As I mentioned in Week 2, I am constantly on the lookout for new and improved lunch options. The search continued this week when I decided to take a new approach to current a staple in my lunch rotation: hummus.
Every couple of weeks, Mark and I go through a phase where we’ll have hummus for lunch. It’s mostly a logic-based decision; we figure hummus is a healthy alternative to cold cuts that travels just as easily. But, to be honest, when it comes time to eat it, we’re never exactly thrilled. Sometimes I even find that the store-bought hummus (we’re pretty loyal to Sabra) disagrees with my stomach and leaves me feeling kinda gross for the rest of the work day.
I’ve considered making my own hummus before, but it wasn’t until I stumbled across an actual recipe for it in my copy of Williams-Sonoma Cocktail Parties that I became determined to give it a try.
From the start, I made two changes to the recipe, “Spicy Hummus with Flat Bread Chips.” First, since I would be using this for a workday meal and not a party appetizer, I omitted the “spicy” components – paprika and cayenne. I like spicy foods, but maybe not a lot of spicy hummus over several days. Second, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to toast bread at work, I opted to purchase crackers and baby carrots instead of the prescribed flat bread.
The shopping list for this week’s recipe was easy (and cheap!): 5 lemons, two cans of chick peas and garlic. I already had the olive oil and salt on hand. I would have liked to use dry chick peas, but I knew I would be making this after class one night and wanted to keep it quick. I’ve made a note to work with dry beans in the near future because I’m in the bad habit of always using canned ones.
The recipe called for five lemons, but as I was juicing them, I started to notice that five lemons resulted in a lot of juice. I was right to only use three lemons – five probably would have pushed the whole thing into soggy, sour, inedible territory.
The recipe was very simple – juice lemons, rinse chickpeas, press garlic and combine. The only challenge was that I’m still operating with a mini food processor. One of these days I’m going to upgrade, but I’m starting to run out of room in the kitchen. I processed half of the ingredients first, and then added the rest. I was still cutting it close in terms of space (you’ll see it just reached the top), but I managed to fit it all in. *phew*
I tasted the hummus as it blended and made a few alterations – more salt, less garlic and, as I mentioned, less lemon. I was glad I didn’t go with the “spicy” ingredients, as the basic combination was flavorful on its own. In fact, it was downright delicious.
Mark and I ate it almost all week and, unlike with store-bought hummus, enjoyed every bite of it. No upset stomachs and no “please don’t make me eat hummus again today” attitudes. I really can’t believe how easy it was to make. I’m sold. I won’t be buying hummus any time soon. And I will be making this again…soon.