Cook, Pop, Cook: Garlic Hummus
I’ve never really enjoyed beans – aside from singing this song in elementary school:
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart
The more you eat, the more you fart
The more you fart, the better you feel
So eat your beans at every meal
For example, when I first ordered the chili at Wendy’s many moons ago, I picked out all the beans. It turns out their chili is roughly 80% beans, so that was a waste of $0.99. But lately, I’ve actually been enjoying beans and it’s all due to my clever wife.
While I was still drinking bean flavored Haterade, my wife kept looking for new ways to encourage me to eat healthy and having read SuperFoods Rx, she continued looking for ways to sneak beans into my diet. She also kept hearing about the Mediterranean Diet and it’s benefits, so she decided she would try to get me to eat hummus and knock out two birds with one stone and went to Trader Joe’s and bought some of their hummus. Initially hesitant, I ate the pita she made me…within seconds. The Trader Joe’s brand was incredibly creamy and delicious and in minutes, I ate half the entire container. “Man,” I exclaimed, “I’ve never liked hummus before, but this is amazing!!! What is it made of?” “It’s just chickpeas,” my wife replied. “Wait…this is made of beans?!?!” This felt like the sketch where Chris Farley was informed that he’s not drinking regular coffee, and my reaction may or may not have been better than his.
Now, I like beans. Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, i.e., you can build muscle without being constipated. And I love that beans are cheap–frugality is always en vogue in Pop’s household–and can be stored for a long time. I used to only get the fajita vegetables at Chipotle, but I now ask for black beans as well. My wife made this slow cooker chili a while back and it was magnificent. And I still love me some hummus.
But there are some things about beans that aren’t as awesome. The liquid in canned beans can be incredibly salty, so you should rinse them if sodium is a concern. They can be high calorie, but let’s be honest, compared to what American’s normally eat, they’re relatively low-calorie. And of course, there’s the issue of flatulence. I have a simple solution: if someone starts *sniff* *sniff* ing and making an ugly face at you, look puzzled and point at the person next to you. If that doesn’t work, you could try the following:
he who smelt it, dealt it
he who deduced it, produced it
he who denied it, supplied it
Speaking of which, why is the subject in all of those phrases a male? Oh right, because girls don’t fart and if they do they point at a boy and say he did it it smells like roses.
Anywho, I decided to make some hummus at home and it was incredibly easy. Sort of. You see, I love Asian grocery stores because you can get things you probably can’t find at other grocers and their items are cheap! But if you need some sort of specialty item and you’re having a hard time finding it, good luck finding someone who can speak enough English to tell you where it is. Most recipes for hummus I found required tahini, and one employee looked at me with a puzzled look and another took me to the aisle with Thai chili’s. I didn’t fare any better at my local grocer as they had only had tahini sauces. So if you’re intent on getting tahini, try Trader Joe’s or My Organic Market; or you can grind up your own like I did.
Pop’s Garlic Hummus
Having been foiled in my attempts to get tahini in a grocer nearby, I decided to make my own. As hard as it is to find, not to mention expensive, you’d think tahini was something really special; but all it is is ground up sesame seeds. You control the flavor based 1) whether the seeds are whole or hulled and 2) if/how long you roast them for.
Get 1/3C of raw sesame seeds. You can also buy bags of roasted sesame seeds and save yourself a few steps and 10 minutes.
You can use a baking sheet, but I like using a frying pan – the sounds you hear as you toss the seeds is almost therapeutic. Roast them on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Now toss that in your food processor (we have the older version of this) with 1TBS of olive oil.
You’re supposed to grind that up into a paste so a blender or something would have been a better idea, but again, I’m all about simplicity and doing less dishes, so I just used the food processor. My thought was, since I’m going to be blending all the ingredients for 5-10 minutes, the sesame seeds would get ground up then. So I pulsed the seeds a few times to chop them up a bit, opened up the food processor, used a spatula to push the seeds stuck to the sides to the bottom, and pulsed it again a few times.
Now open one can of the beans and pour about a tablespoon of the canning liquid into the food processor, then rinse 2 cans of garbanzo beans and throw them in as well.
Get your spices ready as well: 1.5tsp of kosher salt, 1/4tsp of coarse ground black pepper, and 1/2tsp of garlic powder.
You’ll also need to throw in 4 cloves of garlic (no need to chop them; just remove the stem part) and 1/3C of lemon juice. Again, I LOVE me some garlic, so if you’re not a fan or would like to kiss people after consuming the hummus, you may want to use less. Throw all of that into the food processor and use your spatula to mix things around.
Use quick pulses at first. Once the beans are nice and processed, you can leave the food processor on until the hummus reaches the consistency you like. Or if you’re like me and enjoy pushing buttons, you can pulse all the way through.
Once that’s done, put some paprika and olive oil on top. You could also add a couple of pine nuts for a nice crunch. YUM!
You could also add sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cilantro, parsley, etc… I like to eat it with naan or pitas. It’s also a great dip for vegetables and a suitable substitute for mayo in sandwiches – I said suitable. Nothing can replace the goodness of real mayo in a sandwich.