why is that important?

Self-validation means to accept our internal experience as it is, and acknowledge we have a right to think and feel as we do in each moment. 

When we honor and cherish ourselves, even the fear of identifying and owning difficult emotions and working through them, can be overcome. 

We also need to get in touch with how often and to whom we go to for validation. This knowledge helps us understand our motives better. Do we rely on others more than we count on ourselves for approval and to make us feel worthy?

This post shows us ways to surrender thoughts, ideas, and expectations that other people, places, and institutions can see and acknowledge our true value. 

Additional ideas and tips will help us accept full responsibility for validating ourselves.

Devote attention and look inward to identify and feel anger, sadness, grief, anxiety, self-consciousness and doubt. Be honest with ourselves, and admit we're having a difficult time. 

When we don't stuff, minimize, or label our feeling as bad, eventually they pass. That clear space we've created helps us get along better with ourselves and others. 

Another technique that helps center us, is to take steps to improve the quality of our self-talk. 

The words we use when we refer to our thoughts, feelings, and actions or inaction, helps us notice a lack of motivation, depression, boredom, progress, strengths, self-judgment, and successes. 

We humans are social animals, and a basic need is to seek and want companionship from others. However, when we buy into negative chatter either from ourselves or others, we do ourselves a disservice. Read more at 5 Things to Do to Change Negative Self-chatter.

Treating ourselves with self-compassion is an especially helpful self-care practice, when we can't seem to complete projects or make mistakes, feel vulnerable, and less than. Read this for 9 Practices to Help You See You are Enough.

I believe treating ourselves with self-compassion and high regard is the most powerful self-care policy we can ever adopt.

Write a love letter to yourself. Why not include pictures of you and the things you love to do? Record many reasons why you are so in love with you.

10 Amazing Affirmations and Tips 
for Self-Validation

1. My breath is my superpower, and I breathe-in self-love and release all traces of self- doubt and disapproval.

2. I look inward for my sense of self-worth, joy, and approval

3. I treat myself with self-compassion and high regard, because I know it's the most powerful self-care practice I can ever adopt.

4. Any path I choose is an adventure and an opportunity for personal growth.

5. I acknowledge and accept painful and joyous feelings and know my emotions indicate I am a passionate person.

6. I'm mindful of my thoughts, feelings, and actions, and experience them with a nonjudgmental attitude.

7. I am worthy of self-care and set aside time each day to have fun, relax, and nurture mind, body, and spirit.

8. I look in the mirror and see someone who is authentic, courageous, and willing to do what it takes to grow and prosper each day.

9. My thoughts influence how happy I feel and I choose to feel joy right now!

10. I radiate health, happiness, harmony, and thrive. 

Click on the following link to see additional affirmations I wrote. They highlight things to say to  Create Positive Energy and Health with Affirmations.

Include self-care practices such as prayer, meditation, exercise, and journal writing to daily routines. When we use any, it helps reduce stress, and renews joy in daily living. 

Do as many or as few as you like. Each one helps us feel more grounded and present in today.

A big advantage of slowing down to look inward, is it helps us connect to our personal vision and principles. 

Taking time to tap into our higher wisdom, shifts our focus from dependency on others to increased self-sufficiency.

Another important key to self-validation is to find a calling/purpose and go after it. 

Some great ways to start on that are to investigate fields of study, take courses, get a degree, and/or work or volunteer in an area that intrigues us. 

We feel greater life satisfaction when we pursue our own dreams, sense the value in what we do, and shine our light freely. Let's sparkle so the unique beauty that is inside can be seen, especially by us.

Knowing and aligning with our life purpose allows us to focus on what is truly important to us, rather than seek approval or direction from others.

Need ideas to help explore how to discover more meaning in life? Read this from Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.

We can make the decision, fresh each day, to use affirmations and healthy lifestyle tips to enhance our sense of well-being, self-sufficiency, and self-compassion to enrich our lives.

Do you say affirmations for self-validation? Is it a regular practice? Please comment in the space provided below.

Which self-care tips resonate with you? Please share your ideas about that in the comments section below.

I value my blog writing and your feedback. I read every comment, and appreciate your visit. 

If you like what you see, please share on social media with a link back to this post. 

The purpose of this post and one of my greatest passions is to educate people and help my readers love and care for themselves wholeheartedly. 

Wishing you a happy day and many chances to affirm your goodness. 

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Summer Fun Activity Checklist to do at home

Come along with me as I share a summer fun activity checklist, wellness ideas, and tasty fun food recipes. Any of them can brighten the day, no matter the season or where you live. 

Most of the checklist items can be completed solo. Others can be done with a buddy or partner, and some will appeal to a brood of kids or grandkids. All are inexpensive or free, and need no fancy equipment.

This list works well for me, especially since my husband and I will be staying close to home this summer. The numbers of cases of COVID-19 is still rising in our state.

Look at the checklist to see which ones interest you. I’m sure many of these pastimes will put a smile on your face, and be appreciated by your mates as well.

Summer Fun Activity Checklist to do at home

Joy springs from within. Tap into it, as you sample these activities. Several use power from color energy to help raise your vibration (tips on ways to raise your vibration was written by Alexandra Panait and appeared on Thrive Global), and improve your outlook. If you want immediate help read this. 

1.       Celebrate the first day of summer with one of these
 five beautiful rituals to celebrate Summer Solstice from
Chloe Rain at Explore Deeply

2. Set up a hummingbird feeder and see this amazing bird in action

3. Chalk sidewalk with awesome doodles and drawings

4. Display plants, greens, and flowers to boost happiness

5. Enjoy an in-home spa day and pamper yourself


6. Lighten up decor with accent pieces of sea blue and additional

7. Add a coat of whitewash onto a picnic table or Chaise
 lounge to revive outdoor furniture and perk up surroundings

8. Blow soapsuds bubbles

9. Splash in rain shower puddles

10. Bike ride, while social distancing from others

11. Create a summer sanctuary to cozy up with a book or journal

12. Read, paint, practice yoga, or compose a tune, story, or poem

13. Play tag, hopscotch, or other favorite childhood games

14. Catch fireflies at night, and let them go to glow on

15. Learn how to breathe in health with Emma Seppälä, as she
demonstrates ways mindful breathing brings happiness.

16. Nap in a hammock

17. Run under a sprinkler or take a dip in a backyard pool

18. Sleep with the windows open

19. Get creative and craft a kite, pinwheel, or vision board

20. Feast on plant-based tacos for Taco Tuesday. See recipe and photos
at Dora's Table. She creates Mexican zucchini squash tacos that are easy,
delicious, and fun to eat

Photo Dora L. Stone

21. Fix mouthwatering avocado basil gazpacho. Recipe by Judee Algazi. 
Serve this quick chilled soup with crusty bread, a refreshing one dish
lunch or dinner for those sweltering summer days it's to hot to cook.

creamed avocado gazpacho with chopped vegetables
Photo Judee Algazi

22. Plant basil, parsley, and thyme to raise a mini herb garden

23. Spread a blanket outdoors, and gaze at a starry indigo sky


Additional Ideas from Colors 4 Health

Pick and choose from my Summer Fun Activity Checklist above. Which ones interest you? 

Each one can improve your sense of well-being. All can be done out of harm's way, sheltered at home.

Please comment below and re-share on social media with a link-back to this post.

Which ideas and pastimes motivate you to make plans to do them? 

Which pursuits are included in your Pandemic activities already? 

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I love to hear from you, and read every comment.

Refrain from putting links in your comments please. I won't be able to publish them that way.

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