Uncategorized, What is FOOD?

Hungry for Hummus

Hummus
Image by kchbrown via Flickr

It could not have happened at a better time. I was rushing to the subway, eager to get home and eat a late lunch, when all of a sudden I noticed an eclectic group of people gathered on the sidewalk patiently waiting in line.

As the nosey New Yorker that I am, I figured it had to be something. It’s a well-known fact that New Yorker’s have become somewhat immune to most daily peculiarities that happen on our sidewalks. For a New Yorker to not only stop what they are doing, but also patiently wait on line, it had to be something pretty good.

At the head of the line was a red idling truck where 2 young women were busily giving away individual sized packages of Sabras Hummus and snack sized bags of Pita chips to everyone in line.

Yippee! Free food!!!

As mentioned in my past post “When Free Can Be Fattening,” I am always a sucker for a freebie. However in this case, this freebie was not only NOT fattening but relatively healthy and low carb. One tablespoon has only 3 carbs.

My plan was to just take the hummus and leave the chips. However by the time I reached the head of the line, these women clearly were weary of giving away their goodies and insisted that I take several packages of BOTH the hummus and the pita chips.

“But I really don’t want that many,” I weakly protested.

“Don’t worry” the young woman enthused. “Once you try it, you’ll want more.”

As I lumbered down the subway with my hands full of humus and pita chips, I reasoned that I would give the chips to my kids and eat my hummus with celery and carrot sticks.

According to our friends at Wikipedia, Hummus can also be spelled hamos, hommos, hommus, homos, houmous, hummos or humus. It is a very popular middle eastern dip made primarily from chickpeas. Chickpeas, or Garbanzo beans in Spanish, or Cece beans in Italy have been used in cooking for thousands of years. In fact, according to The Food Encyclopedia, garbanzo beans are one of the world’s oldest cultivated foods dating as far back as the Neolithic period  in what is now Sicily. During the Roman Empire, chickpeas were shipped in jars from Sicily to the rest of Italy. The middle eastern region is thought to have created Hummus hundreds of years before that by combining chickpeas with lemon juice or vinegar, tahini (sesame seed butter), garlic and olive oil.

Although the history of hummus is lengthy, this ancient dip did not become popular in the United States until the end of the 20th century. Its popularity has steadily increased over the years with a 2010 market research report indicating a 35% growth in hummus consumption over the past 21 months. Sales are reportedly reaching nearly $300 million.

It’s no wonder that Americans are getting “hungry for hummus.” Chickpeas, the main ingredient are rich in protein, fiber, folic acid, zinc and magnesium. Tahini, which is sesame seed butter has about 3 grams of protein per tablespoon along with fiber and mono saturated (the healthy kind) fats.

Try the recipe below and let me know if you are “hungry for hummus”

Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • 1/2 head of roasted garlic (see note below)
  • 1 can of drained chick peas
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Remove roasted garlic cloves from skins. Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve with your favorite raw veggies.
*** How to roast garlic –  Cut off 1/4 inch of the raw garlic head. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on top of exposed cloves. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
I like to eat my hummus with lots of raw veggies. Celery Sticks, carrots sticks, red bell pepper and zucchini slices are my favorite. Experiment with your favorite veggies.
Chow for now!
What is FOOD?

What is FOOD?

Will eat for food
Image by altemark via Flickr

What is FOOD? Seems like a silly question, right? Heck, we have been consuming food in one form or another since conception.

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the following is the definition of “food” (noun)

  • A material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrates or fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair and vital processes and to furnish energy
  • Nutriment in solid form
  • Something that nourishes, sustains or supplies

As the definition above clearly states that “food” is something, nourishing or sustains growth, what the heck is the rest of that stuff that we have been consuming? The fact of the matter is that a vast majority of “food” on the market today has little to no nutrients, are not nourishing, nor will sustain healthy growth. Our “food” has been hijacked. What was considered food centuries ago bares a slim resemblance to the overly processed, striped down “franken-foods” on the market today. The only “sustaining growth” from these “wanna-be foods” is the girth around our waistlines, not to mention the “sustaining growth” of obesity and obesity related diseases in Americans today.

I have developed my own definition of FOOD. After much trial and error, I had my Eureka moment last month and have busy researching and developing the new and improved ” I Love FOOD Diet”.

Although I am in the process of fine tuning it –  (Hey, Rome was not built in a day), the basic premise is that you can eat as much FOOD and only FOOD every day. Not only will you lose weight, you will look better, feel better, have more energy and basically improve your life and those around you as well. Sounds too good to be true? Well let me clarify:

The definition of FOOD on the I Love FOOD Diet is that it must be two of the following:

  • F – FRESH – fresh fruit, fresh veggies, fresh seafood, fresh meats, no preservatives, no additives
  • O – Organic – no pesticides, no hormones, no genetically modified pseudo-foods
  • O – Oxygen – If it needs oxygen for growth then you can eat it on the I Love FOOD Diet. Fruits and veggies need oxygen to grow, animals need oxygen to grow, all forms of seafood need oxygen (what do you think the O stands for in H2O?). What does NOT need oxygen is rice, pasta, sugar, flour and bread (in fact, oxygen causes bread to go stale and grow mold!)
  • D – Delicious – If it is delicious you will eat it. We encourage liberal use of seasoning, certain condiments, salt, olive oil and even some butter.

I have a lot more to work and research to do for this fabulous diet. I’ll have more to report next time. In the meantime, keep eating FOOD!

Chow for now!