Wine Pumpkin Hummus (Vegan, Gluten Free) + Running Coach Thoughts

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

SO MUCH PUMPKIN! I have my last new pumpkin recipe for you all today, but because it is also Thinking Out Loud Thursday, I wanted to give you a brief respite with some of my trademark nonsense.

The Nerd Force is Strong with Me

Chicago Endurance Sports Winter Warriors starts in exactly one month. I think that this should be the lady coaches’ uniforms:

Plus, there is a Target right next to the South Loop Fleet Feet. Coincidence? I think not.

I grew up with Star Wars, as I’ve mentioned before. It and Top Gun were the first full-length live-action movies I saw, and I believe I was 5. I’ve read books (my brother far more than I), and let me tell you, I used to be wicked good at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. I was also Princess Leia for Halloween. I used to be able to play the theme song on the piano. My brother and I also battled with Lightsabers often.

Oh, and I do a MEAN Yoda impression.

I was literally passing out on the couch on Monday night until the second that trailer came on, and then it was like BOING wide awake. Alex and I know what our Christmas Movie will be this year! Except… crap. We usually go to see Hunger Games. And Spectre is coming out.

RRCA Training Reflections and Coach Suz’s Next Steps

From one nerd moment to the next: Let’s talk RRCA Training for a moment. This weekend I spent two days immersed in running and coaching class, and it was a formative experience for me.

When I coached for CES this summer, I was not responsible for creation of training plans; rather, I was brought on to fill out the team as a Certified Personal Trainer and experienced runner. Working with CES gave me a chance to see training plans applied to a wide swath of runners, runners other than myself, to take into account various issues, and to learn my own strengths and weaknesses as a new coach. In many ways, it was like a mini internship in true run coaching.

I feel like the course this weekend, and my ensuing certification and study, is bringing me full circle. I had SUCH a greater understanding of the coursework and how to create training plans for a wide variety of clients from my exposure via CES that I was then put into context with the teachings of the course.

I took the test during my infusion on Tuesday and I passed! Now I just have to get First Aid Certified (I’m already CPR certified, and in person, natch–a particular of the course that some other programs don’t require).

My next steps?

I want to work with clients on a small scale and under conditions that I understand while I bulk up my study (Mom, you are going to get a hefty Christmas List this year!) and (I hope) shadow/work with/intern with a local experienced run coach to learn the ins and outs of the business. This is not only to help me become a better and more comprehensively effective coach but also to help me learn how to set up my business properly.


For those of you who have so (amazingly sweetly) asked about my future coaching, I will be taking clients both online and in person. I will be taking clients of all ages, abilities, and goals. And this will be starting in the near future. 


I will do this on a case-by-case basis at first–if I don’t think I am ready to take you on, I am not going to do so. This has to be right for both of us.  

I can’t wait to work with #CoachSuz, but in due time! @rrcanational #runcoach #runchat Click To Tweet

Right-o. Let’s have some fun, shall we?

Wine Pumpkin Hummus (Gluten Free, Vegan)

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes, I even add it to the food–Julia Child.

I agree with the Doyen of American cooking, but I’m not a big drinker; my Crohn’s Disease, medications, and marathon-training lifestyle prohibits that. But I do love wine, I do love beer, and I love a good cocktail. And you know that I love to play with flavors and make the mundane exciting! Food should be fun! This recipe is that statement in a nutshell.

It came to me as a riff on a port wine cheese dip–something I honestly abhor. Seriously. I find that stuff disgusting. So let’s take a traditional holiday hors d’oerves spread and make is something fresh, interesting, healthy, and DELICIOUS. Oh, and make it gluten free and vegan.

Have a holiday soiree coming up? Break out this Wine Pumpkin Hummus dip for the adults table. Can’t do alcohol? No worries, take it out and have some fun with flavors!

Wine keeps it gluten free, and a middle of the road, balanced red like a Merlot or a tamer Cabernet Sauvignon would be excellent when paired with the sweetness of the hummus and chickpeas. I would stay away from heavy tannins or spices–Malbec or a bold Cabernet would be too much and you would lose the nuance of flavors. Pinot Noir might work, but I would go a bit bolder than that.

I paired my Wine Pumpkin Hummus with fresh veggies like jicama and cucumber to make sure that the flavor truly shined through. I think it would also be amazing with crackers and even your shoe… but that might just be if you put too much wine in there. But I won’t judge.

Wine Pumpkin Hummus Dip (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can drained chickpeas (rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup red wine or dark gluten free beer
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp clove
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • Olive oil as needed.


  1. Combine all ingredients (except wine) in food processor and process 3 minutes until smooth. Add wine and pulse to combine.
  2. Transfer to serving bowl and top with more pumpkin seeds.
  3. Serve with gluten free pita chips or fresh veggies!

Leave a Comment