5-Minute Healthy Party App Idea: Feta Hummus Cucumber Rounds

Cucumber Hummus Feta RoundsI couldn’t show up empty-handed to my friend’s book club. I definitely couldn’t walk to the grocery store (do you know how cold it’s been in Boston lately??). I had ten minutes to solve this problem.

My solution: the remnants of a store-bought tub of hummus, a zip-loc bag, some feta crumbles, a lone cucumber I found in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator and pepper. Bing bang boom.

Cucumber Hummus Feta Rounds

This is the laziest of lazy finger foods, but it’s healthy, delicious, and deceptively fancy-looking with the freshly ground pepper. And if you like to keep things dairy-free, just omit the feta. I feel like a hack posting it, but everyone at book club loved it and insisted I share on P&I, so here it is! The next time you’re looking for a ridiculously easy, sorta-homemade appetizer, whip these up—your guests will love ‘em!

Feta Hummus Cucumber Rounds

Yield: 12-20 (depending on size of cucumber)

Feta Hummus Cucumber Rounds

A 5-minute healthy party app recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • ½ cup plain hummus
  • Handful of feta cheese crumbles
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 zip-loc bag (don’t eat this)

Instructions

  1. Cut the cucumber into ¼”- ½” slices.
  2. Cut a small hole in the corner of a plastic zip-loc/sandwich bag. Put the hummus inside of it and then squeeze it through the hole in a swirl pattern on top of each cucumber slice.
  3. Sprinkle a couple feta crumbles on top of the hummus.
  4. Grate some pepper on top.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/02/13/5-minute-healthy-party-app-idea-feta-hummus-cucumber-rounds/

Cucumber Hummus Feta Rounds Cucumber Hummus Feta Rounds

By the way, the book we read was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I really enjoyed reading it but holy sh*t I could not stand the main character, Louisa. I found her painfully pathetic from start to finish, and no matter how hard I tried to sympathize with her, I just couldn’t. Have you guys read it? Discuss in the comment section!

And before you think I’m some inspirational healthy role model snacking on cucumbers at parties, I should add that in addition to keeping things light with my hummus rounds, I also ate four brownies topped with melted Andes mints at book club. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Cucumber Hummus Feta RoundsBefore I wrap up this post, P&I reader Cindy asked me to share a link to her half marathon fundraising page. Having lost family members to cancer, Cindy is running the race this April to help raise money for a cause that has deeply affected her life and the lives of many. I made a small donation, and if you’re interested, you can too here. Best of luck with the race, Cindy! :)

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Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast CupsThis post is possessed! It published itself yesterday, then deleted itself, then rescheduled itself to be posted in 2015. What the what?? Let’s try this again…

Normally, when bananas are about to go bad, I’ll peel them, slice ‘em up, and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer to use in smoothies. But lately my smoothie fuel bag has turned into bags, and I needed to find another way to prevent my browning bananas from going to waste. Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

These quinoa breakfast cups are delicious and filling—each one is dense, so it only takes one (or, ok, maybe two) to satisfy morning hunger. You can eat them like a muffin, or break one up in a little bit of warm almond milk and eat it like oatmeal (I did this one morning and loved it!).Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Yield: 12

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Ingredients

  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1 banana for slicing
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (about ½ cup dry)
  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin (I use olive oil).
  2. Cook the quinoa. Bring ¾ up water to a boil, pour in ½ cup dry quinoa, reduce to a simmer until fluffy—about 12 minutes.
  3. Mix applesauce, mashed banana, almond milk, honey and vanilla in a bowl.
  4. Mix dry ingredients (quinoa, oats, cinnamon) in a separate bowl. Slowly stir the wet into the dry until fully combined.
  5. Peel core and chop up an apple. Mix the apple chunks into the bowl.
  6. Fill each of the muffin cups to the top with the quinoa mixture. Add a banana slice or two to the top of each.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy one warm!

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat leftovers in the microwave before eating. You can also add some crushed pecans or walnuts to these--experiment!

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/02/11/apple-banana-quinoa-breakfast-cups/

Make a batch and eat them all week for breakfast or as a post-workout snack. They’re definitely best warm, but can also be eaten cold on the go. :) Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

What’s your favorite way to use over-ripe bananas?

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Avocado Pesto Sauce

Avocado Pesto Sauce Recipe
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this recipe coming…

In my world, adding avocado to just about anything (cereal not withstanding) makes it better. I loved the creamier texture and taste it gave to this otherwise basic pesto recipe. The only downside—and I mean only—is that, like guacamole, the avocado will cause the pesto to turn brown if you don’t eat it right away. This recipe makes almost 2 cups of it, so I found myself using brown leftover pesto for the rest of the week—still delicious, just not quite as pretty. You could add a little lemon juice to help offset the brown; but the easier solution is just to make less at a time.

Avocado Pesto Sauce Recipe

Avocado Pesto Sauce

Yield: 2 cups

Avocado Pesto Sauce

A creamy, healthy twist on traditional pesto sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed basil
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, excluding 1/3 cup of the olive oil.
  2. Start to blend them together, slowly adding in the remaining olive oil.

Notes

The avocado (like with guacamole) will start to turn brown in the presence of oxygen. You can add a bit of lemon juice to offset this if you plan on storing it in the refrigerator, or just make less at a time. When using leftover sauce, it may be necessary to stir in some extra olive oil.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/01/17/avocado-pesto-sauce/

Avocado Pesto Sauce RecipeI’ve been eating this pesto sauce with spaghetti squash, spread on toast, mixed into veggie stirfries—I even added a dollop of it on top of my scrambled eggs the other morning (so good!). Make a batch, refrigerate the leftovers, and eat it all week long!

Hope everyone has a fun, healthy (semi-healthy?) weekend! :)

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