Hummus

File Apr 22, 6 30 24 PM.jpegHummus is definitely a staple around this house. It’s one of those foods that you can easily put together yourself. So diverse and adaptable in many ways, you can really take the taste in any direction you would like to go. It’s convenient to buy a plastic container of hummus at the store, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to whip up at home. You’ll save a few bucks and know exactly what’s in your hummus.

Chickpeas are usually  hummus’s main ingredient. They give you a good source of protein, B vitamins and fiber. These tasty legumes routinely top lists of the world’s healthiest foods. Now if your ready to get really creative, let’s combine chickpeas and roasted cauliflower into a hummus! Wow, go super Foods go! Eating more plant foods is good for you. People who make that a habit are less likely to get certain diseases.

I’m not a big fan of canned beans, but for whatever reason canned chickpeas are not bad at all, and I always keep some on hand so I can make a batch of this at the last minute, to use as a dip or a spread. Make sure to at least grab the can that’s Organic and low sodium if this is the route you take. The other choice would be Dried chickpeas, if you have the time and inclination, I encourage you to try it. You’ll need roughly 1/3 pound dried chickpeas that’s about two cups of cooked chickpeas for a decent amount in a recipe.

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Basic Hummus

– makes about 1 and 1/2 cups
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup  well-stirred tahini, (If you don’t have any tahini, leave it out. A chickpea purée without it is still quite delicious. Just add more olive oil. Another option is to use a natural unsweetened creamy peanut butter in its place)
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons water, depending how thick you like it
Dash ground paprika, for serving, I like smoked paprika but totally optional

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more.

Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and salt, (I use a half teaspoon of salt) to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended.

Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and Creamy. Most likely it will be to thick so just add a little bit of water, with the food processor on.

This is a good step to stop and add anything you might like to flavor your hummus with. Instead of water you could of added a equal amount of lime juice, roasted red peppers or cooked spinach! The possibilities are endless, we will get to that later.

Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. I keep the hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week but it never lasts.

Now let’s have fun with our hummus

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Carrot Hummus

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup) you can steam them or roast but cook till soft!
2-3 Tablespoons water
2 small cloves garlic
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tbsp. tahini or sub. all natural, no salt creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ginger paste (or 1/4 tsp. finely minced ginger)
*pinch cayenne – optional or curry powder*
1/4 tsp. Sweet paprika to sprinkle on top- also optional
Instructions

Add the cooked carrots, water, and garlic into the food processor and puree.
Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, and salt to the processor and puree until smooth. I like this hummus in a wrap or sandwich but the kiddo will eat it with a spoon.

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Chipotle Lime Hummus

1 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and washed
2 tablespoons Water
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1-2 large chipotle peppers in adobo sauce , about 1-2 tablespoons worth (adjust according to the amount of heat desired)
1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, about 1 medium size lime’s worth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

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Beet Hummus Ideas 💡 

Add a small amount of fresh spinach, cilantro or other greens to classic Hummus to add extra nutrition, the kids won’t mind.

Add roasted beets, feta and dill to classic hummus to brighten both the flavor and color.

Add roasted golden beets and 1/3 cup nutritional yeast to classic Hummus for bright yummy yellow Hummus

Try replacing the garbanzo beans with Edamame!

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Ingredients:

1 bag frozen organic shelled edamame (equal to 3 cups)
1 clove of garlic, peeled
3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I used a whole lemon and the zest)
2  tbsp tahini (stir well before measuring)
2-4 tbsp water, to thin as needed (I used 3T) or olive oil! Or both. Up to you. (I added 1/4c olive oil too)
1/2-1 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste (I used 1/2tsp)
1/8th tsp cayenne pepper, or white pepper optional

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1. If starting with frozen edamame, simmer in a pot of water until edamame is heated about 2-3 minutes. Rinse and drain before using. You can also remove the skins of the edamame for a slightly smoother spread, but I don’t.

2. With motor running on food processor, drop in 2 garlic cloves to mince.

3. Then add edamame, lemon juice, water and tahini to the processor and process until somewhat smooth, stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary.

4. Add olive now, with the processor running if desired, and them more water if needed and let the processor go for a bit so it gets nice and smooth.

5. Add salt to taste along with optional pepper.  Process again until combined.

Leftover Hummus?

Here are just a few ideas for you to play with.

1.  Toss veggies into hummus, roast them and enjoy a new way to eat veggies and hummus.

The key is to roast at high heat, and to preheat the baking sheet, which will accelerate the caramelization of the veggies. Usually, I just toss the vegetables with the hummus in a large bowl with my hands. If you need to, thin out your hummus lemon juice or water to make a “batter” to coat the veggies completely.

Flavored hummus, doesn’t usually need extra flavor, but you could stir in extra garlic, herbs or spices (a spoonful of pesto is delish).

CRUNCHY HUMMUS ROASTED VEGGIES

1 cup baby carrots

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup cauliflower florets

1 cup bell pepper slices (red or yellow preferred)

1 small onion  peeled and quartered

1 cup prepared hummus

Garlic, pesto or spices if desired (optional)

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place inside the oven. Heat the oven to 425 degrees, with the sheet pan in the oven. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the hummus, (and any optional garlic or spices if using), using your hands to coat the veggies. Do not worry if the mixture is a little clumpy or uneven. Once the oven is hot, remove the sheet pan, and carefully lay out the coated vegetables on the tray. Return to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven, and quickly turn the vegetables over. Return the vegetables to the oven and roast until desired tenderness, about 10-15 more minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice, and serve.

 

2.  Another idea is to use you Hummus on a sandwich or in a wrap. Great for a trip to the park.

3.  Deviled eggs.

Use hummus in your deviled egg recipe in place of mayo to boost protein. For 8 egg yolks, use about ¼ cup hummus and a ¼ cup olive oil.

4. Chicken Breading.

Make hummus crusted chicken by slathering hummus onto chicken breasts and baking at 450°F until hummus is golden and meat is cooked, 30 to 35 minutes.

5. Top baked potatoes 

 

 

Ideas for “That Polenta” That doesn’t come from a tube…

Yeah That’s right, you read things right. I have a few friends that tell me “yeah, polenta?! comes in a weird tube at the grocery store. I don’t like that stuff” Well friend, I don’t like “that stuff” too.

This is the first post of a series that helps you get past all that processed foods at the store. Please, make your own. Yes, you can do it and yes, you do have time. Your taste buds and your body will thank you later. I thought it would be really fun to start referencing different ingredients that are versatile, easy to cook and that probably are unfamiliar with some of you around these parts.

So What is Polenta??!

I have asked customers, in my past if they knew what Grits are. Super similar (Not the same type of corn) but I’m sure in the south looking for “pie crust grits” or replacing lasagna noodles with” layers of grits” is like looking for gluten free gumbo if you get the idea.

Polenta is ground cornmeal used in Italian cooking. Made into a creamy side, chilled and fried or into baking sweet treats. Because cornmeal is made from corn it’s naturally gluten-free.

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We love polenta.

I can make a big batch, and it’s so cheap. I just pour it into a baking dish and let it set up for a few hours or overnight. Then I can cut it into bite sized squares and sauté it with whatever veggies we have around.
This makes a great lunch and here we had it with cottage cheese sprinkled with chia seeds and a apple.


Have you all tried making your own polenta? It’s so worth it and versatile, add pesto, cheese or tomatoes right inside it for extra flavor.
Yes, it does require some attention as it cooks, but not more than, say, steel-cut oatmeal. Don’t fret about constant stirring, just stir a bit here and there and keep it on low. It does take 30-40 minutes. Most importantly the ratio of liquid—whether water, milk, or stock—to polenta, and the cooking time. Those are the things far too many people make the mistake at. Depending on the grind of the cornmeal, even a 4:1 ratio can be too low; I almost always use a ratio of 5 parts water to 1 part polenta by volume. If I am going to chill and then later grill the polenta I will use less water, 4 parts water to 1 part polenta.

🌽Here is a basic recipe 🌽

5 cups water, stock or milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal or polenta Bob’s Red Mill it’s our favorite and local here in Milwaukie, Or
optional- butter or oil

In a heavy saucepan bring the liquid and salt to a boil and gradually whisk in cornmeal in a thin stream. Cook polenta over moderately low heat (it should be barely boiling), Stir in butter or olive oil using either a spoon, silicon spatula, or whisk. If polenta forms lumps, beat vigorously with a stiff whisk to remove. If polenta becomes too firm or begins to set, add a small amount of water, stock, or milk, and beat in with a whisk until fully incorporate and no lumps remain. Polenta will keep warm, covered, about 30 minutes

Serve right away or scrape into a baking dish and chill until set, then cut into pieces for grilling, frying or sauté.

This is creamy polenta with spinach and parmesan, topped with tomato sauce.

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