In the wee hours of a Saturday morning (okay, but 8am feels wee on a Saturday morning, yes?) I’m waiting on an oh-so-colorful pot of red kidney, navy, black and garbanzo beans to finish cooking so they can be thrown in already-simmering pot of tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic summer squash from a friend’s summer garden, bulgur, and oodles of spices.
It’s potluck lunch today at choir rehearsal, and what’s a potluck without a dish to look forward to? I love being able to share whole foods with my neighbors, and so this morning, I impose upon the world a giant pot of chili, made almost entirely from scratch*, full of good things including dried beans, bulgur and garden squash.
I’m secretly hoping the chili turns out gross-looking, so we can bring most of it home and spend the rest of the week eating it…but well, I wouldn’t be much of a potlucker, would I?
*I used store bought canned tomatoes. Not my preference, but better than hot house tomatoes from Mexico.
Hummus is where it’s at. Over the last few years, I’ve definitely noticed hummus’ growing popularity on yuppie grocery stores specialty shelves. But guess what? You can save the $6.99 for 6 oz and make something better and waaaaaay cheaper at home! Super, super easy if you have at least a small food processor. Full of protein, flavor, and great as a main dish or side dish for a vegetarian main course.
Here’s how I do it, thanks to my first roommate and her amazing tutorials:
*Chick Peas (about 1 c. dried or 1 can per batch. Start with Step 3 if you’re using canned. Dried save you sodium, $$ and have better texture/flavor.)
*1 lemon or lemon juice
*1 heaping T. Sesame Tahini (orange can found near the peanut butter)
*1-2 Fresh Garlic Cloves
*Salt to taste
*Other things you want in your hummus. I like plain or roasted red pepper & basil. Husband likes jalepeno. Yuppies seem to like roasted garlic.
- Soak several cups of dried chick peas in water (Overnight for morning hummus or before work for dinner hummus.)
- Swap out the soaking water and replace water till it’s 1 inches higher than the beans in pan. Cook dried chick peas 1-2 hours until they’re soft. Drain them.
- Fill a small food processor about 80% full with drained, cooked chick peas. Add either lemon juice or 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon, along with tahini, garlic, and a 1/2 t. salt. Blend together.
- Throw in extra veggies such as jalepenos, roasted red peppers, or herbs like basil or cilantro if you want.
- Gradually add small amounts of water to smooth out texture and continue to blend.
- Check flavor, and add additional tahini, salt or garlic to taste. Finish off with extra water if needed to make texture completely smooth.
Serve with pita bread, as a spread for sandwiches (my fave is hummus, turkey, pepperocini, lettuce, and a little italian or caesar dressing), or with tortilla chips. Makes a great main dish for lunch or appetizer.