Chocolate hummus

Chocolate hummus!

Even the best intentioned parents fall into bad habits when it comes to toddlers and food. I swore we would never make M a separate dinner from ours and yet, here we are. I also swore that I would never cave to bedtime snack requests, but…you guessed it.

Look, we have a lot of good habits and we course correct pretty fast when we realize that we’re off track. And we try not to sweat it when things change or don’t work around mealtimes. But f*&$@#ing hell is it frustrating.

While M isn’t a huge snacker between meals, he would happily eat all “snack” food for his meals. For lunch, I’m more okay with packing him a collection of finger foods (hard-boiled egg, veggies and hummus, fruit, mini muffins, etc), but for dinner, it’s hard for me to swallow guacamole and chips as his main course (pun intended).

I mean, he has an entire adolescence to make bad food choices, so we have to get some goodness in while we can, right?

All this to say, we’re struggling with food right now. One strategy we’re implementing is trying to ensure that M’s whole day is rounded out with good stuff so that one bad meal isn’t a big deal.

Chickpeas, dates, maple syrup, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
Blend until really smooth for a protein-packed after school snack.

I started making my own chocolate hummus after being introduced to this magical concoction (seriously, how did I not know that chocolate hummus existed until about 2 months ago?) at my book club.

Chocolate hummus: free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, and all animal products. Basically, the perfect after-school snack.

This sweet dip is mostly chickpeas, which have a ton of protein and fiber, plus some natural sweeteners and a couple of spices. It takes about 15 minutes to make and most of that time is spent waiting for water to boil. This snack is also free of nuts, gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and any animal products.


A couple of notes:
- Soak 4 dates, though you may not need them all. This dip tends to get sweeter as it sits in the fridge, so be careful about adding all four dates up front.
- If the dip doesn’t taste sweet enough after two dates, try adding another pinch of salt. The salt really brings out the sweetness and the chocolate, so you may not need additional sweetener.

Chick peas, dates, maple syrup, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.

Chocolate hummus

1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained |
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup maple syrup
2-4 dates, soaked in boiling water for 5-10 minutes
1/8 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt, plus more to taste
½ tsp vanilla extract

Boil some water and pour over 4 dates. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse your chickpeas and pour them onto a paper towel. Dry them lightly. Add to a food processor.

Measure the other ingredients and add to the food processor. When the dates are soft, add them to the other ingredients and blend until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Serve.

Yield: 1.5 cups or about 14.5 ounces


Chocolate hummus!

Possibly the perfect lunchbox treat or after-school snack.

Potato leek quiche


Spring. I love you and hate you. You bring the promise of new things and warm weather, but you never just happen. Last weekend, we ate lunch outside and went for a walk at a state park without jackets. This weekend, we're getting more snow. I DON'T UNDERSTAND. Anyway, I'll stop complaining about the weather because a) it'll be hot before you know it, and b) I'm not a cranky 85-year-old. Or am I?

Anyway, this quiche feels like spring to me. It's light and fresh and simple, but also warm and cheesy and comforting. It straddles the line between weather and feels right for whatever spring throws at us: I can picture myself eating it in a cozy sweater in front of a fire, but also on a picnic blanket in the sun.

The potato crust is so simple and a great substitute for a butter-and-flour crust. Not only is it healthier, but it also speeds up the quiche cooking process considerably.

A couple of tips: The slight fluting outward of the pie plate sides helps the potatoes stay upright while they cook. You also want to slice the potatoes thinly enough that they're pliable, but not so thin that they get crispy or warp too much when initially cooking.


Potato leek quiche

12-16 oz white potatoes (about 2 large)
4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 small leeks (about 1.5 cups chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh or ½ tsp dried thyme
1 cup shredded gruyere, comte, or cheese of choice
6 eggs
½-2/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Wash and dry the potatoes. Very thinly slice (about 1/8 of an inch thick) with a knife or a mandolin. Cut a small slice off of one edge of the thin potato slices to create one flat side.

Spray or brush a pie tin with one tsp of oil. Place a single line of potato slices around the edge of the pie plate with the flat sides down.

Then, cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of potatoes. Using the rest of the potato slices, fill in gaps on the bottom and sides.

Brush or spray the raw potato crust lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 10 minutes (until the potatoes just start to soften) and then remove from the oven.

While the potato crust cooks, slice and chop the leeks and shred the cheese.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until small bubbles form. Add the Dijon, salt, and pepper and whisk again. Add the leeks and cheese and stir well to combine.

Pour into the potato crust and press lightly to even out the leeks and cheese. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the quiche is set. To check, jiggle the quiche lightly and if the middle wiggles, continue cooking. If the middle is set, it won’t jiggle. If the top browns too much before the eggs are set, cover with tin foil and continue cooking.

Yield: 6 small servings, 4 large servings

PS: I'd love to know more about anyone who reads this blog! If you feel so inclined, I have a short (10 questions!), anonymous survey that would really help me to know how to best tailor content. Thanks a million!