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

Easy Barbeque Vegan Burgers

What will you serve at your Memorial Day Picnic?

This delicious Barbeque Vegan Burger recipe is something you can make ahead, freeze, and then pull out as many as you need. The recipe makes 10 super-size burgers, as you see here, or you can make them smaller to fit the average hamburger bun. You can even prepare them ahead! These were made to perfectly fit a large multugrain roll. The recipe takes about 10 -15 minutes to put together and is so simple you will make them often.

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can fat-free refried beans

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup (leftover) cooked rice (white or brown)

1 cup chopped walnuts (not too fine)

1/2 cup barbeque sauce

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

Extra barbeque sauce to top burgers after baking

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper

  • In a large bowl, partially mash the black beans.
  • Add remaining ingredients, mix well and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes (or cover and refrigerate overnight and continue forming and baking the burgers the next day). Allowing the mixture to sit awhile will help bind the ingredients together and makes it easier to form the burger patties.
  • Form rounded 1/2 cup portions of mixture into burger shapes and place on the parchment lined pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, turn over and coat each burger with a layer of your favorite barbeque sauce
  • Bake for another 15 – 20 minutes. (Adjust baking time according to the size of your burgers)
  • Serve with your favorite burger toppings and more barbeque sauce if desired.

Happy, healthy summer eating!

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…

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.

What Does a Vegan Eat for Breakfast?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

This may be a simple question for some to answer, but believe it or not, it is a real delemma for people trying to transition to a plant-based lifestyle. They are confused about what to eat in the morning. Changing lifelong habits can be baffling, especially when you first wake up. This is understandable if you are used to the standard bacon and egg breakfast or a quick doughnut and coffee grabbed on the way to work. If you are not a morning person and don’t wake up with the energy and motivation to follow a recipe and actually cook your first meal of the day, then your plan to eat more healthfully can be derailed before the day even begins. Here to help are some suggestions for easy plant-based breakfasts that require little to no preparation:

First of all, think outside the box. What leftovers are in your frig.? Leftover cooked brown rice, quinoa, corn grits, barley or millet sweetened with maple syrup or rice syrup and topped with fruit, nuts, seeds and any plant milk you prefer is a healthy alternative to boxed cereal. You can eat this cold or warm — it will be delicious either way.

Muesli is a raw whole grain cereal usually made from oats combined with dried fruit, nuts and seeds. It is more expensive than granola in the stores, but it is simple to make in large batches, so all you need to do in the morning is scoop some into a bowl. Here is an easy-to-make-ahead muesli recipe: https://vegtutor.com/2020/08/05/homemade-muesli/

For an even more basic breakfast idea: raw fruit and nuts can’t be beat. If you prefer, you may substitute natural nut butter instead of nuts and use it as a dip for sliced whole fruit. All natural, and so simple that even a child can prepare it! Each of these ideas contains enough protein to keep you fueled all morning, and that is important. A little protein in each meal will help you avoid food cravings between meals.

Toasted wholegrain bread or bagel topped with mashed ripe avocado, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt is another option for those who want something more savory.

Photo by Kasumi Loffler on Pexels.com

Of course, you could always go the way of veggie bacon and egg substitutes, and that is okay for a rare treat, but not every day. Fake animal substitutes are overly processed and should not be a regular part of your healthy diet. If you habitually use fake animal foods as a crutch, then you will never learn to appreciate the flavors and health benefits of real whole plant foods… the foods your body was designed to thrive on. If you train yourself to eat as close to the garden as possible, you can’t go wrong!