Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Paleo Hummus (Plus an Admission, a Competition, and a Challenge)

Anyone who has known me for a long time knows certain things about me:  a)  Public embarrassment is to be avoided like the plague.  I will do nearly anything to spare my ego in front of strangers or people I'm not totally comfortable around.  b)  Hand-in-hand with fearing public shame, I steer clear of competition.  I hate to lose, and I would rather not play most games or sports so I don't have to feel the agony of defeat.  Do I need some therapy?  Perhaps!  But these are personality traits I've always had and I don't see them going away any time soon.

So it is with much trepidation that I even make this announcement -- I have entered a Paleo Challenge through my gym!  The Paleo lifestyle can best be described as eating as our caveman ancestors did, focusing on vegetables, meat, fruits, and nuts, and eliminating dairy, sugar, grains, and legumes.  For thirty days, I am going to be eating a strict Paleo diet, eschewing alcohol and the above verboten food  groups, and exercising like a crazy person.  There are, I am estimating, another 50 people in the competition, so I will be going up against a lot of people of unknown stamina, diet preferences, and cooking skill.  The challenge starts Saturday, with a visit to the dunk tank (to measure my body fat percentage) -- and a photo of me in my bathing suit.  (Insert screams of horror here!)  Then I complete a specific workout (to be determined) for time.  In a month, everyone comes back and repeats the process to see who has lost the most body fat, the most inches from their waist or thighs or whatever problem areas exist, and who has improved the most in their performance of that same workout.  We are also to keep a food log, so points will be docked for cheating on the diet.

I'm terrified of people seeing me in my bathing suit.  This is Hollywood, after all, and although I'm not obese, I do have some jiggles and bulges, and I'm creeping up on 40.  I'm terrified of performing the workout, period, because they're really hard, and I JUST joined the gym last week.  And of course, I'm terrified of losing, of putting myself out there and being found wanting, or a target for ridicule.  But I figure, since I'm new to the gym, perhaps my performance will ramp up quicker than others who are already used to the workouts.  And I have been cooking Paleo meals for a while, thanks to my husband's adoption of the diet a few years ago.

All of this is to say:  for the next month, you'll be getting Paleo recipes from me.  You are welcome to join me at home in the Paleo challenge!  Just weigh yourself at the beginning and again at the end of 30 days.  Who knows, you may drop a few pounds, find a new food you like, or decide you are ready to kick the soda habit once and for all!

Okay, on with the recipes.  This one is for Paleo hummus.  Since beans are off-limits, this one uses cauliflower.  This makes a great appetizer with veggie sticks as dippers, and is really satisfying when you want something snacky.  Curious?  Check it out!

Paleo Hummus


  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • stuff to dip with - I like carrots, but celery, peppers, or even pork rinds are Paleo!
  1. Heat oven to 500*F.  Cut cauliflower into bite-sized chunks.  In a large bowl, mix the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons olive oil, the cumin, salt, and pepper.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spread out the cauliflower.  Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes so nothing burns.  Let cool for 30 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, tahini, garlic, and the juice of one lemon.  Blend and taste.  If it's too thick you can add a little water or some more oil.  Too thin?  Add more tahini.
  3. To serve, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika, if desired.  Go nuts on this stuff - it's good for you!


  1. I say either way you win!! Thanks for the recipes!

  2. Thanks FrosenKat! I hope you try them and let me know what you think!

  3. Yeah for Paleo and Yeah for stepping out of your comfort zone! I have quite the feeling you are rocking it out!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kacy! Keeping on the diet hasn't been a problem, although I am missing my glass of wine with dinner! Although technically Paleo (since it's made of grapes), I'm keeping away from alcohol in hopes it will speed my weight loss. I'll try to be better about updating on my progress!

  4. Hmmm. Sounds like an interesting approach to dieting. Question is, is there a less flatulence causing base? Something different from cauliflower? You know how the Young's system works.