Hippy Chick Hummus Restaurant

I really, really wanted to like this place. They serve healthy vegan, locally sourced food with an emphasis on green sustainability throughout this casual restaurant. These things, as well as the food, mean a lot to me. The decor is colorful and quirky. I’m always on the lookout for good vegan food, and I love things that are different. Hippy Chick Hummus looks like a fun place to grab a quick bite to eat while shopping or sight-seeing in town, but that was not my experience. This is my honest review:

interior view

Perhaps Hippy Chick Hummus is a little bit too casual for me. I did not appreciate the panhandler who wandered in through the open door and approached each table asking for money, and then sauntered up to the register to ask for money there as well. The open door again — an invitation for flies that had to be batted away from our food as we ate. We could have sat outside at a sidewalk table and enjoyed the traffic noise and exhaust, but we chose the lesser of two evils.

Falafel Wrap and Falafel Salad

The food was fresh and locally sourced. Servings were large. The falafel is their own unique recipe, a bit different and air-fried which makes them lighter and drier. The flavor was just okay, but could have been greatly improved if they served both items with more of the lemon tahini dressing (a lot more). The food was pretty dry with such a skimpy amount of dressing. You can ask for more dressing with an upcharge (who charges for more salad dressing?). The oily dressing on the side — I couldn’t identify a flavor. I poured it over the entire salad, but there was just no flavor to that dressing.

Finally, the ginger-lemonade. I wouldn’t recommend it. Have you ever tasted a sour beverage with no sugar, but hot ginger instead? It is an awful combination that burns your throat and overwhelms everything else. Fortunately, I had a packet of stevia with me, but that lemonade was painful to drink. As I said, I really, really wanted to like this place, but sadly couldn’t. Maybe you would feel differently. We did notice a lot of take-out orders being picked up while we were there. That could be a clue.

Exterior view

Hippy Chick Hummus, 237 N. Market St., Frederick, MD, Phone: 240-815-7175

New! About Jayne M Booth, Author of “SMASHING IDOLS: Transform Your Body, Mind and Spirit with a Plant-Based Lifestyle.”

Jayne M Booth has always loved reading and writing. At 16, she started working as a waitress at Percy Brown’s Restaurant in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She is a certified Health Minister. She helps individuals enjoy a healthy whole-food plant-based lifestyle. She likes to paint, dance, hike, and read to anyone who will listen. Read full interview…

Matcha Green Tea Latte

Do you ever find a product that is so outstanding you just have to share it? Well, sometimes I do, and this is one of those times. I should mention at the beginning that I am not being paid for this review. I simply believe that when a product performs above and beyond your expectations, it deserves to be noticed.

I like to start my day with green tea… and not just any green tea. Each morning I enjoy lingering over a tall vegan Matcha Latte. Tea is very important to me, so I have tried many different brands of matcha. Some are good, and some are just meh. The very best I have had so far is Rishi Ceremonial Matcha (organic, single origin). You can find this tea at many retail outlets and online: http://www.rishi-tea.com

There is absolutely nothing bad about this tea. It mixes well and creates a decent layer of foam when I mix it with my little electric whisk. (Hint: If you do use an electric whisk be sure to also use a tall mug. Fill the mug 1/3 full with boiling water and a spoonful of matcha powder. Then, and this is the important part, completely immerse the whisk BEFORE turning it on. Otherwise you will have green matcha tea splashing everywhere!) When you are satisfied with the quality of the mix and the foam you can add more boiling water, sweetener, and non-dairy creamer if desired. The foam and flavor last even after adding plant-based creamer.

Additionally, the little container in which this tea comes deserves mention. It’s round, as every loose tea container should be — no nasty corners to trap that last bit of tea you just can’t dig out no matter how hard you try. The outer lid glides off easily and the little tab on the inner seal that helps you easily remove that seal without breaking a fingernail — inspired!

You may wonder why I am so passionate about this tea. Well, it’s not only delicious, but it also contains a healthy dose of L-theanine. Along with caffeine, L-theanine helps to increase focus and attention, ease anxiety and stress, and helps you to relax without causing drowsiness.* Sounds like the ideal way to start your day, right?

Several studies have also found that the antioxidants in green tea could enhance the function of the body’s immune system, decreasing upper respiratory tract infections and preventing flu symptoms. Right now it is more important than ever to bolster your natural immune system. Sipping this creamy Matcha Latte is a delicious way to do that. Drink to your health!

https://www.healthline.com/health/l-theanine

Recipe: Mock Crab Cakes (carrot cakes)

Do you juice? I try to drink one or two glasses of carrot juice everyday. It always bothers me to throw away the carrot pulp after juicing, so I’ve found some creative ways to use it (besides compost). This is one recipe I make often, and everyone seems to like it. The ingredients aren’t exact and you can adjust them according to the amount of carrot pulp you are using and your personal preference. The one thing I keep constant is the equal ratio of carrot pulp and cooked brown rice.

Ingredients:

Equal amounts of fresh carrot pulp and cooked brown rice. This is also a good way to use up leftover cooked rice. It should look something like this. I didn’t measure exact amounts, but this looks like about 2 cups of each which yielded 8 burger-size “crab” cakes.

1 cup finely chopped mixed sweet red and green peppers

1/2 finely chopped onion

1 – 2 cloves pressed garlic

1 – 2 Tbsp. Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (or soy sauce), to taste

1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

1 sheet Nori (sea vegetable), cut into small flakes

1 – 2 egg substitute (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer). Instead of mixing the Egg Replacer with water I mixed it with carrot juice.

And finally, Italian seasoned bread crumbs (enough to hold it all together when molded into cakes)

Procedure:

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. You want the mixture to hold together and not be crumbly. With your hands form handfuls of mixture into oval or round shaped patties (round if you are serving them on a bun), about 3/4 inch thick. Wetting your hands during this process helps keep the mixture from sticking to your hands.

Fry patties, several at a time, in a large lightly oiled, heavy frying pan. I use grapeseed oil or light olive oil — not the extra virgin kind (save extra virgin olive oil for your salad dressings). You can also bake them on a prepared pan in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, brush cakes lightly with more oil, and turn once. (Baking is easier because it doesn’t require your full attention, but the cakes will be slightly less firm.) Today I baked them on a parchment lined pan after brushing both sides with grapeseed oil. Baked or fried, these are delicious!

Serve these imitation seafood treats with a sauce made from Vegenaise and bottled horseradish or ketchup mixed with horseradish. Make it as tangy as you like.

A yummy departure from the typical veggie burger. Enjoy!

CREAMY ASPARAGUS RICE CASSEROLE

This is the best plant-based comfort food, perfect on a cold winter day! It doesn’t call for any exotic ingredients, and you can mix and bake it all in the same casserole.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups No Chicken Broth or Boullion

2 1/2 cups water

1 – 1.5 lbs. fresh asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces

2 Tbsp. melted organic butter or plant-based spread

1 tsp. sea salt

3 cloves minced garlic

1 cup uncooked arborio rice

3/4 cup red lentils

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

You will need a big (3 qt) glass casserole dish or oven-safe pasta bowl.

Place all the prepared ingredients, except the broth and water, in the casserole dish.

Heat broth and water unil hot, and pour over all ingredients in casserole.

Stir well and cover.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir, recover, and bake another 30 minutes.

Check to see if rice is cooked and creamy. If not, stir, recover, and cook for another 10 minutes or until done.

Pre-race Dinner Idea

Two of our daughters and daughter-in-law are running an early half-marathon race tomorrow. Tonight they wanted a light, but protein-packed dinner — something that would fuel their race, but not weigh them down. So, they put their heads together and came up with this beautiful plant-based veggie bowl.

Quinoa, marinated tofu, and spiced chickpeas provided the protein. The colorful veggies included: roasted squash and mushrooms, onions, pickled carrots, snow peas, avocado chunks, and grape tomatoes over a bed of crisp greens. A choice of light dressings completed this delicious veggie bowl.

I am so proud of my girls, not just for running, but for coming up with this much healthier pre-race meal, so different from the carb-loading pasta dinners I remember from their highschool days. This is a much healthier and satisfying meal.

PS: They all finished with good times. Shannon came in third in her class. (Could it have been the quinoa?) 😉

Book Review: “Alaska Sourdough, The Real Stuff by a Real Alaskan,” revised edition, by Ruth Allman (forward by Addie Studebaker)

If you have ever thought about making your own sourdough bread, but were intimidated by the online instructions and videos detailing the complicated method involved in creating and keeping a living starter, then this is the book for you. I admit the whole process seemed daunting and mysterious to me. I really didn’t want my life to revolve around feeding a sourdough starter morning and evening for a whole month before even trying to bake bread. If you do some research you will discover that there are dozens of ways to create, and kill, a sourdough starter, and I wasn’t willing to take any chances after that investment of time and effort. This book is perfect for people like me — like you?

Alaska Sourdough, the Real Stuff by a Real Alaskan was first printed in 1976, but has recently been revised for the modern reader. I love the wisdom and charm of Ruth Allman’s notes and advice. She makes everything seem simple, and her common sense style of writing will convince you that yes, even you can bake your own sourdough bread. Throughout this book she intersperses the history of early Alaskan pioneers who depended on their sourdough starter to keep them alive through bone-chilling winters on the frozen tundra. These early pioneers were not expert chefs or bakers. They were in Alaska to homestead, find adventure, and hopefully strike it rich. They did not have the luxury of allowing their sourdough efforts to fail. Their very lives depended on the success of their sourdough, and the author is generous in sharing their many no-nonsense tips and tricks for success.

So, encouraged by their efforts, I dove in and made the starter using her potato water recipe. I expected to wait and feed the starter daily for at least one week before baking. Well, by the second day my starter had nearly doubled in size, and by the third day I had to bake, or it would have overflowed the quart jar where it was bubbling and brewing like a witch’s cauldron. The two loaves of bread I made on the third day came out great! I continued to feed the starter following the author’s simple instructions, and two days later used some to make delicious sourdough hotcakes for three hungry adults. All this in less than one week! I have plans for more bread and sourdough pretzels in the near future. If I can do this, you can, too. I highly recommend Alaska Sourdough, the Real Stuff by a Real Alaskan, by Ruth Allman, and wish you much success on your bread baking adventure!

My sourdough starter on day 2. (The rubberband marks the starting point on day 1). On day 3 it was definitely time to bake!

August Zucchini Casserole

If you garden, you are probably up to your eyeballs in summer produce by now. We currently don’t have room for a garden where we live, and I do miss growing my own veggies. There is just something so primal about digging in the warm earth and nurturing your own nutrition to life. I guess you can take the girl out of the garden, but you can’t take the garden out of the girl! Fortunately, we have generous friends that are willing to share their bounty with us. Thanks Mary and Rohn! And, that’s how this simple and economical recipe was born.

Ingredients:

2 – 3 zucchini, thinly sliced

2 – 3 peppers (red or green), diced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 – 3 large tomatoes, diced (include the juice)

1 – 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup shredded veggie cheese of your choice

Herbamare for seasoning

Vegan parmesan and Italian herbs (garlic, basil, oregano) for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Use a 13 x 9 inch glass casserole dish. Spread about 1 Tbsp olive oil in the bottom of the dish.

Layer one half of the zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and all the chickpeas.

Season with Italian herbs and Herbamare

Spread shredded veggie cheese over all.

Then layer the remaining half of the zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes and a final layer of zucchini.

Drizzle some olive oil over top, just a tablespoon or two (or you can spray some over the top)

Season with Italian herbs, Herbamare, and veggie parmesan. (You can make your own with this recipe: Vegan “Parmesan Cheese”)

Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1-1/4 hours.