I can still remember the very first time I had hummus. It was not something an Iowa kid saw growing up in the 60s and 70s. I had taken my first full-time newspaper reporting job with a paper near Chicago. And one of my coworkers invited Nancy and I to join her and her husband for dinner. We ate at a neighborhood Mediterranean restaurant in Oak Park. She suggested the hummus with beef as an appetizer. It came out on a large plate, the hummus topped with small pieces of spicy beef, smoked paprika and olive oil, surrounded by pieces of warm pita bread. With the first bite, I was in love.
So many years later, I still love hummus. And now that I'm trying to live a healthy lifestyle, I appreciate even more all it has to offer. Made up primarily of chickpeas (garbonzo beans) and tahini (a peanut butte-like substance made from sesame seeds), it is full of vitmains, minerals and fiber.
It is also incredibly flexible. You can add flavors into the mix, choose from all kinds of toppings, and dip almost anything into it.
In this version, I substituted some of the oil that would normally be used with from-scratch chicken stock to reduce the fat and added in some roasted red peppers for flavor. It came our really well, and a tablespoon is only 38 calories with 2 grams of fat and 1 of fiber.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Makes about 3 cups
1 30-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tahini
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
12 ounces roasted red pepper (either your own or store-bought)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Deal of the Day: I have come to love my food processor! You can get a perfectly workable one for a very reasonable price. Mother's Day is coming and Amazon has a ton of stuff for that foodie Mom (or Dad come June).