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105degrees, L2/W4/D1-2: lots of hummus

December 21, 2010

First, here are some lovely mini strawberry cupcakes we began last week and completed on Monday.

The coconut frosting is fab, even though I’m not very good at piping it.

Once in awhile, though, I do produce a pretty one!

Now, onto the true task of the week: my Level II final project . I realize I’ve been cryptic about it (even more so than I was with Level I). The difficulty, in regards to this blog, is that not only is my project is mostly written work, but it’s something that won’t be fully fleshed out until after I leave 105degrees. I’ll go ahead and give you the gist of the project, though, if you can keep a secret: it’s a rough draft of a cookbook proposal. Yep, this leads right into my #1 post-105 goal: landing a cookbook deal.

I’ve got a fantastic concept going, if I may say (about which you’ll hear more details sometime in the future, I hope!). I already have a table of contents written, with well over 100 recipes in the making, and I’ve spent the past week developing and testing many of those. At graduation tomorrow, I’m to present a synopsis of my proposed book and serve selections from one of the chapters. My chosen chapter? Hummus.

That’s right, folks. My mostly-raw cookbook will have NO salad chapter; in its place is an entire section of HUMMUS recipes.

Today I made eight (8!) small batches of raw hummus to serve at graduation tomorrow. Half of them have a zucchini-tahini base, the plain version of which you see below.

Of the zucchini batches, I also have a Tex-Mex hummus…

…an Indian curried hummus…

…and a spicy chipotle hummus.

The others have a cashew-macadamia nut base. I made a plain nut hummus…

…a sundried tomato and pesto hummus…

…a Kalamata olive hummus…

…and a red pepper hummus.

You’d think I’d be hummus’d out by now, but I’m actually quite eager to gobble these up at graduation tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Would YOU be interested in a vegan, gluten-free cookbook with both raw and cooked options?

78 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2010 10:11 pm

    i am not interested in any more cookbooks…lol. Ok kidding, yes, i am! I have tons already i never use but it’s always fun to read

    GREAT hummus!

    awesome frosting!! i want THAT!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:51 pm

      Averie, you’ll love MY cookbook πŸ™‚ For each recipe, you get choices: raw or cooked, dehydrator or oven, expensive ingredient or cheap substitution, etc. It’s right up your alley! πŸ˜‰

  2. December 21, 2010 10:37 pm

    So so so so so so proud of you!! *hugs and hugs and more hugs* Can’t believe you kept this asecret fromme *waggles finger*

    And completely down with the hummus instead of salad. The world needs more raw hummus (I’m confident saying that, even though I’ve never tried it… πŸ˜› )

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:53 pm

      ::hugs you back and jumps up and down squealing with you:: πŸ˜€

      Sounds like SOMEONE ought to find herself some raw tahini…

  3. December 21, 2010 10:53 pm

    I like the idea of a cookbook with raw and cooked options.

    The hummus platter looks amazing! I’d love to try the sundried tomato and pesto hummus πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:53 pm

      Awesome, thanks Jill! Incidentally, that hummus was Matt’s favorite. πŸ™‚

  4. December 22, 2010 12:33 am

    Wowee you have been a busy little bee. Those hummus would rock the faces off of all my middle eastern friends back home, and I reckon they wouldn’t want to touch the originals again. Those cupcakes look almost cooked too. Licking my screen!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:55 pm

      Hehe, thanks! “Real” hummus will always have a place in my heart (and tummy), but I have become quite the raw hummus aficionado.

      The texture of the cupcakes was phenomenal – they seriously could’ve passed for baked.

  5. December 22, 2010 12:36 am

    mmm hummus! and the cupcakes are such cuties!

    yes I’d love a book with both options although if the cooked options are soy-heavy and gluten-filled it’s not as usable for me.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 22, 2010 12:38 am

      Everything would be gluten-free πŸ™‚ And, come to think of it, soy-free too, I do believe!

  6. December 22, 2010 1:07 am

    You had me at hummus!! How exciting. Hope everything goes well!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 24, 2010 10:54 pm

      Hehe! I can relate πŸ˜‰ Thanks, Noelle!

  7. December 22, 2010 5:14 am

    Ooooh, hummus….be still my heart! I think there is definitely a market for your cook book idea

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:56 pm

      Thanks Hillary! I figured you’d appreciate the flexible approach πŸ™‚

  8. December 22, 2010 5:16 am

    I would definitely be interested in a book with raw and cooked options. I always want to be able to make more raw foods, but don’t really have the equipment for it, and there aren’t many recipes in my cookbooks. And I am way more likely to get a recipe from a cookbook than online lately. That’s a great final project – I love having projects that really push us to do what we dream of!
    All of these hummuses (?) look great! I’d love to try any one of them.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:58 pm

      You are EXACTLY the kind of person I’m writing this book for! I hate that so many pricey or hard-to-find ingredients and pieces of equipment often prohibit people from delving into the wonderful world of raw food. I promise to make my cookbook accessible to ANYONE!

  9. December 22, 2010 5:39 am

    If it will have recipes similar to what I’ve seen on this blog.. Eh… YES!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:59 pm

      Hehe, thank you so much, Fanny! It will!

  10. Diane permalink
    December 22, 2010 6:30 am

    Very excited for you Amber! The hummus looks awesome and I think you did great with the piping on the cupcakes. I look forward to hearing more about the cookbook. Good luck @ graduation (although it sure doesn’t look like you need any)!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:01 pm

      Thank you Diane! I’m glad my cupcakes looked alright after all πŸ˜‰

  11. December 22, 2010 7:42 am

    I think that’s a great idea for a book! Every single one of those hummus offerings looks supremely delicious, I would love to learn how to make all of them.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:07 pm

      Thanks Alayna! I can’t wait for you to see my cookbook WHEN it’s published someday πŸ˜‰

  12. Joanne permalink
    December 22, 2010 8:28 am

    Your cookbook sounds great! Please include a raw cracker that is yummy. I’ve experimented with many but haven’t found “the one” yet.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:08 pm

      Joanne, you’re in luck! I’ve got three cracker recipes in there so far, and I may add another. πŸ™‚

  13. Roselie permalink
    December 22, 2010 8:36 am

    Good luck for tomorrow! And your idea about the book sounds fantastic, I ‘d definitely be interested!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:09 pm

      Good to know – thanks, Roselie!

  14. December 22, 2010 10:39 am

    I would DEFINITELY be interested in a vegan, gluten-free cookbook with raw AND cooked options. That’s pretty much the perfect book for me!

    Also, you’re totally going to make all of those hummuses (hummi?) for me when I come back to visit, right?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:10 pm

      Yay! Glad to hear it!

      And when you revisit KC, if it’s a hummus buffet you want, it’s a hummus buffet you’ll get! πŸ˜›

  15. December 22, 2010 10:40 am

    Good luck, good luck! The cupcakes look fantastic!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:09 pm

      Thanks Nina! πŸ˜€

  16. December 22, 2010 11:36 am

    Seriously – you have to even ask that question?!? Of course I would!

    And, um, if you need recipe testers – you know I’m your girl, right? Right!?! πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:09 pm

      Hehe! Deanna, when I need recipe testers, I PROMISE you will be one of them πŸ˜€

  17. December 22, 2010 11:42 am

    Oh my, raw cupcakes…ooh the RAW joys just keep on coming… those bowls of hummus look delish…wish could invent taste-o-vision but I guess that is what a cookbook is! YES, YES, the raw AND the cooked vegan recipe book would be a coveted treasure! Good luck for your finals.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:11 pm

      Taste-o-vision, yes! Like in Willy Wonka, but better, right? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your support on my cookbook plan!

  18. December 22, 2010 12:39 pm

    Cupcakes look great!! We are working on a few different cookbooks, mix of raw and cooked too. We were hoping to have it done now, but hopefully this coming year! Good luck!! And we love hummus!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:12 pm

      Cookbooks are a TON of work – I know that now! – so being behind is nothing to be ashamed of. I can’t wait to see your books when they do come out!

  19. December 22, 2010 12:42 pm

    That’s so exciting about the cookbook proposal! I think it’s a fabulous idea and especially since you stole my heart with the hummus variety! I didn’t see a flavor I wouldn’t like.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:13 pm

      Aw, yay! Thank you so much! I’m glad my hummus frenzy is going over well πŸ˜›

  20. December 22, 2010 12:48 pm

    This is the post to end all posts! Oh my gosh- delicious! I L O V E hummus!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:14 pm

      Hehe! Oh, Lori, you delight me so πŸ˜› Thanks so very much!

  21. andreadevon permalink
    December 22, 2010 4:03 pm

    i would love to see a raw/cooked vegan book… that’s how i roll too! ditto for offering recipe testing services πŸ™‚ aloha from maui!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:13 pm

      Haha! Thank you, m’dear. Maui?! Jealous!

  22. December 22, 2010 8:47 pm

    OK….random question time. I was browsing through dehydrators, and I came across the TSM Harvest Food model. 10 trays, thermostat 95-155F….good reviews on Amazon….only $130. So, I’m wondering, what’s the catch? It’s plastic, like the Excalibur….not sure if it has a fan or not….

    Just wondering if you’ve heard anything about it. I have Amazon gift certificates to spend, and everything I’ve read about this TSM model seems to be on par or better than the Ex with a much better price tag.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:16 pm

      I guess since we talked about this in person on New Year’s Eve, I won’t repeat myself πŸ™‚ But do remember, if you decide the Excalibur is the way to go, I’ll sell you my nearly-brand-new one (5-tray with timer) for $160 (which is $50 less than I paid for it).

      • January 6, 2011 3:47 pm

        I think you drastically overrate my memory of New Year’s Eve….that is, I remember that we did talk about it, but I’m not entirely sure what was said. πŸ˜‰

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        January 6, 2011 3:52 pm

        Oh, haha! Perhaps so. To be honest, I don’t remember details…but I’m sure I said that from my experience, the TSM is comparable to the Excalibur in most ways except temperature control. The temp dial is completely inaccurate. At the Academy, we used meat thermometers to measure the temp (oh the irony), which is fine, but even then, they’d sometimes fluctuate temperatures for no reason. On multiple occasions, sadly, we arrived in the morning only to find the previous night’s dish “burned” =/ So, since (to me) a highlight of having a dehydrator is the ability “set it and forget it,” that’s a big drawback to the TSM. But otherwise, like I said, they seem pretty comparable in quality.

  23. December 22, 2010 9:41 pm

    Hummus overload in the best possible way! I love all of the options you created. And I definitely love the looks of those strawberry cupcakes with coconut frosting.

    I would be super interested in a cookbook with both raw and cooked options–I love using raw recipes for occasional fun, but it’d be great to have a cookbook that incorporated both.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:17 pm

      ANY hummus overload is good hummus overload, right? πŸ˜› I’m glad you like the look of all my varieties! My cookbook will be PERFECT for you – you can make all the recipes as raw or as cooked as you wish!

  24. December 22, 2010 9:44 pm

    those cupcakes are adorable and MMM I love hummus

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:18 pm

      Hehe, thanks Kate! πŸ˜€

  25. Spumoni permalink
    December 23, 2010 3:42 am

    Based on what I saw you make in Level I, I would be interested in a cookbook from you. I would want to have an idea of the ratio of cooked vs. raw before purchase though. πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:19 pm

      That, my dear, is the beauty of my book-to-be – every recipe can be made raw OR cooked. πŸ™‚ Wish me luck on making it happen!

  26. December 23, 2010 8:04 am

    Those cupcakes look awesome…and bring on that cookbook! :o)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:19 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! Glad you’re on board with my cookbook! πŸ˜€

  27. Josh permalink
    December 24, 2010 12:09 am

    Hummus is yummus!! You will have to give me some alternative recipes when I see you next. My hummus is always a hit, but yours looks way better.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:21 pm

      Yes indeed, Joshua, I will have hummus recipes aplenty for you when next we meet.

      Remember the hummus we made at 2am over the summer, when I accidentally dumped half the jar of crushed red pepper in the blender? That was awesome πŸ˜›

  28. December 24, 2010 8:16 pm

    A cookbook with gluten-free, vegan, raw and cooked recipes would be awesome!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:25 pm

      Wonderful! Thanks, Sondi!

  29. December 25, 2010 9:32 am

    I’d buy any cookbook you wrote!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:25 pm

      Aw, Michelle! You are the best! πŸ™‚

  30. December 26, 2010 7:03 pm

    cute cupcakes! and YES i have been looking for a good cookbook like that for months

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:28 pm

      Glad to hear it, Kate! Yay! πŸ™‚

  31. Mary Crouch Young permalink
    December 26, 2010 9:46 pm

    HI Amber!
    Bobby and I would most certainly purchase your cookbook and I would recommend it to my friends, too. I love the idea of combining vegan and raw foods–it seems like a natural marriage of dietary choices. I would purchase the cookbook to keep at home for when I have vegan guests or guests with gluten allergies. I’m vegetarian but it’s sometimes hard to wrap my mind around gluten-free cooking and would appreciate the guidance.

    But what I would really appreciate is if the recipes in your cookbook were accessible to the general public, with ingredients that were easy to come by and methods (especially for the raw recipes) that were relatively simple to do in one’s own kitchen without too many special pieces of equipment (like a dehydrator, for instance.) So for me I think that the catch to your great concept would be “The Accessible Raw and Vegan Cookbook.” That would be beyond awesome.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:30 pm

      Mary, thank you SO much. I’m tickled pink that you’re so enthused about my cookbook idea! It makes me very happy to hear you’ve been following my blog during my time away, that I’ve got two more recipe testers lined up πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your support – if it works out the way I want it to, you’ll be able to make EVERY recipe in the book EITHER raw OR cooked/baked. All I have to do now is find a publisher that sees what an AWESOME idea that is! πŸ˜›

  32. Marsha permalink
    January 2, 2011 4:21 pm

    I definitely would be interested in your cookbook, esp. if it’s also available as an ecookbook.

    Here’s to hummus variety! πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:32 pm

      Good idea, Marsha – I’ll definitely look into creating an ebook version too when the time comes. πŸ™‚

  33. Nikki M. permalink
    January 7, 2011 4:37 pm

    Hi there! I just found your blog and really like it! I would loooove a cookbook with lots of hummus recipes πŸ™‚ Thanks for all of the great ideas!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 7, 2011 4:38 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for your input! πŸ˜€

  34. January 10, 2011 11:02 pm

    Congratulations on your success! I am lovin’ the different hummus…what is hummus plural? Hummuses? Hummi? πŸ™‚ I’ll buy your cookbook for sure!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 11, 2011 9:55 am

      Haha, I’ve been wondering what the plural of “hummus” is, myself. I’m a linguist, and I don’t even know the answer to that!

      Thanks, Jenny!

  35. Dana Pinder permalink
    August 18, 2011 6:44 pm

    Amber, I LOVE hummus! I will have to buy the book for that section alone! Congrats!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 18, 2011 7:05 pm

      Hehe! You’re in for a treat, then, when my book comes out πŸ˜€

  36. Gabriella Duncan permalink
    September 24, 2011 3:12 pm

    dkfjskdjfhds! :O This is lovely! But I’m a bit perturbed.

    I had this amazing idea a few weeks ago to write a book but wanted to do something new and original. Even though raw food is technically a new trend, there’s already so many talented minds out there coming out with cookbooks on raw cuisine. So I had an epiphany and got all excited and said, “I’m gonna come out with a raw/cooked book for people transitioning to 100% raw, vegans wanting to add more raw foods to their diet, and those who are generally raw but want some warming/comforting foods that are still healthy when the craving comes or during the winter! It’ll be Epic!”

    EEP, and then I see this. Haha. It’s amazing how people can be inspired with the same ideas who never actually come into contact with each other. πŸ˜€ But maybe not all hope is gone. You said your book is going to have raw and cooked versions of the same recipes (amazing idea btw)? Maybe I can still do mine as it would be a little bit different. Raw foods with some basic must-have cooked foods. And lots of salad as I’m entranced by kale and all manner of leafy greens, believe it or not. ;] Mine was also going to be soy free but not gluten free as I definitely wanted to add my foccacia and naan bread recipes in which I haven’t found a gluten replacement for my spelt and whole wheat flour. D: Ideas?

    Anyways, the best of luck to you! You must be very excited starting this venture. I will absolutely, most-definitely buy your book. I’ve been perusing your blog for some time and love your recipes/posts. You’ve actually inspired me to start my own blog. Which will hopefully happen sometime in the near future…


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 24, 2011 3:25 pm

      Hi Gabriella! Well, great minds think alike, right? πŸ˜‰ My book will out out next summer, and it’ll have raw and cooked versions of the same dishes (and it’s light on salads), so I say there’s still room on the market for your book too! MMM, naan and focaccia? Drool! I wish I could say I’m a maestro at GF baking, but alas, I haven’t found a perfect wheat substitute either!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! And let me know when you get your blog underway so I can check it out. πŸ˜€

      • Gabriella Duncan permalink
        September 24, 2011 3:42 pm

        Aha. So it seems. Oh dear, that’s a while to wait! But I guess there’s lots of things to get in order and perfecting of recipes to be done before it’s ready. I’m curious to the process of getting a book published. I’ve been doing a little research here and there but wish I could find a good source for info on publishing a cookbook.

        Absolutely! And thanks so much for replying. πŸ˜€

        Oh, and I’m in Wichita, Kansas btw. I read in one of your blog posts that you and the hubby came by here and stopped at Zen to eat. We actually have a newly opened restaurant called D’Sozo that is 100% vegan and AMAZING, so if you every stop by here be sure to check it out! They have their own bakery and everything. I consider this a small town so we’ve never really had any great vegetarian options, so it’s nice that we do now. :]

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        September 24, 2011 5:24 pm

        Yup, the recipes have been tested by me and others, my manuscript is pretty much done, and I’m turning it in next week…eee! Now there’s just many months ahead of production work on the part of my publisher. It’s a long road, but it’ll be worth it!

        There seems to be NO good source for info on the process for first-time authors, I’m afraid…I’ve had a lot of trial and error! It’s for the best, though – I’ve learned a LOT just through experience already.

        Oh, how cool that you’re just “down the road” in Wichita! I’ve heard about D’Sozo from a couple people now – all good things! – and it’s definitely on my list to try next time I roll through town. Glad to hear another “thumbs up” for it – and I’m glad Wichita has such a place now! πŸ™‚

  37. December 7, 2011 1:20 pm

    i’m a hummus fanatic as well, but I’m more of a traditionalist and would be down with a hummus topped with stewed fava beans. πŸ™‚

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