What is The Vegan(ish) Experiment?

Our family (me, my husband D, and our four-year-old Molly) started 2009 with a mostly-vegan, macrobiotic-inspired diet (although I have to admit, the strict macro rules have pretty much gone out the window). I have seen a marked improvement in my chronic migraines, and I'm enjoying proving that we can make amazing, mouth-watering, memorable food without animal products. For a more in-depth intro, click here.

I stopped updating this blog quite awhile back, when life got in the way. I'm still keeping a mostly vegan kitchen, though, and loving it. Have fun browsing my recipes!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 31: Kalamata Olive Hummus

Wow, hard to believe it's the last day of the month. Will we continue our vegan(ish) experiment? I doubt that any of my readers are on the edges of their seats from the suspense . . . I think I've made it fairly clear that we're enjoying the food and its positive health effects. So, yes, we will continue. D has lost around 8 pounds (we finally bought a bathroom scale), my migraines are down to a fraction their previous frequency (only one in the past 10 days ... infinitely better than the 5 a week I was getting), and we feel better all-around.

There's only one drawback so far, and that's that it's harder for me to keep a healthy weight. I have to remember to eat often, because our regular meals have less fat and calories than animal-based meals. I did well the first few weeks of the month, but when Molly was sick this past week and D was in Ireland, I didn't sit down and eat as often as I should have. A few pounds I didn't need (or want) to lose melted off within just a few days, and I'm making a point to eat when I'm hungry, focusing on foods that have healthy fats (like beans and nuts).

I find I have an easier time keeping the weight on if I surround myself with healthy, easy snacks. So today I took some kalamata olives that had been sitting in the fridge for a week, and I made a super-easy hummus:

This took about 5 minutes, and D and I both loved it. I think Molly will like it too, but she is still getting over some of the, um, juicier digestive side-effects of her virus, so we're giving her bland food for now. If you want to make it yourself, assuming my mention of poor Molly's problems didn't spoil your appetite, here's the recipe:

Easy Olive Hummus
1 15-oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained (keep the liquid) or 2 c. cooked chickpeas*
1/3 c. sesame tahini
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2-4 T. lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives (or black olives, if you aren't crazy about the brown ones)
1-2 T. juice from olive jar
fresh-ground black pepper

*To cook chickpeas: soak 1 c. dry chickpeas (with one strip kombu, optional) for at least 6 hours. Drain. Cover with water (at least 1 inch above the beans) keeping the kombu in the water if desired, and bring to a boil. Decrease heat and simmer, covered, for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until tender. Remove kombu at the end, if you don't want specks of it in your hummus.

Place chickpeas and tahini in a mixing bowl. Puree with a hand blender. Add olive oil and lemon juice; puree. Add olives and olive juice; puree. If you want the hummus to be creamier, add a little liquid from the beans or water. Add salt if desired (I didn't find it needed any, because the olives were salty). Drizzle olive oil on top - be liberal with it if you're trying to put on the weight like me! - and sprinkle with black pepper.

Eat with whole-wheat pita chips or fresh veggies, or use as a sandwich spread.


  1. Mmm! Congrats on the reduced migraines; that is so great.

  2. I am so thrilled with your results! I have always felt saddened by your many headaches and am astounded at this level of change in a relatively short time. Whooopeee!


  3. It looks delicious but mostly I'm just so glad to hear about your reduced migraines. Anything that decreases migraine frequency is good by me!

  4. Congratulations on achieving your goals, as well as the goals you weren't expecting!

  5. Really pleased about the migraines. And this sounds another good recipe. To be tried with raw carrot sticks, I think (I'm always looking for something new to dip them into.)

  6. your recipes just look so dang good! i'm so glad i found your blog!

  7. Please could you tell me about your migraines. I found your blog by searching for migraine info. I have always had them but infrequently. Recently they have become more frequent. If I had a job other than being a SAHM I am not sure how I would function. I would love to ask you some questions and know more about the diet. I am desperate. My email is marcia_kennedy@verizon.net


I love it when people come back and tell me how the recipes turned out - please consider doing so! Thanks!


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