homemade hummus

I love hummus. It’s not only tasty, it’s good for you (high in iron + vitamin C) and when combined with bread, makes for a complete protein – great for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike!

I used to buy it, but now I make it. It’s far less expensive this way, and honestly, better. Better because I know what’s in it, I can vary the flavors to my liking and usually, there’s plenty left to freeze.

It’s quite easy and not that time consuming. I even cook my own chickpeas (less cost and no surprises) instead of buying canned. Plus, if you cook a large enough amount, you’ll have plenty to use in soups, salads or as bite sized finger snacks for kids – kids old enough to handle the size of chickpeas (choking hazard for wee ones) that is…Just keep some in the freezer and your good to go. Though, if your not up for that, canned are fine to use too. But if you are up for cooking your own, here’s how to do it;

Simply put two cups of dried chickpeas in cooking pot. Cover with double the amount of water, place lid on, bring to a boil, then simmer on low for about an hour +/-  (Be sure enough water remains throughout the simmering process). Check for doneness – a soft but crisp texture. Once cooked to your liking, drain (reserving broth) and use. *When I freeze, I include some of the cooking liquid – it’s wonderful in soups and hummus.

Now, I know a lot of people suggest soaking them overnight, but I’ve found it’s not necessary. I’ve prepared dried chickpeas both ways and have not noticed a difference. Choose for yourself and see what works for you.

So, whether your using homemade chickpeas or canned here’s what you’ll need;

16 oz. chickpeas, cooked, with some liquid. (or 2 cups)

1/4 cup liquid – preferably liquid in can or cooking liquid, but water could be used

1/3 cup olive oil (I realize this seems like a lot compared to other recipes, but I love the creaminess it imbues)

1 – 2 garlic cloves (depending how how much you like or dislike garlic)

juice of two lemons (I love lemony hummus so I use two – if you don’t simply use less)

a hint of tahini – I actually don’t use tahini anymore, decided I prefer it without. Though it is typically used and does impart a lovely flavor. Try it with and without.

salt and pepper to your liking

Place garlic in processor and mince. Add chickpeas, lemon juice and liquid – blend – slowly add olive oil while mixing. Add more liquid and or oil (it’s up to you) if necessary for proper consistency…finish with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate, freeze or enjoy immediately.

*Other possible additions once ‘base’ of hummus has been prepared – finely chopped parsley, chipotle, paprika, roasted red peppers (finely chopped)…experiment and see what you like.

Use on sandwiches/wraps or as a dip for vegetables, pita bread, crackers, tortillas, corn chips…perfect with tabbouleh too. (:

Great for just about any party or simply something super yummy (and good for you) to keep in the fridge for snacking.

Enjoy.

black bean, kale and goat cheese nachos

Nachos are a simple and easy dinner idea, especially for those hot summer nights – very little cooking time (thus heat!)…corn chips, beans or meat, cheese (goat or cheddar) and toppings – that’s it. Prep is uncomplicated. Use your judgement and preferences for quantities – adding more or less as you like – here’s what I used;

1 large bag organic corn chips – tortilla chips

1 can black beans or as I used 1.5 cups freshly cooked black beans

1 small onion

crumbled goat cheese (about one small log)

1 good handful finely chopped kale (about three – four handfuls before cutting and cooking)  

two good dashes of cumin

one good dash of chipotle

freshly chopped tomatoes

fresh cilantro or as I used, fresh basil – it was so good!

2-3 limes

salt and pepper to taste

What to do;

cook beans if necessary. partially rinse beans, reserving about 1/4 cup of cooking or can liquid.

chop onion and saute in olive oil or butter until translucent and or slightly browned. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

add chopped kale – saute quickly until it becomes emerald green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

add rinsed beans, tomatoes and spices.

heat beans through – add as much liquid as necessary to give it a slight ‘broth’ … adjust seasonings to taste.  Let flavor (simmer) for a short time.

Meanwhile, spread one layer of chips on cookie sheet.

Use slotted spoon to pour bean mixture onto chips (this way you’ll get enough ‘juice’ without the chips becoming soggy) – be generous.

Top with cheese and then another layer of chips, beans, and cheese

Place under broiler until cheese melts (a few minutes only)

Serve and top with salsa, sour cream, avocado and fresh lime juice.  Add a side salad and rice – dinner is served!

Substitute chicken or beef for beans and you have a meat eaters meal or mix it up and use beans and meat…instead of kale, swiss chard or spinach could be used (eat your greens) or omit all together … cheese is up to you. Great for lunch, parties, dinner or as an appetizer…Nachos – eat them up, yum!