So, I started law school again and I have some new, interesting classes. That’s all been lovely so far, but let’s talk about the really fun stuff: Zumba and hummus. The University of Iowa has recently opened up a brand new fitness center that is so nice and shiny and glass-plated you feel kind of like you’re working out in an airport in the future. After a day of lawyer-learning this past week, my friend Christina and I set off for this fab new facility to attend our very first Zumba class. Click here if you’ve never heard of Zumba–it’s basically a Latin/hip-hop dance class. I was pretty excited about this, but also a tiny bit concerned for two reasons:
1. The last time I attended a fitness class (Step and Kick, I believe it was called), I kiiiiind of missed the step at a critical point, tripped over my own feet, and broke my wrist. I spent 7 hours in the emergency room with Christina (bless her soul) eating frozen edamame that I used to ice my arm, and walked out with a giant plaster cast that I’m pretty sure was some well-meaning resident’s first project. For the final four weeks or so of healing, I got this more aerodynamic cast that I’m trying to hide in the photo below, but it was still not a whole lot of fun.
2. As documented in the home video of my first and only dance recital (I was 3), I have never been much for “choreography.” I’m not saying I can’t learn “dance routines,” okay? I’m just saying that sometimes, when you’ve got moves like the ones I bring to the table, you don’t like to be boxed in.
Well, folks, I did not break or sprain anything during my return to group exercise, and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. The routines were fairly easy, and when I couldn’t quite figure something out it was easy enough to at least look like I knew what I was doing. I was also unsure as to whether an hour of dancing would actually feel like a good workout. Here’s how I know I got my money’s worth: I sweat like crazy, I slept like the dead that night, and at one point during the class I realized my hairband had flown off and landed several feet away. Only downside: I don’t know if this is standard Zumba procedure, but at the very end the instructor made us get down on the floor and do a song’s worth of ab work. I couldn’t hear her instructions at all over the music, and although ab work certainly has its place, I was there to SALSA, you know?
So, in conclusion, go to Zumba! There’s nothing to trip over and you’ll have a great time. When you come home, exhausted from a lengthy bout of shakin’ it, you’ll want to replenish with some wholesome chickpea spread, won’t you? Of course you will. Therefore, I present to you my standard hummus recipe, complete with roasted garlic and red pepper.
First, you need to do some roasting. Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the red pepper like so, cut the tops off two heads of garlic to expose the cloves, and drizzle everything with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, wrap the garlic in foil, and put everybody into the oven. The peppers go for 20 minutes, and the garlic goes for 40.
When you take the peppers out and the garlic is still roasting away, cover the peppers with a towel for about ten minutes. This steams them and makes it easier to peel off the skin, which I like to do because I’m finicky like that.
Get your other major players ready to go while the roasting is going on.
When the garlic is done, it will look like this and your house will smell wonderful. Note: don’t plan on making out with anybody after eating this stuff.
Squeeze out the garlic cloves, and put them in your food processor with all the other ingredients except the olive oil (I’ll list ’em below, no worries). Turn on the processor and slowly stream in enough olive oil to make the hummus creamy. (I would estimate I usually use about 2-3 tablespoons.)
Let the processor run until the hummus is smooth, and there you go! Dip some veggies in it, spread it on a wrap with some feta, and maybe light a scented candle….because that garlic smell will take awhile to dissipate. Here’s the run-down:
Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Hummus
- 1 roasted red pepper (400 degrees for 20 minutes)
- 2 heads of roasted garlic (400 degrees for 40 minutes)
- 1 14.5 oz. can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
- 2 tbsp tahini
- zest from 2 lemons, juice from 1
- salt and pepper to taste
- about 1/4 c. fresh parsley
- olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons)
Roast the garlic and red pepper. Add all ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor. Turn the processor on and stream in enough olive oil to reach the consistency you want. Store in the refrigerator.