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Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

We’re always up for a challenge—and especially when it comes to anything physical—or anything in the kitchen.  (If you saw us on the Food Network’s show Chopped, you know we mean business! 😉 ) Thankfully, in our family, we’re not short on either kind of challenge.  This time, Tammy’s husband requested healthy jalapeno poppers for the upcoming big Super Bowl game–but realizing that wasn’t so much of a challenge– he knew that these twin sister registered dietitians wouldn’t serve anything less than healthy 😉 , so he upped the ante.  He also requested them to be sweet, crunchy, creamy and spicy (he LOVES spicy!) — so we put our chef hats on.  Game on!  We created these Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers– and they take it two steps further– not only are they waistline friendly, they’re little healthy powerhouses– packed with nutrients, antioxidants and health benefits galore. 🙂

 

Psst… want more jalapeno poppers?  Try our Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers.

If you think that just because we’re registered dietitians we don’t love creamy, crunchy, sweet & spicy comfort food, you’ve got the wrong girls!  😉 In fact, many of you probably know from reading our blog that we love sweets!  And, let’s face it,  of course who doesn’t love creamy and crunchy food–so the request for these poppers is so up our alley! And we love spicy food too.  Ever since we were little girls and our dad lovingly teased us and said that eating spicy food made you stronger and more “manly” (yep, we were tomboys and daddy’s little girls –and being like him–and more “manly” was strangely quite attractive to us in those days!), we were sold! We’d load our food with hot red pepper flakes, and enjoy every bite of it!

 

 

These poppers are perfect for enjoying while tailgating or serving as a healthy appetizer before a party, they’re the ideal healthy comfort food! Filled with hummus, tomatoes, California prunes, and feta cheese and walnuts, you can get your appetizer fix without getting all that extra fat and calories—and at 50 calories a serving, you really can’t go wrong.

(Psst… looking for more lightened up recipes? Please feel free to search this site! And here are a few to try…
Skinny Potato Skins
Skinny Mash
Comfort Food Reinvented Apple Pie
Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies )

Aside from tantalizing your taste buds, here are a few other reasons you can feel good about eating these lil’ bursts of yum!   They’re truly nutrient powerhouses!

 

 

They’re meat-free and packed with flavor, so they’re perfect if you’re serving vegetarian guests or trying to cut back on meat and fearful that you have to cut out all the flavorful stuff!

 

Chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)/ all pulses: these reside in our apartments year-round and are a great source of protein and fiber and can help lower your cholesterol.

• All pulses (the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods you know as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas), contain both fiber & protein: If you’ve spent any time on our blog, you know that this magical combination helps to keep you satisfied, keep your energy on an even keel and keep your blood sugar level stable.

  • If you’ve ever tried black bean humus, that works great in these poppers too!

• Pssst….fun fact: 2016 was declared International Year of Pulses (IYP) by the United Nations.

• Research show that pulses (like chickpeas), aid in weight loss even when calories aren’t restricted. Check out this 2016 study, that found that it was just 3/4 cup of pulses per day that worked!

 

Prunes (We used California prunes because we find them to be the sweetest and juiciest):

Our mom kept always kept a jar of stewed prunes in the fridge when we we’re growing up and anytime we were craving something sweet, we’d reach for them.  They were the best way to bust a sugar craving!  Who knew we were also getting these benefits:

  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health
  • Prunes are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, which help keep many parts of your body healthy– ranging from your heart to your eyes to your memory and your immune system.

 

Tomatoes: 

  • Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which not only helps to fight cancer, but also keeps your skin youthful by acting as a natural sunblock.

 

Walnuts:

  • Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids: most of us don’t get enough omega- 3’s in our life and need more because they help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis and they help contribute to, gorgeous, moisturized skin!

 

Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

Makes 8 Servings (16 poppers)

Ingredients: 

For Hummus (Note: If you don’t have time to make hummus from scratch, choose your favorite store bought variety):

1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained (19 0z)

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper

1/4 cup water

1 lemon

(Use about half of the hummus for the stuffed jalapenos and save the rest!)

Jalapeno:

8 Jalapenos, sliced in half, seeds removed (we suggest using gloves if jalapenos typically burn your skin)

Oil in a spray container (we used avocado oil)

5-6 grape tomatoes, finely chopped

1/8 cup feta cheese

5-6 California prunes, finely chopped (we munched on the extras)

2 tsp. chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper* (using tin foil will give you a crunchier jalapeno, but after cooking with it for years, we’ve been avoiding doing so to lower our exposure to aluminum). Spray lightly with oil in spray jar.
  3. Place jalapenos sliced side down on parchment paper (or tin foil) and very lightly spray/ mist with oil.  Bake 10 minutes. Then remove and put on parchment paper.
  4. Meanwhile, while the jalapenos are cooking, add the beans, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper, and water to a food processor and blend. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice of each half into the food processor.
  5. Mix the ingredients together until smooth.
  6. Place the hummus in a Ziploc baggie, clip a corner and use that to pipe the hummus into the cooled jalapeños.. (Alternatively, use a small spoon to stuff the hummus in the peppers.)
  7. Fill each jalapeno shell completely with hummus and top with prunes, tomatoes, walnuts and feta! Enjoy!

 

*We prefer using unbleached parchment paper over aluminum foil due to possible health concern that foil use might contribute to the buildup of aluminum found in the brains of some Alzheimer’s patient as well as contribute to osteoporosis—and our family is no stranger to either of these diseases, so we prefer not to take chances!

Nutrition Information per serving (2 poppers):

50 Calories; 8 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g fat; 3 g protein; 115 mg sodium: 3 g sugar; 2 .5 g fiber

Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • Makes 8 Servings (16 poppers)
  • Ingredients:
  • For Hummus (Note: If you don't have time to make hummus from scratch, choose your favorite store bought variety):
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained (19 0z)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 lemon
  • (Use about half of the hummus for the stuffed jalapenos and save the rest!)
  • Jalapeno:
  • 8 Jalapenos, sliced in half, seeds removed (we suggest using gloves if jalapenos typically burn your skin)
  • Oil in a spray container (we used avocado oil)
  • 5-6 grape tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ⅛ cup feta cheese
  • 5-6 California prunes, finely chopped (we munched on the extras)
  • 2 tsp. chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Line baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper* (using tin foil will give you a crunchier jalapeno, but after cooking with it for years, we’ve been avoiding doing so to lower our exposure to aluminum). Spray lightly with oil in spray jar.
  4. Place jalapenos sliced side down on parchment paper (or tin foil) and very lightly spray/ mist with oil. Bake 10 minutes. Then remove and put on parchment paper.
  5. Meanwhile, while the jalapenos are cooking, add the beans, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper, and water to a food processor and blend. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice of each half into the food processor.
  6. Mix the ingredients together until smooth.
  7. Place the hummus in a Ziploc baggie, clip a corner and use that to pipe the hummus into the cooled jalapeños.. (Alternatively, use a small spoon to stuff the hummus in the peppers.)
  8. Fill each jalapeno shell completely with hummus and top with prunes, tomatoes, walnuts and feta! Enjoy!
  9. *We prefer using unbleached parchment paper over aluminum foil due to possible health concern that foil use might contribute to the buildup of aluminum found in the brains of some Alzheimer's patient as well as contribute to osteoporosis—and our family is no stranger to either of these diseases, so we prefer not to take chances!
  10. Nutrition Information per serving (2 poppers):
  11. Calories; 8 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g fat; 3 g protein; 115 mg sodium: 3 g sugar; 2 .5 g fiber
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Poppers Calories: 50 calories Fat: 1.5 g Carbohydrates: 8 g Sodium: 115 mg Fiber: 2.5 g Protein: 3 g

 

 

 

Chickpea Blondies (Gluten-free, grain-free)

We often describe our parents, who raised us in a loving, healthy, cook-it-from-scratch, granola-making, wholesome home, as being basically hippies, minus the drugs. 😉 Long before it was considered cool to eat and buy locally grown food or to belong to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), our mom was all over it.  Before people were avoiding pesticides, our mom was on the case.  And when the current plant-based movement didn’t even exist and before it was considered cool to worry about sustainability, and saving the planet, our mom was serving us yummy spaghetti and lentil-“meatballs”– and bean “burgers” and vegetarian split pea soup had a regular spot on the weekly dinner menu too.  Our mom was simply out to keep us—and the planet healthy.  And you could see it all over her granola and chickpea covered apron.  🙂

chickpea-blondies-peanutbutter-honey-darkchocolate-coconut-logo

Our mom was eating conscientiously before it was chic.  She didn’t realize that she was savvy and ahead of her time, creating most of our family meals out pulses–the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods you know as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas—unaware that years later, 2016 would be named International Year of Pulses (IYP) by the United Nations.

Now, as registered dietitian nutritionists, the coolest thing for us is that everything is coming full circle since we grew up with pulses and already love them and toot their horn (couldn’t resist! 😉) and our mom had taught us what the UN is currently acknowledging about pulses.  We get to deliver the amazing message about pulses and encourage you to enjoy them more often and take the pulse pledge.

To take the pledge you’ll simply commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks and join a global food movement!

Here’s why you’ll love it! Eating dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas helps reduce your carbon footprint – and it’s great for your health. Every 1/2 cup of cooked pulses delivers 9 grams of protein.

Pulses are:

  • nutritious (packed with protein, fiber, iron, potassium, antioxidants, and more!)
  • versatile and tasty (ummm… our yummy spaghetti and “meat”balls were made of lentils! our succulent “burgers” we made from beans—and just wait ‘till you check out the delectable sweet recipe below)
  • affordable (ah, yes….our mom didn’t let us forget that dad was a phD student with 3 kids to feed, so we were taught at an early age that pulses are one of the most cost effective proteins in the world)
  • sustainable (growing up, as proud owners of a “compost heap” in the wooded section of our suburban back yard, we were taught a thing or two about how pulses enrich the soil where they grow, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Plus, they can grow in harsh environments and have a low carbon footprint and hardly require any irrigation (they’re water-efficient).

 

And just in case you we’re wondering what pulses do for our crazy sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check—we’ve got this scrumptious golden nugget below.  It’s a throwback to the Blondies our mom used to bake. Only these are even healthier and tastier, if you can believe it! We can’t!  And the protein and the fiber in the pulses help to keep you satiated.  Regardless, it’s hard not to eat the whole batch…they’re that good!

 

chickpea_blondies_horizontal_logoChickpea Blondies

Makes 16 servings

Chickpea_blondies_ingredients_logoIngredients

1, 15-oz can chickpeas, also may be found as garbanzo beans

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp, reserve for top

1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling

Chickpea_blondies_tray_vertical_logo

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. Spritz an 8×8 pan with oil in a spray container.
  1. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor. If using a blender, after rinsing chickpeas, remove their skin before placing in the blender by pinching the chick pea between your fingers. The skin will easily fall off and will take about five extra minutes and will ensure a very smooth blended product.
  1. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
  1. Fold in 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips.
  1. Spread batter evenly in pan, top with reserved 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips
  1. Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. You do not want to overcook these so check on them to see if they are ready sooner in your oven. They should be moist and a little brown around the edges. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done. Cool pan on a wire rack until pan is cool to touch, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.
  1. Cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies
  1. Delicious immediately or cool in refrigerator for a delicious cold treat. If you prefer them to be more firm, simply allowing them to cool in the fridge.

 

Nutrition Facts Per 1 Serving: 123 Calories, 6 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 35 mg Sodium, 15 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein

 

The Nutrition Twins work with the Pulse Councils to help people to eat more healthfully and encourage them to take the Pulse Pledge.

Chickpea_Blondies_Collage

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)
 
Nutrition Facts Per 1 Serving: 123 Calories, 6 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 35 mg Sodium, 15 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1, 15-oz can chickpeas, also may be found as garbanzo beans
  • ½ cup all natural peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp, reserve for top
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spritz an 8x8 pan with oil in a spray container.
  3. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor. If using a blender, after rinsing chickpeas, remove their skin before placing in the blender by pinching the chick pea between your fingers. The skin will easily fall off and will take about five extra minutes and will ensure a very smooth blended product.
  4. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
  5. Fold in ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips.
  6. Spread batter evenly in pan, top with reserved 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips
  7. Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. You do not want to overcook these so check on them to see if they are ready sooner in your oven. They should be moist and a little brown around the edges. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done. Cool pan on a wire rack until pan is cool to touch, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.
  8. Cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies
  9. Delicious immediately or cool in refrigerator for a delicious cold treat. If you prefer them to be more firm, simply allowing them to cool in the fridge.

Lentil and Chickpea Stew

We just returned from our annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo with Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Nashville where we learned that the United Nations has proclaimed 2016 as “International Year of Pulses”.  Dry beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, also known as pulse crops, and are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family — and if they’re new to your plate, you may not realize that they really they are the little beans we have been cultivating from the soil for over than 10,000 years! And now, 2016 is dedicated to pulses is because of the vital role they play in our diets and in sustainable farming.  Yup, dried beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils are the new “it”- who knew?! 🙂  If you ask us it’s always been the year of the pulses. After all, our mom created most of our meals from plants so proteins came from the pulses–we had lentil burgers, pea soup, black bean stuffed tortillas, you name it, it inspired these of our own.  Tomato, Avocado & Chickpea Salad, our Quick & Creamy Quinoa with Beans & Spinach, our Quick White Bean Stew with Kale and Tomatoes,  our Tex-Mex Bean Salsa and these two favesLentil Vegetable Soup, Black Bean Quinoa Chili with Avocado

 Lentil_Chickpea_Stew9_crop_LOGO

So why are we so excited to share this recipe with you and help you to get more pulses? 

Well, they fill you up with protein and fiber–their rich in this magical combination for weight loss–and they are low in fat and contain many vitamins and minerals.

They also are great for the environment–they are considered very sustainable because they are nitrogen-fixing (they use nitrogen from the atmosphere to make protein) and water-efficient crops; they use 10-50 percent less water compared to other sources of proteins–and they are an important protein source worldwide.)

So whatcha waiting for, grab your spoon and dig in–or grab your pot and toss in this easy stew! We can’t wait to hear what ya think! 🙂

Lentil_Chickpea_Stew1_crop_LOGO

Lentil and Chickpea Stew

We suggest serving this scrumptious Meatless Monday meal with a large salad or some steamed broccoli or another of your favorite veggie meals. We love it so much we often have a serving and half, which is just 300 calories and bumps up the protein nicely!  We love having this with our Caramelized Cauliflower or with our Roasted detoxifying Veggies.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ cup lentils
1, 14 ounce can chickpeas
14 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 avocado, garnish
Directions:
1. In a medium pan, heat olive oil over low heat and add cumin and chili powder. Stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.
2. Add lentils, tomatoes, chickpeas (not drained) and 1 cup of water to the pot. Season with pepper and salt, if using.
3. Bring mixture to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked. It should be soft. Most of the water will be absorbed and you will have a thick, delicious, hearty chili. Slice avocado and place on top and serve.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving, without avocado: 200 calories, 3 g fat, 35 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, 13 g fiber, 289 mg sodium, 0 g saturated fat

 

Lentil and Chickpea Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ cup lentils
  • 1, 14 ounce can chickpeas
  • 14 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium pan, heat olive oil over low heat and add cumin and chili powder. Stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add lentils, tomatoes, chickpeas (not drained) and 1 cup of water to the pot. Season with pepper and salt, if using.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked. It should be soft. Most of the water will be absorbed and you will have a thick, delicious, hearty chili. Slice avocado and place on top and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 200 calories Fat: 3 g Saturated fat: o g Carbohydrates: 35 g Sodium: 289 mg Fiber: 13 g Protein: 12 g