Tuesday, January 10, 2012

GARLIC MONSTER GREEN PEPPER HUMMUS

ORIGINAL RECIPE - Creamy garlic lover's hummus blended with EVOO simmered green peppers!

I have been on the most serious of hummus kicks as of late all thanks to the Tick Tock Diner coming up with the brilliant plan to make veggie quesadillas by substituting the cheese with hummus.  Even with my profound fondness for soy cheese and other miscellaneous vegan cheese substitutes, I noted that my taste buds and body overall found more satisfaction in these healthy little wedges than I typically had with quesadillas before.  (That, and they give you a side of guacamole and salsa!)

Now, the quesadillas were just the kickoff.  The real spark of inspiration came from having recently visited the new addition to our local mall, Nanoosh.  After experiencing the glory of their Red & Green Pepper Hummus, I decided to dabble in some chickpea art of my own.

I present to you: "Garlic Monster Green Pepper Hummus!"

Hummus is a Middle Eastern food dip comprised of mashed chickpeas (garbonzos), blended with tahini (a paste of roasted sesame seeds & olive oil), lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and garlic.  This creamy concoction is high in iron and vitamin C as well as folate and Vitamin B6.  Valued for their fiber content and antioxidants, the garbonzo bean is also known for improving blood-sugar related health issues.  These little wonders provide a source of protein which is complimented by the amino acids provided by the seseame seeds in the tahini.

Experiencing a nearly overwhelming post-yoga craving, I scurried into the local supermarket to gather up my ingredients and a bag of Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips (my favorite!).  I also may or may not have grabbed enough extra ingredients for four small batches of guacamole, but that's beside the point.  I originally intended on making my own tahini, but sadly the supermarket was completely devoid of sesame seeds and Whole Foods was just about closing.  They did, however, offer me the only canister of tahini in the entire store... which, by the way, will last me through several pounds of hummus.  Apparently one size feeds all.

My hummus masterpiece is made up of 1 can of garbonzo beans (chick peas) which I drained and separated into beans and 1/4 cup of the liquid, 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, two garlic cloves (peeled and diced), 1 1/2 teaspoons of tahini, a bit of sea salt added to taste (maybe 1/2 teaspoon), and a ton of olive oil which I continuously needed to add because hummus is apparently too thick for my magic bullet to handle.  These goodies (minus the beans themselves) were blended together until smooth before the beans were added and the hummus took form.  On the side, I prepared 1/2 a diced green pepper, simmered in a covered pan of olive oil over low heat until fairly soft.  Once both were complete, the hummus was poured into a bowl, leaving a hole in the middle for the olive oil and green peppers.

Overall, the hummus was fantastic but a bit on the garlicy side (hence the application of term Garlic Monster).  The Stacy's Pita Chips complimented it nicely and added just the right amount of saltiness.  The hummus was served with glass of freshly made lemonade (aka the juice of 1/4 lemon and 2 teaspoons of sugar in the raw added to one glass of cold water and stirred) which complimented it beautifully.











As you can see, this hummus experiment was a great success.  I am more than open to suggestions for other recipes to try, so feel free to leave a comment!  If you don't have a recipe but have a favorite hummus brand to buy at the store, also let me know and I'd be happy to try them!

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