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Black Bean Hummus Dip

By Chloe Mulliner, Guest Blogger

I don’t eat a lot of beans, but for whatever reason it seems like I always have a stock of cans lingering in my cupboard. Recently when my pantry seemed especially bare, and I was pressed to whip up something quick for dinner, I turned to my trusty beans for a tasty new recipe. All it took was a can of black beans, garbanzo beans, a few standard ingredients, and viola! I had some homemade blackbean hummus in minutes.

If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to use up some of your own bean stash, try out this vegan and vegetarian blackbean hummus recipe.

– 1 can (15oz) organic garbanzo beans
– 1 can (15oz) organic black beans
– 1 TBS organic olive oil
– 2 TBS fresh organic lemon juice
– 1-2 cloves of garlic
– Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste
– Optional: Greek olives

Rinse and drain both cans of beans and place them in the blender or food processor. Add in the other ingredients and blend until the hummus is as smooth or chunky as you want. For a thinner consistency, you may want to use additional olive oil at your discretion. Top it off with some Greek olives, and spread some on a sandwich or pair it with your favorite raw veggies for a simple snack. The possibilities are endless!


Zesty Vegan Pesto

After a long day at work, I’m always looking for quick, healthy recipes. This homemade pesto is a great way to spice up the most simple meals. My sister likes to whip up a batch and layer it on polenta. We then place the polenta on a bed of sautéed spinach, and top it off with fresh tomatoes. For a non-vegan option, sprinkle with goat cheese. If polenta isn’t your thing, layer it on baked eggplant, mix with wheat pasta, or spread it on sandwiches as a zesty alternative to mayo.

-2 cups of fresh basil
-1/3 cup of pine nuts
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1-2 garlic cloves
-salt and pepper to taste
-Optional: pitted olives or sun-dried tomatoes

Add basil, pine nuts, garlic, and optional ingredients into the food processor. Pulse until ingredients are chopped, and then add the olive oil. Blend until it meets your desired consistency.

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Looking for a quick, exotic, healthy meal?  Try this filling vegan recipe packed with iron and vitamin B.

-2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
-1 cup brown jasmine rice
-1 TSP coconut oil
-1 pinch sea salt
-1/2 lime
-Optional: beans, peas, and cilantro garnish

Boil coconut milk in a large pot.  Add one cup of brown jasmine rice. Mix in one teaspoon of coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt. Simmer for 35-40 minutes.  If the liquid seems to be drying too quickly, add extra coconut milk- you don’t want the rice to burn! Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for five minutes. Add fresh squeezed lime juice, fluff the rice, and garnish with cilantro. If you would like a more colorful version, top it off with cooked red kidney beans and peas.

Daring to Detox: A Juice Cleanse Experience

To most people, a juice cleanse sounds like an extreme form of self torture. I hardly even considered the idea until I had the opportunity to watch my coworker, Carolynn, embark on a five-day cleanse. What once seemed like a ritual reserved only for people who do head stands during yoga class, now seems achievable, and maybe even enjoyable.

Cleansing allows your body to take a break from the digestion process to heal other areas. While you may temporarily lose weight, dropping pounds is not the goal. It can, however, kick-start a healthier way of eating by quickly eliminating excess sugar and processed foods from your diet.

I had tons of questions about her juicing experience and wanted to document some of them here. Hopefully you, too, will be inspired to try a cleanse.

-Why did you choose to do a cleanse?
​I have been wanting to cleanse my body/system for a while now, and when I recently returned from my vacation in Puerto Rico, I felt an emergent need to clean my body of all the unhealthy/fried food I ate while I was there. Also, I felt an urge to get my eating habits back on track by “starting new” and first cleaning my system.

-Was it expensive?
​I bought a five-day juice cleanse on Living Social for $194, which comes out to about $6.46 per bottle of juice, and I consumed six juices per day. It’s a little pricey (in my perspective), but the benefits were well worth it.

-Was this your first cleanse?
Yes, this was my first Juice ONLY cleanse- I did not have ANY solid food for the entire five days.

-What was the most difficult aspect of the cleanse?
​My first two days were the most difficult because of my cravings, however, by evening time of the second day my cravings had subsided.

-Although you didn’t choose to, were you allowed to eat any solid foods during the cleanse?
I was allowed to eat egg whites and steamed vegetables only.

-Did you like the juice flavors?
Yes, the juice flavors were great!

-Did you experience any negative effects? Skin breakouts, shakes, low energy, mood swings, cravings?
​I experienced cravings the first two days, but they subsided by the evening of the 2nd day. No mood swings, although on day four I noticed I had less patience for people. No breakouts, no “shakes”, and my energy level was great!

-Did you notice any physical changes in your body? Any immediate positive effects?
Yes, I noticed I lost inches, so I looked leaner. I did not weigh myself, however, I’m sure I lost some weight because my body was leaner. I noticed these changes around day three.

-Did you cheat?
​Not at all, and I was VERY proud that I stayed strong!

-How did you keep yourself dedicated and on track?
​I stayed focused on my juices, and I watched the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” to give me inspiration. I did not want to deviate from the juices.

-How do you feel now that its over?
​OMG, so refreshed and renewed!

-Would you do another cleanse? If so, would you choose the same duration?
​Absolutely! Yes, I would do another five-day cleanse, a three-day, and continue with a one-day (monthly or weekly) maintenance cleanse. I would really like to do a 14-day cleanse, but at a detox retreat where I’m surrounded by people doing the same thing.

-Any advice for cleansing newbies?
​Don’t let your fears hold you back. When you try it for the first time, think about all the positive effects it has on your body. I recommend watching food/healthy eating/juicing documentaries and/or reading about the benefits of juicing- it will give you inspiration to stay on track and keep going.

Carolynn used a kosher five-day cleanse through Jus by Julie. For an organic option, check out Gentle Giant.