Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Finally inspiration comes through Hummus !

Sometimes it just takes a few days of mulling it over and hard work in the orchard to come up with what I would like to blog about next.  This past week because of a lot of hard physical work and exhaustion, I was simply not inspired.  The farm always seems to be in  need and sucking the life out of us, lately because of fencing and sheep.  Sheep lambing and escaping through fences !  It was time to just start over and goat wire the entire property and cross fencing.  Sheep are a bit dense but after two years had discovered that they could follow their large guard dog masters, of which we have four, right under the fence line and escape !  After a few of these attempt and sheep on the road in front of our property or down the road, quietly through four neighbor's properties, they have been on lock down as we have proceeded to fence.  Anyway, back to food and inspiration to eating better and choosing healthier options !

Hummus is something I have been making for a few years.  My grown daughters have recently become enamored with it also, but for the most part, they are buying instead of making and their brand of choice, for busy Mom's, working gals and chiropractic students is Grandma's Hummus.  I think I have that correct, but I do know it could be purchased at Whole Foods and maybe other places.  I like it, but seriously think it comes in second place to my Hummus recipe that I would like to share with you.  If you don't have a clue as to what hummus is, it is simply garbanzo bean dip !  I am sure it has some sort of cool Mediterranean story.  The other thing about hummus is that it usually is made into what I consider an unhealthy food because it is made with canola and or soy oils that are more than not genetically modified.  So if you have a blender or food processor, simply gather up the ingredients and make your own for pennies and know what is in it so it is healthy ! 

Back to the 20 food ideas, one a week that we can substitute for a healthier option.  Hummus wins hands down ! This is a great snack for kids and a super way to get them to dip fresh veggies and eat those too :)   Find you some organic garbanzo beans.  I know HEB has the Central Market organic brand and then grab you a jar of organic tahini.  I know, this might be a bit more difficult to find but well worth it and it will last you many batches as you just use 1/3 cup or less per recipe.  Store in your refrigerator afterwards like a good natural peanut butter.  Tahini is ground sesame seeds and lots of it is grown and processed in India and if not organic can be full of pesticides and chemicals so go for the organic.  If you live somewhere that has limited organic products, do go online and find a place to order from.  One I know about is but compare pricing and shipping.

I love to sample hummus at the farmer's market with Bok Choy sticks and tell people about the amazing amount of calcium in raw Bok Choy.  Many people have never eaten the Chinese Cabbage, and for the most part always say they like it better than celery since it is not stringy but has a nice crisp wateriness to it.  I grow Bok Choy but many people tell me they don't know how to cook it or use it, so this is my introduction.  It is also wonderful in a stir fry or Thai curry.  Chop up the white stems to stir fry first and then add the torn up green leaves at the end of cooking, or throw them in a soup at the end.  Curry is on my menu tonight with Bok Choy leaves and stems.  Sure wish I had a sweet potato too but will substitute a carrot or something :) Here is your recipe, so make some Hummus, dip your Bok Choy and start eating some great real food.  There are times when I just throw it all in the food processor and don't bother with mincing and mashing the parsley and salt.  A garlic press is a very nice tool to own :)  The toasted pine nuts with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley are a nice touch but not necessary either if you want to simplify.

A local Bastrop restaurant called Cedar's Grill has a wonderful appetizer plate with hummus, feta cheese, sliced tomatoes, black olives, and baba ganoush (roasted eggplant dip).  Create your own for dinner and dip with pita wedges, veggies sticks or crackers. 

Hummus:  Chick Pea dip w/parsley and Pine nuts

Yield 2 cups  rated easy, from Gourmet Mag. Via foodnetwork

2 garlic cloves

½ tsp salt

1 (16 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, save liquid

1/3 cup well stirred tahini

2 T fresh lemon juice or tt

¼ cup olive oil  and another ¼ cup

½ c of the saved liquid if needed

2 T fresh parsley

1 T pine nuts, toasted lightly


On a cutting board mince and mash garlic with the salt to a paste , then add to can of chick peas in a food processor and also add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and some of the liquid if needed to make a smooth paste, scraping down sides and add salt to taste.  Add more liquid to thin out to desired consistency and then transfer to a bowl.  Clean out or wipe out processor and add ¼ cup more oil and parsley and process until bright green and parsley is minced.  This is to drizzle on top of the hummus and then sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts. 

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