Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Because it tastes better if you make it yourself

I have to admit, when it comes to food, cooking, and food preparation I've oftentimes had to consider myself a purist. I tend to do things the old-fashioned way, even when there are gadgets for my convenience; for example, I usually mix cookie dough and cake batter by hand with a wooden spoon even though we have a Kitchenaid stand mixer now. While I'll admit that there are benefits to shortcuts and fancy equipment, sometimes it just doesn't feel right unless you do it the way it's always been done (or unless you make it yourself).

Take hummus, for example. Store-bought hummus is generally OK, but it's a little thick and dry for my taste. Plus, a little container costs like $3-4. Have you ever read the ingredients on hummus? It's a pretty basic foodstuff, and not at all difficult or expensive to make fresh, from scratch, especially if you have a food processor. I like to make hummus in the summer (though I make it all year, I want to eat it more in the summer because it's cold, tasty, full of fiber and protein, and doesn't heat up the kitchen). One of the few meals that I am the one in our house who cooks is falafel with hummus, pita, veggies, and yogurt/cucumber/dill sauce (Dan cooks most dinners, and usually I'll cook things he cooks, and he'll cook things I cook, but we have a few meals each that are specialties).

MLE's tasty, tasty hummus (makes about two cups)

1 can garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), drained, reserve some of the liquid (we use the low-salt variety)
4-6 cloves fresh garlic, depending on size and how much you like garlic
1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter)
juice of one lemon
1/2 medium tomato
a few dashes crushed red pepper, depending on how spicy you like it
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor until blended, using reserved liquid from garbanzo beans to make it the right consistency. I have varied this recipe depending on what we have in the house; you can substitute olive oil for the tahini, and the tomato is optional but I feel it adds a nice sweetness and depth of flavor. I've also put in red bell pepper from time to time.

I use hummus instead of other condiments on sandwiches, in wraps, and as a dip for veggies. It is super healthy and tasty and full of protein that keeps my blood sugar stable.


Yank In Texas said...

I like the tomato idea. I add cumin and chile powder to mine for a spicy kick. Tomatoes, red onion, and hummus on a pita is my favorite sandwich in the summer. Yum.

Cilicious said...

Everything tastes better with red onion. We've been known to throw a couple jalapeƱos in.

Anonymous said...

I am totally going to make this. Simon eats hummus by the bowl and we're always talking about making our own but never get around to it.

Anonymous said...

I bought the ingredients last night so we could have this all weekend long. Unfortunately, my grocery store only sells tahini in a HUGE, ridiculously expensive jar, but I view that as an incentive to start making hummus all the time.

MLE said...

Jane, I've had the same jar of hummus for about 3 years now! It keeps just fine as long as you keep it in the fridge.