I leave for my NYC vacation tomorrow, so this will be my last post for a few days.

One of the goals I accomplished from last month (and am going to set again this month) was trying a new ingredient each week.

Week 1

Chia Seeds

My favorite new find–how are these so amazing/so much fun? This is why I set this goal for myself! I love them in overnight oats, smoothies/protein shakes and baked goods. While expensive (I think I can probably find a cheaper Internet source now that I know they’re good), they are worth it for the health and fun factor.

Week 2

Hemp Milk

NOT a fan. I suppose it would be fine in baked goods or something, but I tried it in a glass, with cereal and in my smoothie, and every time the taste and smell got to me. It is hard to beat almond milk, anyway (and Kroger likes to give me lots of almond milk coupons, so it is by far the cheapest choice).

Week 3

Buckwheat Flour

I’d had buckwheat pancakes in the past and loved them, but never cooked with the stuff myself. After buying the flour, I made some failure muffins involving buckwheat, but pancakes have held steady and delicious. I need to branch out with my buckwheat use, but how can you say no to these (with vegan ingredient substitutions):

Mmm, all ready to be slathered in maple syrup!

Week 4

Basil

Pesto hummus! Okay, okay–I’ve obviously had basil before, but I’ve never featured it–plus I knew I was leaving this week and didn’t want to fill up a fridge/open a new package. And the basil came from my deck garden! Recipe follows.

Basil Hummus Recipe

1 Can chickpeas, save liquid

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp garlic (or as garlicky as you want!)

LOTS of basil (okay, okay–I am clearly awful at recipes, I just throw stuff in. I think it ended up being several handfuls of leaves, just taste as you go.)

SOME parsley (may one handful)

A few tsp of italian seasoning (optional)

Sprinkle of nutritional yeast and pepper (optional)

Blend it all, add the chickpea juice as needed to get the right consistency. Get some Trader Joe’s baked tortilla chips (okay, okay–any chips you want, but these are so amazing and thick) and enjoy!

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