Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Friday, June 3, 2011

Homemade Hummus

A couple of the guys in the house like hummus. I *wanted* to like hummus, but as much as I tried it, I just couldn't.

Until I made it myself. Now I kinda love it.

Homemade hummus is soooo easy to make. You might have heard that from folks who make it and didn't believe it. Maybe you just have to try it to realize how easy it really is. So, do that. Try it!

I tried a couple different recipes before I found out how we liked it. I realized we need to go much easier on the lemon juice than most recipes. And I think I now know why I don't like store-bought...the tahini is made from sesame seeds. I like sesame seeds just fine, even roasted. But apparently I do *not* like tahini made from sesame seeds, which doesn't really make much sense because the only added ingredient other than sesame seeds is a bit of oil. Go figure. Anyway, I like tahini made with sunflower seeds. It's a subtle difference, but enough of a difference for me! Ok, so let's get to making this stuff...

I don't have pictures of how to make tahini, but it is ridiculously easy, as is all of this. And you make a couple cups at a time and only use a bit of it with hummus. It will last quite a while in your fridge, which is a good thing because you'll want to make more hummus and will need that tahini!

For the tahini, you simple roast either sesame seeds or sunflower seeds for a short amount of time. Put them in a single layer on a baking pan, pop them in the oven, and it doesn't take long at all. You want to get the oils coming out of them, but you don't really want to get them roasted. Here's a recipe we like for tahini made with sunflower seeds. I might have used a little less oil, since another recipe for regular tahini used a lot less. I basically combined the two methods to get it how I wanted. Use whichever seeds you prefer. I get both from the bulk bin at our grocery store, and the price for each is about the same.

Then you move on to the actual hummus.

NOW...you can either buy a can of chickpeas OR you can buy them dried and cook them yourself. I happen to avoid canned goods whenever possible, and I get our chickpeas from the bulk section at our grocery store, which is also much cheaper than canned. I buy a bunch and cook them all at once. Then I freeze them in pint canning jars that are freezer safe. One jar equals a can (with maybe a few extra beans in there; no harm in that!). I have plenty of "canned" chickpeas ready to be used whenever I want, there's no concern of BPA from the can lining, and I know they are nice and fresh. Plus, I think they taste a heck of a lot better! I didn't like chick peas when I tried them from the can. When I pull out a jar of them to thaw for hummus, I have to really make an effort not to eat them all before making the hummus.

Ingredients (minus lemon juice)
My hummus recipe is based on Alton Brown's recipe found here. I've just made a couple small adjustments to make it suit us better. When his directions say it takes 15 minutes to make this...he's not kidding. Well, it doesn't even take that long, to be honest. More like five minutes or so.

Daisy's Hummus
  • 1 can or jar of chickpeas (which would be between 1 2/3 - 2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or not...you're going to be putting them in the food processor anyway)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (most recipes I see call for a few Tablespoons; Alton's calls for 5! We like 1... We do not like lemony hummus)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup tahini (stir well before measuring out any)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Place chickpeas, garlic, and salt in food processor; process for 15-20 seconds. Stop, scape down sides of bowl, and process another 15-20 seconds. Add lemon juice and water; process about 20 seconds. Add tahini; process another 20 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl periodically. I usually leave the processor running during all of this and pour ingredients in from the top while it processes, stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides. While processor is running, drizzle in olive oil.

So easy, we made it while still in PJs!
We all like to eat this differently. I prefer eating it with veggies, especially carrots. Or veggie chips. Ryan prefers to eat it with pita chips. Aiden..he'll eat it just about any way, sometimes even just with his finger or spoon. Camden doesn't like it. He's now the only one in that category. (Edited to add: Camden is starting to taste it every now and then. He'll eat a tiny bit on a tortilla chip sometimes. He's a consistency kid, and this is one of those consistencies he's not a big fan of..but hopefully he'll like it more and more as he keeps trying it!)

Edited to Add:
I've had some friends ask if this can be made in a blender, for those that don't have a food processor. So, I had to do it myself and find out! You can make it in a blender, but you don't follow the recipe as far as adding certain items at certain times. It will be too thick for the blender and will cause too much frustration. Add it all at once. Blend first with a very low setting to get it started. After you've done that for 30-50 seconds, blend at a higher speed. You want to really get it going! Blend for 45-50 seconds, stir, and repeat a few times until you get the right consistency. It takes a few times, and you need to be patient, but it will work! If you have a BlendTec blender, like I do, blend on speed 1 for one cycle and then speed 5 for a few cycles, stirring between turns. I have been doing it this way since trying it out because the blender is just easier to clean than the food processor...

Homemade hummus! Ready to be devoured!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Meal Plan

So, I've missed the last couple of weeks. Whoops! As usual...busy, busy around here!

Here's what we're having this week, though...
  • Cookout with our neighbor friends Sunday night. We had so much food (and fun!) we all forgot about dessert!
  • Chicken Pot Pie Soup (gluten-free version). It was ok. Nothing extraordinary, but the adults liked it. Camden liked it better the second night. Aiden never really tried it, unless you count his "finger taste." He just ate the veggies and hummus we had out those nights, along with some bread and fruit.
  • Chicken Alfredo Lasagna and roasted broccoli. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen, and I used all of the Alfredo sauce. I use fewer noodles b/c I like a saucier lasagna than recipes usually make when followed exactly - I usually use 9 noodles instead of 12. I also put some water in the sauce so the noodles cook when you bake the lasagna instead of cooking the noodles ahead of time. It's unnecessary extra work, and I tend to do away with as much of that as possible. Just had this tonight..it was ok. Good but the sauce we used (hubby picked up garlic-flavored) was too garlic-y and too salty. Aiden "finger tasted" it, said it was ok, but then ate no more. He did eat the broccoli (well, the tops of the "trees") without us ever saying a word, though! Camden, who we all thought would love this, didn't care for it. We'll see how it is on night #2...
    • Edited to add...this was much better night #2. Even the boys agreed. Aiden ate most of his, and Camden admitted it was better than the night before. I even had seconds. So, maybe next time we just make it one night and start eating the next? ;)
  • Taco Salad. Camden's cooking. More about that later.
  • Salmon burgers, roasted potatoes, and some other veggie. We got some premade salmon burgers on sale from Whole Foods. Not something we normally get, and they still were more than we would usually spend, but...something new. Hopefully they're worth it!
  • I'm also making an extra regular lasagna to freeze. We made some last week, and I need to use up some sauce that was left over, so I'm putting one together and freezing it for another time. I should post the recipe to this because it is soooo good. And the one I made last week is probably the best one we've had. I've always used the same basic recipe with slight changes here and there. Anyone need a great lasagna recipe?
What's on your menu this week?