The word is out. Marisa Raponi of Vaughan has been crowned the winner of Sabra’s Stir It Up contest. The fitness instructor/personal trainer/busy mom got the nod for her spicy Jalapeno Garlic Hummus, which uses Jalapeno, roasted garlic, parmesan, smoked paprika, olive oil and parsley. Watch her make it here.
Marisa’s been a long-time fan of hummus, frequently using it for healthy snacks for her three kids. It's been a particular help in maintaining good nutrition for her vegetarian daughter.
“We’re always looking for tasty things that have protein,” she explains. “As a fitness instructor, I also look for foods that are high in nutrition and low in calories. Hummus fits the bill and is so delicious.”
With two sons who don’t always appreciate the health benefits of vegetables, Marisa loves the fact that the boys will eat raw veg if she offers it up with flavoured hummus. When the children were smaller, she found that packing school lunches with cut-up veg alongside a small container of hummus was a hit with her kids — and their friends!
Marisa also substitutes hummus for fat-heavy dipping sauces that come with pizzas. On the same theme, she often spreads hummus on a pizza round (instead of cheese) and then layers on vegetables. She also switches out hummus for mayonnaise on sandwiches and loves to add a dollop to sautéed vegetables to kick up the flavour.
Her inspiration for the winning entry? Fresh, seasonal produce. “All the ingredients happened to be in season at that time. I love using Ontario-grown produce, so I went with it.”
Marisa’s family are thrilled with the idea of getting a year’s supply of hummus, which they apparently never tire of. The kids’ favourite is pine nuts and olive, while Marisa remains loyal to roasted red pepper. “But really,” she says, “we love them all. We’ve already gone through two tubs in two days.”
If Marisa’s hummus adventures have inspired you to experiment with hummus, go to www.facebook.com/SabraCanada for some great recipes and serving suggestions.