Traveling the world through cuisine

One for all you couch potatoes

Stadium made of junk food

Autumn in the US is the time for many happy sports fans as they settle in for months of football and hockey on the television.  Unfortunately it also brings out the couch potato in everyone as they fill up on foods high in fat, sodium, cholesterol, and sugar.  Hot dogs, burgers, ribs, hot wings, pizza, chips, cold cuts, cookies, etc…all washed down with beer or soda.

While I too like the occasional hit of bad food (and the yummy flavor that comes with it), I generally like to keep things healthy whether I’m catching a soccer game or watching a movie.  In the last 10 or so years, I have seen some healthy alternatives infiltrate their way into the junk food buffets, be it a veggie platter or the new favored flavor of hummus with pita bread.

Hummus traces its way back over 7000 years in the Middle East, as chick peas were used widely in the cuisine.  Americans more or less were introduced to hummus when Middle Eastern folk opened restaurants under the term “Mediterranean”.  While actual “Mediterranean” could mean almost any country in the region, the cuisine itself was Middle Eastern.  Falafel, shwarma, and hummus were the quick favorites, which led to hummus in local grocery stores in a variety of flavors.

For the longest time, whenever I wanted hummus I would simply go to buy a container of it, but now I kick myself after finding out how easy it is to make it. With a one-pound bag of chick peas you can literally make youself two large containers of hummus, and the possibility for flavors are only up to your imagination. For now, I’m going to share with you my personal favorite flavors of hummus, chipotle and dill.

Chipotle Pepper Hummus

Chipotle Pepper Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of dry chick peas (aka garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup of tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 2 tbsp of dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 1 can (7 oz) of chipotle sauce

Instructions

  1. Soak the chick peas in water overnight.
  2. In a stock pot, bring water to boil and place the soaked beans in, boiling them until soft.
  3. Strain out the water from the beans and place the cooked beans into a food processor.
  4. Add in the tahini, water, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.
  5. Blend well in the food processor until it has a near-pasty texture.
  6. Slowly add the chipotle sauce in a little at a time, mix, and taste. Stop adding when you reached your desired level of spicy.
  7. Place in a container and allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Quick Notes

I know it sounds like the beans require a lot of work, but I did this because I wanted to avoid using canned beans, as these dried beans contain more nutrients.

I usually end up using the whole can of chipotle sauce in the recipe, but I wanted to forewarn you that it could get spicy.

If your hummus seems a bit thick and not creamy enough, blend it further with the processor. If you’re still not happy, then add a little milk to make it creamy.

You’re welcome to eat the hummus fresh out of the processor, but I’ve found it to taste better a day later when all the ingredients have soaked together.

Variations

If you want to use canned beans, then use two cans of chick beans.

Try adding some sun-dried tomatoes or fresh peppers if you like.

Serving Suggestions

The traditional way to serve hummus has been with slices of warm pita bread, but I’ve also served this hummus with tortilla chips, chopped raw vegetables, and I’ve even used this as a condiment in sandwiches.

If spicy isn’t your thing, then try this hummus made with dill and paprika:

Dill Hummus

Dill Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of dry chick peas (aka garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup of tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 3 tbsp of freshly chopped dill
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Soak the chick peas in water overnight.
  2. In a stock pot, bring water to boil and place the soaked beans in, boiling them until soft.
  3. Strain out the water from the beans and place the cooked beans into a food processor.
  4. Add in the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, dill, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  5. Blend well in the food processor until it has a creamy texture.
  6. Place in a container and allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Quick Notes

I know it sounds like the beans require a lot of work, but I did this because I wanted to avoid using canned beans, as these dried beans contain more nutrients.

If your hummus seems a bit thick and not creamy enough, blend it further with the processor. If you’re still not happy, then add a little milk to make it creamy.

You’re welcome to eat the hummus fresh out of the processor, but I’ve found it to taste better a day later when all the ingredients have soaked together.

Variations

If you want to use canned beans, then use two cans of chick beans.

Serving Suggestions

The traditional way to serve hummus has been with slices of warm pita bread, but I’ve also served this hummus with tortilla chips, chopped raw vegetables, and I’ve even used this as a condiment in sandwiches.

Credit for the food stadium photograph goes to Break.com.

Tags: hummus, Middle East

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