Well, now that the solar eclipse craziness is over for a few years (or at least until 2024!) we can all get back to our lives and stow away those hard won eclipse glasses for next time, right? Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate well where I live and so even though we were predicted to have about 82% totality, all I saw was a bunch of storm clouds. A bummer, for sure, but definitely not as disappointing as if we had driven down to Nebraska to try and catch totality! Did any of you get great eclipse views? While waiting for the eclipse yesterday, I had a huge craving for something salty and crunchy. Despite my love of baking, I really do prefer salty snacks. One of my favorite savory treats is the Tostitos Hint of Lime Chips. I can’t get enough of that salty, lime-y crunch. After a weekend of food indulgences, however, I figured I had better try for a healthier treat that would satisfy my need for crunch. So, after a rummage through the pantry, these salty, crispy Roasted Chickpeas with a Hint of Lime were born and eclipse snack time was a huge success. …
I recently read a book where all of the characters went outside of their comfort zones and ended up reaping some great rewards. I truly wouldn’t have believed how much greatness was going to come from going outside of my culinary comfort zone! I decided to dabble in vegan cooking-and YOU GUYS…!!!!
Turns out you don’t need meat, nor dairy, nor eggs to create an amazing flavorful meal! Just try this Falafel with Lemon Tahini Dressing!…
It seems like hummus has exploded in popularity in the last ten years. I can’t think of the last party I was at that didn’t feature a bowl or two of hummus and veggies or pita chips. Scanning the aisles of just about any grocery store will reveal a wide array of flavor choices. About a year ago, I was introduced to Yotam Ottolenghi’s classic hummus recipe (find the recipe here). It was a game changer. Homemade hummus is not only easy and cheap, it is worlds above anything you can buy at a store and can be easily adapted for varying tastes and crowds….
My 4 year old son has been asking me to make Roasted Red Pepper Hummus for ages. Mostly because we always run out of our store made hummus, previous to our next trip back to our local co-op. It is one of his favorite healthy snacks, especially served with sliced cucumbers. In the past I had been hesitant to try making hummus at home. I had been really intimidated by the whole process, especially when my friend, who I consider a great cook, told me that hummus was the one thing that she always preferred store-bought. This did not bode well for me, who has been cooking for a much shorter amount of time than she has!
One day after cleaning out my pantry, I discovered I had several cans of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and an unopened jar of tahini (Who else has a pantry full of random ingredients? The organization of the pantry was obviously overdue!). What else would I make other than hummus? First there are the chickpeas. You can certainly used dried chickpeas, but this takes much longer. Since using dried chickpeas takes some planning (and an overnight soaking), I decided to use canned chickpeas. Honestly, I don’t think you can tell the difference when it comes to hummus. Tahini is a paste made from toasted sesame seeds. This can also be made at home, but I find it easier to buy this in a jar. At my local co-op you can find tahini in jars located near the peanut butter. In the closest big box grocery store to my house, you can find tahini in jars in the ethnic foods section, near other mediterranean foods. If you live in an area where ethnic foods are difficult to come by, tahini can always be ordered on amazon. I use an adjustable measuring cup to measure my tahini (truth be told this is one of my most used kitchen tools, a must have for any kitchen. I got mine from Cooks of Crocus Hill in St. Paul-a fabulous local cooking store, but this could also be ordered on amazon). I also like a little bit of spice, so I use the full one-fourth teaspoon of cayenne, but you could start with a pinch if you were concerned about your hummus getting too spicy. One of the really important parts of the recipe is the actual processing of the hummus in the food processor. There are multiple times when the recipe calls for processing of a minute or more. Don’t skimp on this. This lengthy processing times are what add air and makes the hummus light and creamy. By taking shortcuts you can certainly make a faster hummus, but by adhering to the lengthier processing times, you will make a tastier hummus!
I considered my friend’s words to be be a challenge accepted. It turns out that there are many fabulous hummus recipes out there and I think I stumbled upon the one that actually makes a roasted red pepper hummus that is better than store bought!
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 can of chickpeas (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Chopped red pepper, parsley, pine nuts (optional, for garnish)
- Veggies cut for serving (suggestions: cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, grape tomatoes, pea pods)
- Crackers for serving
- Slice the peppers so that they will lie flat.
- Place peppers skin side up on foil lined baking pan.
- Roast the red peppers by broiling the peppers (place rack close to broiler) until skin has charred, approximately 10 minutes (check at 5 minutes so you do not burn the peppers!)
- Place the steaming peppers into a glass lock container and seal. (A ziploc bag can be used as well)
- Wait 20 minutes, until skins loosen.
- Peel skins from peppers and discard skins. Put peppers aside.
- Combine lemon juice and tahini in a food processor. Process with the metal blade for 2 minutes. Scrape sides and process an additional minute.
- Add the olive oil, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Process for 1 minute.
- Scrape sides and process an additional minute.
- Add half of chickpeas and process for 2 minutes.
- Add remainder of chickpeas and process for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Turn food processor on and add roasted peppers through chute, process until smooth, approximately 2 minutes.
- Check consistency, if too thick, slowly add water until preferred consistency.
- Place in a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Garnish with chopped red pepper, parsley, and pine nuts (optional)
- Serve with cut vegetables or crackers.