Switching from cheese sandwich to Avocado Hummus Toast
Never in my life, did I think I would love hummus that much. I used to love my cheese and bread in the morning (not anymore). Just the thought of breaking this craving seemed sheer impossible. Then came the hummus…
“Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing nonviolence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable” ― Gary L. Francione
Given the fact that everyone is in a time crunch especially in the morning, the hummus recipe and its variations below is prepared in no time. Actually, they meant to be simple, elegant vegan meals that can be done every day or on a special occasion to vow your guest.
The avocado hummus toast seemed just right for breakfast. I can prepare it the night before or even the day of. The bright side of this dish is you can buy ready made hummus and jazz it up any way you want it. Just assemble, and you are ready to go. Of course, that’s not everyone’s cup of coffee, but it’s an option. I prefer to prep a batch that lasts me a couple of days or more.
This delicious creamy mousse has found its way into the food chain since over 7000 years. It originated from the middle east and is now available in every supermarket.
The essential ingredients are chickpeas, garlic, olive oil tahini sauce, lemon juice and Himalayan pink salt. The latter is my preference because this salt tastes better than any other in the world.
The WebMD calls hummus a home run. Chickpeas are consistently on the top list of healthy vegetables.
Canned chickpeas are available in almost every supermarket these days compared to dried chickpeas. If in a rush yes I would open a can too. Once you have tasted the difference between canned and dried, you’ll probably never go back to canned beans.
That being said if you have the time then go for dried chickpeas. Let them soak overnight, then boil them in fresh water. They only need about one hour and twenty-five minutes to cook.
Another cooking method is to boil them straight out of the bag, after rising them, which takes a little less than two and a half hours.
Organic or conventional?
As with most conventional grown vegetables, they contain pesticides compared to organically grown. Organic chickpeas are not cheap, but worth the investment. With canned organic chickpeas, you want to make sure the lining is free of BPA. Unfortunately, there are only a few brands who offer BPA free cans.
Especially as a vegan, I think it is vital to buy organic vegetables whenever possible. It’s an investment in your health.
Hummus – It’s like a blank canvas
The idea behind a hummus recipe is that you can modify it in a hundred ways. It can be eaten at any time of the day. For example, I use it for cocktail parties as a vegetable hummus shooter. It looks nice and is always a conversation starter.
Almost any vegetable works with it. However, when incorporating vegetables into hummus, it’s best to blanch or roast them before. It will help intensify the flavor.
One of my all-time favorites is caramelized onions and jalapenos with a touch of aged balsamico. Here are some ideas of vegetables that can be incorporated:
Vegetable hummus shooter
15 of my favorites vegetables to complement hummus:
With the exception of jalapenos, I recommend adding about one-third the volume of any of the (cooked) vegetables listed below to the hummus. Of course, it’s a personal preference. Whatever makes your taste buds happy. Go for it.
I think the avocado and hummus is a match made in heaven. Maybe I am exaggerating now, but it’s so versatile. You decide if you go for a tangy or spicy theme and surprise your guest or your taste buds.
Sautée shallots and sliced garlic in avocado oil until translucent. Add organic baby spinach and wilt slightly.
Let cool and add to chickpeas than follow the recipe below.
I prefer to use baby carrots, but regular carrots work too. Peel, wash and slice carrots into half-inch pieces. Add avocado oil and roast in the oven at 350 degrees until soft. Usually 20 to 30 minutes. Some carrots take longer.
Wash and slice jalapenos. Sautee in avocado oil until soft, then add to chickpeas. For more intense heat cook jalapenos with seeds, otherwise, remove them.
Cook black beans just like chickpeas. Soak overnight and cook for about one hour and thirty minutes. Add to the recipe.
Peel and chop eggplant and onions into half inch pieces. Sautee in avocado oil until soft. Use a quarter onion for every eggplant. Season with salt and pepper.
There are two methods you can roast sweet potatoes. Whole with its skin on or peeled and chopped. The peeled potatoes are usually easier to work with since they just need to be added to the recipe. The whole potato, on the other hand, needs to be scooped out, which is more work.
Very similar to sweet potatoes, however, peeling is more appropriate.
Roasted peppers are a great addition to the chickpeas. They add a beautiful sweetness to the hummus that truly satisfies.
I prefer to steam them since I have a steamer on my job. I know I am spoiled when it comes to equipment. You can boil them in water, which takes easily one to two hours, depending on how small the beets are cut. Roasting is another good option. Just remember to wear gloves because beets will stain your hands (and shirts). It’s just a headache to clean your hands afterward. With beets, it pays to go organic since most beets are genetically modified (GMO) in the US.
Steamed, roasted or boiled broccoli lends the hummus a light green color. It also gives it a health punch. Studies have shown that broccoli has anti-carcinogenic and cancer-fighting agents.
Take it up a notch from broccoli. These incredibly healthy sprouts have shown to add great benefits to your hummus. From anti-aging antioxidants that reduces wrinkles to cancer-fighting compounds. Due to its high amount of sulforaphane, broccoli sprouts are credited for normal brain development, and some studies suggest it prevents autism. Talking about incredible health benefits here. For that reason, I like to sprinkle broccoli sprouts on all my salads and of course my hummus avocado toast, as shown in the picture.
Use any olives you like. I prefer calamata olives. They have an intense flavor and work great with the caramelized onions in the hummus.
Slow roasted tomatoes taste especially good with hummus. They lend it a mild sweet flavor.
Who doesn’t love the sweet taste of caramelized onions? It uplifts any recipe. Add a touch of aged balsamic and you have the perfect duo.
Multigrain French bread
Hummus the Energizer
According to Dr. Axe, hummus is full of healthy goodies.
Hummus avocado toast with broccoli sprouts and radishes
The Ultimate Vegan Power Breakfast
I must say I really have come to love my hummus avocado toast in the morning. Actually, it’s not really a toast, but a toasted multigrain french bread.
Even my sons adapted this breakfast sandwich, and they are not vegans – yet. It’s so delicious and satisfying that I sometimes eat too much of it.
Avocado hummus toast on multigrain bread
I had just finished taking the pictures when my son came in and said that looks delicious. “Are you done with taking pictures?” he asks. I nodded and gone was the toast.
Hummus and the multigrain bread provides the protein and the fiber needed for a good meal. The avocado provides the necessary fat vegans need. This simple avocado hummus multigrain toast, as I call it, provide a punch of vitamin C and E. This sandwich keeps me satisfied until lunch, hence it also delivers the important breakfast meal most of us vegans need to get us through the day.
A simple hors-d’oeuvre with style
One of my favorite hors D’eouvre is the vegetable humus shooter. I think it makes a nice presentation and adds some color to the buffet table. The hummus makes a great dip for any crudités instead of using a greasy, unhealthy blue cheese or ranch dip.
Hummus vegetable shooters
It has the same ingredients like the caramelized onion hummus with the exception it’s served in a shooter with Crudités vegetables. I always like to spice it up with some cayenne pepper.
Avocado hummus crostini
On the buffet, I like to strategically place the shooters on a silver tray throughout the buffet some elevated on a riser. It is also the go-to vegan hors D’eouvre on parties where meat and dairy are served. Just imagine what an all- vegan buffet looks like. I just leave that for a later post.
The hummus shooter is usually favored by the ladies, as it is rather a low-calorie appetizer.
Tomato hummus crostini
The guys, in my opinion, prefer the crostini, as it adds some crunch and texture to the hummus. As with any other hors D’eouvre, the sky is the limit when it comes to toppings.
Fancy avocado hummus Island
An Elegant Vegan Appetizer
So simple yet always a crowd pleaser. At first, I wanted to add three colored tacos, but I changed my mind. Why not stay with a gluten-free appetizer for a change. Even though the tacos would go well with the avocado. The radishes provide a little crunch and a touch of color. The golden gooseberries add a surprising sweet but tangy flavor to the dish. A perfect vegan appetizer with a touch of elegance.
To simplify this recipe I have used cooked chickpeas, which I had prepared the day before. Feel free to use canned beans instead.
What’s your take on hummus? Do you have a favorite way to serve hummus? Leave a comment below.
Avocado Hummus Toast
To simplify this recipe I have used cooked chickpeas, which I had prepared the day before. Feel free to use canned beans instead.
It has been a while since I wrote my last culinary post and I thought I would write a catch-up article.
A lot of things have happened within the last few years in my culinary field as a professional chef that:
Within the last four years, I have opened 2 brand new hotel restaurants as an Executive Chef.
Developed a second blog about a sustainable future.
Cultivated and improved my habits, by starting a morning and evening meditation regimen.
I became a vegan.
The Rewards of a Culinary Career
I have never worked a day in my life…hahaha-really funny. However, the last 30 years have been more rewarding than anything else. Working as a chef has given me lots of pleasure. I was able to work in Germany, the Caribbean, and New York City. I owned and operated successfully two restaurants and a bakery. I have worked and still work with awesome culinary colleagues. What else can I ask for?
Working for Hilton hotels has certainly been a blessing. However, after investing so many hours into to the hotel openings I completely lost track of my culinary blog. I couldn’t find the time to maintain it, so I thought…?
Well, I was wrong. I am still busy; hence, I have learned in the past few years how to do more with less time. Talking about personal growth…:)
Opening restaurants are undoubtedly exciting, yet very stressful. From ordering and organizing all supplies and equipment to hiring and training all staff is indeed no cakewalk. The most fabulous rewards of opening the restaurants are seeing happy customers and of course a happy boss.
Improving my life
I have implemented better habits in my life. From meditating in the morning through exercising regularly to reading more often. I think I have read over 20 books last year, which has helped me with my personal growth.
Then I started a second blog, which is about visionaries of sustainable solutions. It’s a community blog where everyone can post and bring ideas on how to solve the problems in the world through eco-friendly solutions and innovations.
The decision to start coolmomentum.com made me start a vegan diet. Which is probably the best thing I could have done for myself. I feel great, and I see other people noticing that too. More on a vegan diet in a later post.
Back on track with a Vegan Lifestyle
So the other day I logged into this blog after ignoring it for so long, yikes! I was shocked to see almost 10000 comments awaiting approval. Shame on me for not checking.
However, after a long break due to work, I decided to continue my Kraemer’s Culinary Blog. Although, as a chef, I am cooking all types of foods, I quickly realized being a vegan has so many more benefits.
To me a vegan lifestyle is not only good for your health, it’s also good for the environment.
So going with a Vegan concept seems just right, but it had to be a niche within the plant-based diet or lifestyle. Since I work every day in a kitchen, what better way for me to blog about the life of a vegan chef. Therefore, I will probably change my blog name to “Life of a Vegan Chef”.
I hope you will join me in pursuit of a vegan culture that reflects health, happiness, fitness, and sustainability all through the eyes of a chef.
I am grateful for any advice on changing a blog name and topic. Feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below.
Thank you for your support!
P.S. I wish all my blogger colleagues a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
There are so many children in this country who go hungry to bed or to school. In the same token there is an abundance of food thrown away on daily basis. Whether it’s leftovers from last nights dinner or expired food items we never had the chance to cook. Regardless, below is my take on leftovers. By the way for all of you who have been blessed with an abundance of food consider helping out with this great organization: No Kid Hungry.
This nonprofit organization is helping to eradicate child-hunger from American Schools. Every fifth child goes hungry to school. That’s a terrible fact. Watch the video to learn more about No Kid Hungry.
Remember What Your Grandma Used To Say…
I don’t want to bore you with my leftover food. The point I’m trying to make is leftovers can be used to make yet another good meal. My Grandmother made me eat all my food on the plate. So we never had leftovers. These days’ leftovers are being thrown out in many households. That’s sad, as my Grandmother would have said: “there are children in Africa dying for hunger and we throw out our food”.
She had a point, although I’m not fond of over-eating, just serving the right amount of food the first time. Our kids are growing up with an abundance of luxury. They have cell phones, video games, the fanciest TV’s, cars and food galore. For them it’s absolutely normal and most of them can’t live without their gadgets. We grew up with none of these items and we were happy. This young generation is completely spoiled rotten, if I may say so. Well, I guess we as parents spoiled them in the first place, but how can we not give our kids these luxuries when all their peers have them.
The Bright Sight of Leftovers
I always try to cook something healthy for my family. But sometimes I don’t have the time and I look for an easy way out. Especially Fridays when we come home from a busy week we just want to relax and don’t think too much about cooking. On Thursday I had baked a ziti with beans for my boys and me, but had some leftovers. My wife had broccoli and red beets left from her dinner. She eats mostly vegetables with little meat or fish, but no starch. So the ziti was off limit for her.
However, the point is combining different leftover foods doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little imagination many foods can be assembled and presented in a nice way. I know it’s not restaurant quality, but at least no food is being thrown out. Again, I’m talking about home cooked food that is one day old not 3 or 4 days old. Especially store-bought meals like Chinese food must be discarded after 24 hours latest, simply because we don’t know how long the food has been kept warm or how old the food was at the time of cooking.
Broccoli Beet Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Salad, Appetizer,
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
1 Broccoli, cut in rosettes
3 medium sized red beets
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Season with salt and pepper
Season broccoli and red beets with salt and pepper and steam for a few minutes. Vegetables should be still slightly crunchy.
Mix vinegar, honey and slowly add oil until all ingredients are incorporated. Add all other ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Pour vinaigrette over broccoli and beets and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
What do you do with leftovers?
Do you mind eating leftover foods?
What do you think about “No Kids Hungry” Organization?
Have you ever wondered if there is a healthy food that makes you feel good without a lot of calories? A healthy food concoction that you can drink several times a day? Something you would even crave on a daily basis. It is similar to a smoothie or should I say Froothie (that’s my version of a super Food Cocktail). Which I explain in a while.
A smoothie is around for a while and I have always enjoyed them tremendously. I also used to use a juicer on a regular basis until I got tired of throwing all the good pulp away. On the other hand my experience using a blender to “juice” up vegetables and fruit didn’t always worked out, because it wasn’t smooth enough.
However, I found a machine that is able to give you the best of both; a blender and a Juicer. How can this work you might ask. To be honest I don’t really know. I’m talking about the NutriBullet. You might have heard about it. The NutriBullet is a so-called blender of its own class. Actually the inventor of the nutribullet call it the extractor, simply because the blender is so powerful, it does the same job like a juicer only to keep the pulp in the drink. I only have this machine for about 2 weeks now and don’t want to miss it one day. It comes with a complete recipe book so you never run out of ideas.
The Nutribullet makes any type of smoothie in seconds. Best of all it takes not even a minute to clean it. I have about three blenders at home which I hardly use for that only reason that it takes too long to clean and they are not powerful enough to do the job. That said there is one excellent mixer out there, which I think is the king of all mixers: The Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend, 2 Speed. No other blender comes even close in performance except the Nutribullet. I have used the Vitamix on my job for many years, and it never broke once, but it cost easily three times as much as the Nutribullet. In the same token the Vitamix is much bigger, which has the advantage of making two or three smoothies at the same time. The Vitamix is also able to blend hot food like soups and sauces and comes with its own recipe book, too.
Nutribullet Versus The Vitamix – Which is better?
By the way I’m not getting paid to write about either blender, I just like both. However, I placed a link for you to take a look at both machines so you can look up the details. In the event you decide to buy the Nutri Bullet or the Vitamix through one of my links I would earn a tiny commission, which would make me happy and you even happier. I promise 🙂 If you have any previous experience with either one I would love to hear your opinion.
The recipe for this super food cocktail is one that I have used for many months now, but can really enjoy it since I have the Nutri-bullet. Of course you can make this healthy cocktail in any blender, you might just have some small bits and pieces in it.
Enjoy Your Food and Eat Slowly…
There is one fundamental reason this super food cocktail has so many health benefits for us. Because it is food that was made drinkable, so we don’t need much chewing. We humans don’t like to chew. (It’s a fact for most of us) We are always in a hurry. Although there is a reason why we should chew thoroughly – and that is a better digestion with better nutrition absorption. This super food cocktail enables a perfect digestion and since you have a variety of fruit, vegetables and grains you’ll receive a super dose of vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fats.
I make a drink like this every morning for my family. Actually I prepare it the night before. I put all ingredients in the blender cup, cover it and in the morning I just blend it. It’s surprisingly luscious, delightful as it is addicting.
For those of us who have allergies to grains, soy or lactose I recommend to just leave these ingredients out and replace them with other fruit and vegetables.
A Super Food Cocktail #HealthyFridays
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks,
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
1/2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 organic apple, quartered and seeded
1 small banana
1 organic carrot
1 cup of organic baby spinach, kale & red Swiss chard
1/2 cup organic blueberries
1/2 cup of organic raspberries
5 pieces of asparagus
1 tbsp flax meal
1/3 cup coconut water
1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
All seeds must first be milled.
Than add all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy
For all non vegetarian you can add 1/3 cup of organic vanilla yogurt to this super food cocktail. However, I guess tofu would work great too just to add more protein to the shake. The organic baby greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard are offered in some supermarkets. Some call it the super greens. If you can’t find this mixture of lettuces than baby spinach is just fine.
I would love to hear your opinion?
Do you own a Nutribullet or Vitamix? Do you like it?
Do you have your own “super food cocktail” recipe? Tell me about it?
We all want more out of life. Whatever makes us happy is worth to pursue. For some it’s traveling or cooking and for others it’s helping those in need. Regardless of what makes us happy it can only work if we’re healthy. Those of us following a healthy lifestyle might get more out of life already. However, what I have recently discovered will affect everyone sooner or later. If you have heard about “Escape Fire” than you already know what I’m talking about. I’ll get into this in a minute.
Who Needs Healthcare?
I always thought living a healthy lifestyle is all it takes to avoid most healthcare cost. That might be true to some degree; however, there is always someone in the family who needs medical care. Whether it’s our kids with an ear infection or our parents who need elderly care; we don’t get away from healthcare cost.
It is not about you or me – It is about a Nation
What I didn’t know or maybe I ignored it; is the fact that our nation is as sick as a dog. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s the truth.
In my opinion the only way to treat a nations “disease” is to educate the nation itself. It is something that has to be done on a higher level. Whether it is the government, the Media or larger corporations who take the initiative. I’m not implying one government party is better than the other or some lobbyist are to blame for the existent healthcare system.
For instance the restriction of trans fats in NY was a great program, although it did nothing to teach people to eat less fast-food. It actually had the opposite effect. However it was a step in the right direction. Many years ago the government made it mandatory to wear seat bells while driving, because it saves lives. Guess what? No one is telling the average consumer that eating everyday arteries clogging fast food is killing people, too. Nothing is done to prevent these unhealthy eating habits.
Healthy foods need to be made affordable
The unfortunate problem is that low-income citizens are the most vulnerable in this vicious cycle. Just take look in your local supermarket. Guess what are the cheapest foods available? Highly processed foods – Surprised? Of course not. We all know that fresh foods like produce, meats and fish are expensive and in most cases not affordable for low-income consumers. Well, let’s take a look in the dry goods aisle. You’ll find everything from simple gravy to complete meals, dog cheap of course and again – highly processed – with little or no nutritional values. I’m not saying you can’t have this type of food once in a while, but for some it is the only choice, because it’s affordable.
Choosing Foods With Healthy Ingredients
The other day I observed a mother with her grown up daughter in the jam and peanut butter aisle. Both were heavily overweight. They were looking for the best deal on peanut butter. The mother took a large jar from a popular company. I knew this type of peanut butter, one I was avoiding, because it has a ton of ingredients including trans fats. So I politely pointed out to her that this type of peanut butter is not healthy and referred to the ingredients label. She quickly brushed me off saying that the big jar was of better value to her and it doesn’t matter what’s inside. “The price is right” she said and walked off.
No wonder this nation has an obesity problem and you can’t blame the people, because their choices are limited. Peanut butter is a very healthy product, when it includes peanuts only and not corn syrup and hydrogenated oils just to mention a few. People who consume high amounts of saturated fats have higher chances of becoming overweight. I don’t have to tell you that obesity leads to all kind of diseases, so why not avoid these type of foods all together. (But that is where the vicious circle starts again…)
We eat what we can afford and wonder why we gaining weight
The cycle continuous as people gain weight and become sick. Worst of all some of us don’t even have health insurance. Regardless, have you ever realized when going to the doctor that you are being rushed through the examination process? Then you might not be the only one. The fact is that most practices set a limit about how many minutes a doctor should see its patients. There is no time for a small talk or to get to the bottom of your health problem. Worse, if the doctor spends more time with its patients she is put under pressure to achieve her quota. We have become numbers and are no longer treated like human beings. There are exceptions among doctors who fight for us and take the time, but they are against the system which is frustrating.
Lucky You – If You Are Healthy
At this moment the healthcare system is designed to put a Band-Aid on a wound that is already infected – instead of treating the source of the problem. In other words, the patient is treated with pills to keep the sickness under control. The patient goes home feeling a little better, but continues the same lame lifestyle with unhealthy eating habits and little or no exercise. The only one benefiting of this type of treatment is the pharmaceutical industry. For the patient it is a short-term solution and the vicious cycle continues.
A Healthy Lifestyle Does The Trick
Here is our chance to avoid this greedy healthcare system, which doesn’t want the best for us. Making the right lifestyle choices, which includes healthy eating habits and daily exercises. Many of us are doing this already, however the majority of people aren’t.
Most sicknesses are directly linked to our lifestyle
By living a healthy lifestyle we do our best to avoid obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and maybe even cancer. I’m not saying we won’t get sick but at least it is the right step into a healthier future.
This large supermarket chain offers its employees discounts on health insurance if they are willing to exercise or quit smoking for instance. By offering such incentives, employees are motivated, less sick and more productive.
I think if more companies would follow this principle; the obesity rate would drop as well as other diseases. In the end, I would hope, the healthcare cost would drop and I think that is a valuable fact to fight for.
A Film Worth Seeing
Just recently I saw the documentation on CNN: “Escape Fire” which is about our lifestyle and how it is directly linked to our healthcare cost. This award-winning film sheds light to our daily lifestyle routine, eating habits as a nation and its inherited consequences that contribute to an ever rising healthcare cost. It describes all elements of a broken healthcare system. This documentation will truly go under your skin.
Why This Will Affect Everyone – Watch The Movie
ESCAPE FIRE will be re-played on CNN on March 16, 2013 at 8pm, 11pm and 2am ET.
I would love for you to leave your opinion (if you have one) or comment below. I would really appreciate it.
Hello and thanks for visiting Kraemer’s Culinary Blog.
I am in the process of changing my blog name to Life of a Vegan Chef.
I have been a vegan for some time and love it.
I am also convinced that veganism is the most sustainable lifestyle, which will ultimately help the environment.
Please excuse any of the confusion, while I change my theme and concept.
As a chef I am thrilled to write about a fine dining vegan lifestyle.
For more info about superior vegan recipes please sign up.