I’ve been trying to explore more daytime meal options that involve real, healthy food, and are relatively forgiving when it come to calories. One thing I have always loved is hummus. I’m not really sure why, but I could pretty well eat it on everything and with anything. I’ll be honest…there has been more than one occasion that I’ve eating it straight from the plastic super market container that it came in…with a spoon. Which I have to say I’m a little ashamed of. Not because I ate an entire container of hummus in one sitting, but because I bought a prepacked version of hummus from a grocery store when it’s so easy to make yourself. What was I thinking? I can surly go buy a small container at the store (usually around $4.00) OR I can make my own, get triple the amount for not much more money, AND it’s preservative free. 100% natural ingredients and made in a preservative free food establishment named “Kelsey’s Kitchen”.
My boyfriend and I have recently discovered how much money we have been wasting on food. We make too much, don’t save the left overs, don’t freeze anything, constantly pick up groceries throughout the week with little to no budget, and we never make a list. In the next few days him and I are going to plan out all our meals, set a budget, and try to figure out how to eat real, unprocessed foods on a skinny budget… I’ll let you know how it goes. I can imagine it might be difficult to eat organic or free run with little money to spend, but we are going to do it dammit! Organic MUST go on sale every now and then, right? I think proper food storage is super important if you want to stretch your budget out… thankfully I have been reading the 100 Days of Real Food blog and have picked up some pretty good tips for freezing and how long things can last in the fridge. I really don’t think we need to spend $200 a week on groceries for 2 people.
So. Back to the hummus. I thought to myself, you know, I’m sure it’s not that hard to make hummus. So I took a little trip to the grocery store, picked up some chickpeas, tahini, garlic, red peppers and lemons, and put my new food processor to use. I made two different types of hummus. The first, from 100 Days of real food, can be found here. It’s good, but I found the tahini extremely over powering. I couldn’t taste the chickpeas. And while I know grocery store bough preservative packed hummus is not very great for you, it still tastes good right? I want my hummus to taste as good as the stuff I’m used to buying. So this one is out on my favourites list. However, the roasted red pepper hummus recipe I found, from a a nice little site called inspired taste, is fantastic. You can find the recipe here. They seem to know their stuff. Their instructions are incredibly detailed, which I love, and they have great pictures to go along with each step. I’m going to be honest… I didn’t actually follow their directions. I sort of jumped the gun on this one and just threw everything into my food processor without really reading much into how to make their recipe. My hummus turned out great, and I am so not complaining about it, but you know… maybe check their process out before skipping all the steps like I did.
One thing I was excited about is for the first time ever, I was able to successfully locate tahini. I have searched high and low, all over the Asian cuisine and international sections of the grocery store, looking for this paste like substance that has been required for so many recipes! I never thought to look in the peanut butter section…. so just an FYI it is usually in the peanut butter section. I searched it out in the organic section first and found it there. It has the consistency of natural peanut butter. Picture above is the 100 Days of Real Food Hummus. I topped it with paprika. I may re-make it but add a few more spices and reduce the amount of tahini used in the recipe.
The Inspired Taste site describes a method to creamier hummus, where you “de-skin” (ew) the chickpeas. This process took about 10 minutes per can. I only did this on the traditional 100 Days recipe and didn’t notice much of a difference between the consistency of the traditional and roasted red pepper hummus.
I was very excited that I was making this recipe 100% from home… meaning that I had to roast my own red peppers. I’ve never done this before but the process is easy enough. Simply line a baking sheet with foil and place cored and sliced red peppers on the sheet, skin side up. I cut mine into fours. Set your oven to broil, and place oven rack approximately 5 inches from the broiler. Broil for about 10 minutes or until the skins are charred. Place the charred peppers into a resealable bag or bowl coverd in plastic wrap for 10 – 15 minutes. This will help the peppers steam and will make removing the skin much easier. Remove the skin from the peppers and discard.
I think from now on I will always make my own roasted red peppers. It takes no time and is made right at home so I know that there are no additives sneaking their way into my food. Roasted red peppers are great in stuffed chicken, sauces, and even soups. So never buy it in a jar again.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 2 whole red bell peppers
- One 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini (*I used only 1/8 of a cup)
- Half of a large garlic clove, minced (*I used a whole garlic glove)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
1. Prepare peppers for roasting. Core and remove seeds. Cut into fours and lay skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil for approximately 10 minutes or until skins have charred. Place peppers in a resealable bag or plastic wrap covered bowl for 10 – 15 minutes in order to allow for easy skin removal. Remove charred skins and discard.
2. Add all ingredients into food processor other than the peppers a blend until smooth. Again see here for details on a different process.
3. Add red peppers (coarsely chopped) into the processor and blend until no chunks are left. If hummus is thick, slowly ass 1 – 3 tbsp of water and blend until desired consistency is reached. You may save a few of the roasted peppers for garnishing.
Pictured above is today’s lunch! A whole wheat pita (only 5 ingredients!) stuffed with sliced cucumbers, and a side of sliced carrots and green peppers with my homemade roasted red pepper hummus. Yummy! For those of you who are wondering where the protein is, here is my response: click.
On another note…fall is only a few days away… time to pull out the pumpkin flavoured recipes? I think so.