August 24, 2009

Healthy Homemade Hummus

I love the idea of hummus. It is mostly considered a snack. Snacks in general are wonderful especially when the snack is healthy. So here I have a completely homemade, healthy snack and I don't LOVE it. I am hoping that tomorrow after the flavors get to sit and merry together overnight I will love it more. I mean what is not to love? Garbanzo beans/chickpeas - yum. Roasted garlic - delicious. Tahini - smells fabulous. Mix it all together and there SHOULD be love. Currently we are only at a mid to high level of like. But again, I am holding out high hopes for tomorrow and future adventures with hummus. Truth be told I would make this exact recipe again so that is why I am sharing it.

**UPDATE: We have LOVE! The marriage succeeded and everything is wonderful now. While my opinion is the only one that needed to proclaim goodness for the love to abound, I also received compliments from many of my wonderful coworkers.**

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Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas in Slow Cooker

from Sparky
Print Recipe

Rinse beans and pick out any broken or odd looking beans.
Place 4 to 5 cups of beans in Crock-Pot.
Cover the beans with cold water and place in refrigerator over night.
Drain beans and return to Crock-Pot and cover with water to two inches below rim of crock.
Cook on high for one hour then turn to low for five to six hours.
When beans are done place the crock in the refrigerator over night.
Scoop 2 cups of beans into freezer bags or containers.
Use as you would canned beans.

++You can skip placing the beans in the refrigerator after cooking them if you don't mind working with the hot beans or if you are going to cook with them.

++This process works for any type of beans. The only change is the cooking time. I test the beans to make sure they are to my liking.

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Roasted Garlic

from Sparky
Print Recipe

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut off the top of the garlic heads--enough to expose all the cloves. (Large heads are best.)
Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish.
Place the garlic heads in the baking dish. (I roasted two large heads of garlic in a 1 quart baking dish.)
Drizzle the garlic heads with olive oil. (This helps so the cloves don't dry out.)
Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Cover with aluminum foil.
Place in oven for 40-45 minutes--until the cloves are a lovely golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool.
Squeeze the cloves out of the skins by pinching form the bottom.

The fresh roasted garlic can be spread on crusty bread, blended into hummus, stored in the refrigerator in olive oil, or search the internet for other options. For the best directions with step-by-step pictures visit The Pioneer Woman.

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from Sparky
Print Recipe

Heat a heavy sauce pan on medium heat.
Pour 1 cup of sesame seeds into pan.
Stir constantly until the seeds are lightly toasted--not browned.
Let sesame seeds cool.
Pour sesame seeds into blender
Add 1/4 cup olive, peanut, or canola oil.
Blend until smooth, adding more oil if necessary.

Homemade tahini is not as smooth as store purchased; however, the cost difference is SO worth the difference (at least to me).

Want the math? Here it is. Store purchased tahini - $6 to $10 for 16 oz. I paid $2 for 1 lb. of sesame seeds. I used not quite half of the bag of sesame seeds. I don't remember how much I paid for the oil but I do know it was nowhere near $5 to $9 for the 1/3 cup I used. SCORE!

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(I know, finally.)
from Sparky
Print Recipe

5 cups garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1/3 cup tahini
3-6 cloves roasted garlic
3-6 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp cumin
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Combine garbanzo beans/chickpeas, tahini, garlic, water, lemon juice, cumin, and salt in blender. Blend until smooth. Add olive oil and more salt and/or cumin for desired taste and pulse a few times to combine. Serve with crackers or pita chips.

I still want to perfect this recipe to the point where I LOVE it. I will be sure to update you of any discoveries. Again, for great step-by-step with photos visit The Pioneer Woman.

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Rice Pilaf
aka Rice-a-Roni from Scratch
Print Recipe

3/4 cup angel hair pasta, broken into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup rice
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
3 cups hot water
3 tsp chicken bouillon
garlic powder
onion powder
white pepper
season all

Brown pasta in butter/olive oil. Add rice and stir to coat with butter/olive oil and brown pasta a bit more. Slowly add water, bouillon, and seasonings. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Serve with grated cheese if you want to be a little naughty.

The entire family loves this. It is also Bob approved "delicious in ketchup."

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As always, if you have any questions let me know.

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