Food as FUEL.
One of my favorite things about food, honestly, is the way it makes us feel. Food is so healing, so special, such a gift- that it has the ability to literally make us feel better, and more in tune to, the world around us.
That’s why this week’s recipe is so tied into Kristen’s final two points about food. That, like we have talked about food is medicine, and art. But it’s also fuel and connection.
Hummus has become, in our household, a comfort food. Scooped up with a pita chip, or carrot, or even stray chunk of chicken, it adds a protein-packed, and rich, flavor to most anything it’s dunked in. I’m constantly adding it as a side item to weeknight dinner, or most recently, the beef soup I had to stretch to feed Jake and I for about 8 meals. It’s filling, its delicious, and now we both know that when I bust out the hummus, it’s officially time to chow down.
But the problem with a lot of store-bought hummus is that it has a tinge of the vinegary (instead of the creamy) to it. Some I’ve tried are chocked full of all kinds of chemicals that there is no way my great-grandmother would have ever known about. Or, they have an odd texture akin to that of a cotton ball blended with lemon in a Vitamix.
So, I’ve started making my own. Confession- there is one brand at Costco I love and buy on the regular. But if I’m in the mood for the good stuff- the type of stuff you only make for the people you realllyyy want to love on- then I make this recipe. I take the time to buy the beans, and roast the garlic, and use an actual food processor. I promise y’all it’s worth the effort.
And without further ado, Kristen Shoates ladies and gentlemen!!
“Food as fuel. Most of us, especially women, have an unhealthy belief that low calorie automatically means good and high calorie automatically means bad. But calories are not the enemy – in fact, they’re your friend. They’re the very reason we eat, the fuel that allows us to think, move, work and do the things we love. Yes, we live in a society where the amount of calories in our food is often off-balance, and it takes some work to make sure we’re consuming them wisely, but we have to stop fearing the calorie and instead love our food for the way it fills us with energy and life.
- Food as connection. Throughout history, eating has been as much a social activity as a necessity. Though the reasons why are still mysterious, humans have always connected around food, from ancient rituals to celebratory feasts to the modern dinner date. Sometimes, it’s less about what we’re eating and instead how we eat and who we’re eating with. Enjoying a decadent meal and the company of those you love fills your heart as well as your stomach, and sometimes just being in the moment is far more important than what is on your plate.
While I am a huge advocate for being conscious of what we put in our bodies, I think we need a broader definition of health – one that is rooted in love instead of fear of our food. What if we treated food as an adventure, exploring the different flavors available to us in nature? What if we defined nourishment as the things that build up both our bodies and souls? What if we actually connected with our food, asking where it comes from and how it’s made – or actually making it ourselves? And what if we connected with each other, seeing eating not just as utilitarian, but a chance to share a moment – or even love?
For me, falling in love with my food has made everything else fall into place. I am motivated eat foods that heal instead hurt, to listen to my body and give it what it needs and to know when to treat myself without guilt. This New Year, as you make resolutions, I encourage you to focus less on a number on the scale or what food group you’ll restrict and instead resolve to eat real, whole, nourishing foods – and enjoy eating them. Not only will this help you achieve your health goals, but it could also be the start of a fun, artistic, spiritual, love-filled affair.
And as my Italian family would say, “that’s amore”.
Isn’t Kristen ahhhmazing?!! Preach, sister!
And here is a bit more of my take on what Kristen is saying:
In summary, my amazing readers, food is fuel, it is connection, it is love. Not only does it connect us to ourselves, and taking care of the bodies we have been given, but it also connects us to the world around us and to the Creator of all things good and wonderful and food-related.
As we round out the month of January, be encouraged. Be inspired. Go get in the kitchen and make some hummus if that makes you feel good! I love you dearly and believe that the best, in food and life, is yet to come in 2018.
Roasted Garlic Lemon Hummus with Golden Pita Chips
Roasted garlic gives a slight sweetness to a rich hummus brightened by fresh lemon juice and smoked paprika. Perfect for a party or holiday football game, this hummus is tastier than the store bought version, and can be adjusted in a myriad of ways to taste. Try adding chopped jalepenos or pimento for even more kick! You can also find this recipe in the January issue of Birmingham magazine.
Yield : 4-6 servings
What You Will Need:
- 6 cloves garlic, roasted
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, bean liquid reserved
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons chickpea liquid
- 1 tablespoon filtered water
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika , plus additional for topping
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
What You Will Do:
- Blend all ingredients except oil in the bowl of a food processor until a thick paste forms, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about three minutes.
- Drizzle in one tablespoon olive oil and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy topped with paprika!
*To roast garlic: Preheat oven to 400. Peel most of the skin off of the garlic. Cut top 1/4 off of garlic head; drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil, roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.Remove from oven to cool.
Golden Pita Chips
Yield: 40 chips
What You Will Need:
- 5 soft multigrain or white pitas, cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
What You Will Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Toss cut pita in large bowl with spices and olive oil.
3. Place pita chips on aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Roast for 10 minutes; flip over, then roast 10 more minutes.
5. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.