Romesco hummus

Romesco hummus | Me & The Moose. This easy, healthy snack makes plain, boring hummus more interesting by adding vegetables. Who doesn’t want that? #meandthemoose #hiddenveggies #hummusrecipes #hummus #romescohummus #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #snacks #snackrecipes
Romesco hummus | Me & The Moose. This easy, healthy snack makes plain, boring hummus more interesting by adding vegetables. Who doesn’t want that? #meandthemoose #hiddenveggies #hummusrecipes #hummus #romescohummus #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #snacks #snackrecipes

It’s happening, people. The “new year, new anxiety” phase of January has begun.

Can we talk about having a second child? I have mixed thoughts about it. Sometimes it feels like a member of our family is missing. And both my husband and I have siblings and love it (both the idea of having a sibling and the actual people that our siblings are). AND being an aunt is one of my very favorite things. I don’t want M to miss out on any of that.

But it took so long for us to get pregnant with M, that I’ve been mentally preparing to have one child since he was born.

And the fact is, it took me a long time to feel like myself again both mentally and physically after having M and I’m scared to give that up. I wouldn’t necessarily claim that we’ve “hit our stride” as a family, but we’ve achieved a sort of equilibrium, so the idea of purposely throwing a HUGE wrench into the works with another baby is very scary.

I’m also scared about the change to M’s life. He’s actually cried a few times because he doesn’t have a sibling, but I know that his sadness is purely theoretical. When another little person actually takes up our time, he’ll be PISSED. I don’t want to ruin his life, you know?

But what about the joy a kid brings? And the funny family stories we’ll have in the future? And M will need someone to complain to about all of the mistakes we’ll inevitably make.

And here’s where the anxiety comes in: We are entering my 39th year of life, so my time to perseverate about having another child is swiftly coming to an end. UUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH.

What is your advice? Have any of you felt this way? How did you make the final decision? I NEED TO KNOW.

Anyhoo, I can’t think of a good segue, so HUMMUS.

Romesco hummus | Me & The Moose. This easy, healthy snack makes plain, boring hummus more interesting by adding vegetables. Who doesn’t want that? #meandthemoose #hiddenveggies #hummusrecipes #hummus #romescohummus #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #snacks #snackrecipes

Hummus was one of M’s favorite snacks until…it wasn’t. He actually told me one day that he was “done” with hummus and carrots. Rude.

So I combined plain hummus with the veggies and spices from Romesco sauce, had him measure the ingredients and press the food processor buttons, and HUZZAH he likes hummus again.

To anyone wondering why they should make hummus rather than buying it in the store, I say, it’s truly so easy that a small child can do it (and did). Unlike regular Romesco sauce, this hummus is nut-free, so you don’t have to toast or roast anything. You don’t even need to chop because, food processor.

A couple of notes:

  • There is a lot of smoked paprika in this recipe, so start with 1/2 tsp and add more to taste if you prefer milder flavors.

  • I use a brand of roasted red pepper that comes in a tall, thin jar, so the peppers are really big. If your peppers are smaller, use two.

Romesco hummus | Me & The Moose. This easy, healthy snack makes plain, boring hummus more interesting by adding vegetables. Who doesn’t want that? #meandthemoose #hiddenveggies #hummusrecipes #hummus #romescohummus #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #snacks #snackrecipes

Romesco hummus

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 large roasted red pepper (or 2 smaller peppers)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 large garlic cloves
1/2-1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
3 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar

 Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Yield: 16 oz or 1.5 cups

Romesco hummus | Me & The Moose. This easy, healthy snack makes plain, boring hummus more interesting by adding vegetables. Who doesn’t want that? #meandthemoose #hiddenveggies #hummusrecipes #hummus #romescohummus #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #snacks #snackrecipes

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.

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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

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Chocolate hummus!

Possibly the perfect lunchbox treat or after-school snack.

Roasted carrot hummus

Roasted carrot hummus | Me & The Moose. Roasted carrots sweeten up this spicy, complex, EASY hummus. #meandthemoose #snackrecipes #hiddenveggies #snacks #roastedcarrots #hummus #homemadehummus #hummusrecipes

This is carrot hummus. I realize that the above photo might lead you to think that it's pumpkin hummus because there are pepitas in a photo of orange mush. I'm pretty tired.

Guys, M is about to transition to a toddler bed and I'm freaking out. In practical terms, I'm terrified that he's going to climb out of his crib and hurt himself. We've caught him several times with a leg over the railing and have stopped him before gravity could do its work. The toddler rail is on its way.

In theoretical terms, I'm not ready for him to be such a big boy. He was only born, like, a month ago, right? In addition to the impending toddler bed, he got "accepted" to preschool this week (in NYC, you have to apply to preschool with the essay writing, interviewing, and astronomical tuition that that implies), and together, those things are too much. 

Roasted carrot hummus | Me & The Moose. Roasted carrots sweeten up this spicy, complex, EASY hummus. #meandthemoose #snackrecipes #hiddenveggies #snacks #roastedcarrots #hummus #homemadehummus #hummusrecipes

In my anxiety spirals, I worry that he's going to wake up in the middle of the night and climb a bookshelf or stick something into an outlet. We've bolted everything to the wall and covered the outlets, but he's crafty and good at circumventing our roadblocks. Ugh. How do you learn to trust a toddler? How do you have a rational conversation with an irrational being? How do you solve a problem like Maria?

I have no answers. (Accept about Maria: Make her a nanny to seven wealthy motherless children and set the Nazis after them. Things turn out okay.) All I can do is control what I can control. In this case, it's finding creative ways to add vegetables to M's diet. 

Roasted carrot hummus | Me & The Moose. Roasted carrots sweeten up this spicy, complex, EASY hummus. #meandthemoose #snackrecipes #hiddenveggies #snacks #roastedcarrots #hummus #homemadehummus #hummusrecipes

This hummus is a spring-y delight. Roasting the carrots makes the hummus ever-so-slightly sweet and the little bit of ginger lightens the whole thing up and calls to mind Easter egg hunts, seders, hay fever, and daffodils--whatever your springtime ritual.

A couple of notes: When roasting, you want some color on the carrots, but are really looking for them to be slightly browned and fork tender. I also like to cut them into about 1/2-inch thick slices so that they cook fairly quickly, but don't get crispy. I like to toss the hot carrots with the spices once they've come out of the oven so that they don't burn during the cooking, but heat up a bit before going into the food processor. Use Hungarian or sweet paprika over smoked paprika and feel free to increase the amount of spice if you want more zing. The amounts I've used are rather mild because I wanted the ginger to star in this show. Don't be shy with the water in this recipe either. I learned by accident that a little extra doesn't hurt.

Roasted carrot hummus | Me & The Moose. Roasted carrots sweeten up this spicy, complex, EASY hummus. #meandthemoose #snackrecipes #hiddenveggies #snacks #roastedcarrots #hummus #homemadehummus #hummusrecipes

Carrot and ginger hummus

1 lb carrots
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
1 15 oz can chickpeas
2 large cloves garlic
¼ cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½- 1 cup water
Salt

Preheat oven to 400. Peel and cut carrots into ½-inch thick slices. Combine with olive oil and plenty of salt and roast until fork tender, about 25 minutes. Once roasted, toss with the paprika and turmeric (and more salt if necessary).

Add the carrots and the rest of the ingredients (through the water) to your food processor and pulse until combined, adding water until you've reached your desired consistency.

Yield: 3 cups, 26 oz

Roasted carrot hummus | Me & The Moose. Roasted carrots sweeten up this spicy, complex, EASY hummus. #meandthemoose #snackrecipes #hiddenveggies #snacks #roastedcarrots #hummus #homemadehummus #hummusrecipes