It’s the first week of January and that means everyone is making plans, setting goals, and resolving to improve themselves in some way. Yes, even you non-resolution people have, in fact, resolved not to resolve. Accept it. While my 2012 goals are mostly related to my financial health and career, I am seeing no shortage of food related resolutions among the bloggers I follow. In my very unscientific analysis, the resolution of 2012 is to eat more vegetables (see We Are Not Martha’s resolutions here and Capitol Hill Style’s resolution at the bottom of this post, for example).
Long ago (probably about 5 years ago) I made a similar resolution, and found that it was a relatively easy goal to meet. I experimented with Brussels sprouts , Swiss chard, various squashes, and more to find delicious easy ways to fill my plate at least half full with veggies. Now, I am a happy consumer of just about every vegetable out there, from asparagus to zucchini.
The hardest hurdle for me was finding ways to enjoy veggies as snacks. If just once or twice a week (let’s not push it) I could substitute my afternoon cheese and crackers or peanut butter M&Ms with a handful of carrots and celery (weird stringy vegetable that it is) I knew I would be doing my body a world of good. However, I found raw veggies kind of bland and no matter what those Hidden Farms commercials are trying to tell you, your broccoli isn’t as good for you drenched in ranch dressing. I needed a new option to bring flavor to these snacks, so I tried hummus and I was hooked. A delicious dip made of garlic, lemon, and chickpeas (more veggies!) – how could I have missed such an easy answer? While it is abundant on grocery store shelves everywhere and comes in dozens of flavors from multiple brands, it is also incredibly easy and inexpensive to whip up in your own kitchen. If your New Year’s Resolutions are multifold and include getting your body and your bank account healthy, then I suggest you give this simple recipe a try. You know what, even if you resolved not to resolve, you can still make hummus.
A quick note on the recipe: many hummus recipes call for tahini, a paste made of ground sesame seeds. I actually prefer my hummus without it, but if you choose to include tahini, simply add about 1 tablespoon or more depending on your preference.
Roasted Garlic Hummus
6-7 large garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil
1 16-ounce can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), liquid reserved
1 large lemon
Dash of salt
Fresh herbs, optional (I used some parsley I had in the fridge. In the past I’ve used rosemary or dill)
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel all garlic cloves and lay them on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to close up into a packet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil (I use about 2 tablespoons) and place in oven for about 45 minutes, or until garlic is soft and just barely turning golden.
2) Open your chickpeas and pour liquid into a small measuring cup. You will definitely need 1/4 cup of the liquid, but you may want more if you like thinner hummus.
3) In a small food chopper, a food processor, or even a blender pour chickpeas, 1/4 cup liquid, juice of half of the lemon (or more depending on taste), salt, roughly chopped herbs, and the roasted garlic and all of the roasting oil.
4) Pulse until you have a pretty smooth puree and taste it. Add more lemon or herbs if desired. If the mix is too thick for you add additional olive oil (I wouldn’t recommend more than 2 tablespoons) or some more of the liquid from the chickpeas. Always add a little at a time, it’s easy to add more liquid, but impossible to take it out.
5) Serve with veggies like sliced peppers, carrots, and celery. It is also great with warm pita bread or pretzels and as a condiment on turkey sandwiches with sprouts and cucumbers.
Yep, you just made hummus and your options are limitless (although maybe not on ice cream.)