Thursday, November 1, 2012

From The Books Thursday: Hungry Girl Hummus

My mom and I have become HUGE fans of hummus this summer, but had never made our own.  I first had hummus many years ago without really knowing what it was, just a yummy dip for celery. Then I had it again at Casablanca (cool place) in Milwaukee for my friend Joe's birthday two years ago. Ever since then, I occasionally would get cravings for it, but was too lazy to do anything about it. I found a recipe on Pinterest to make a layered Greek dip with a hummus base and I created it for a friend's Labor Day party.

That layered dip can be found here. I didn't make my own hummus, just bought that from the store because I was having a hard time finding tahini and sesame seed oil. (And I was crunched on time.) But this is the dip that my mom tried and absolutely loved. She started to make herself miniature hummus dips to take to work for lunch.

My first Foodie Pen Pal package had single servings of hummus in it, and I'm hoping some store in the Milwaukee area carries these - no luck so far. They are perfect little packs that you just squeeze and the hummus pipes itself onto your veggies or pita chips.

I recently found a recipe for Artichoke Hummus in my Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 cookbook and thought I would give it a try. I love Lisa Lillien - she transforms regular meals into low calorie versions without sacrificing flavor at all. She has numerous books, a TV show, daily emails, and appearances, yet she continues to create new recipes in the Hungry Girl kitchen everyday.

Look at all those tabs on the top of recipes to try! 
This time I was making it completely from scratch. I only had to buy the Greek yogurt and artichoke hearts as I had everything else in the house and it didn't call for Tahini or sesame seed oil. (PS - found out that tahini is located by the peanut butter - so now I know!)

Apparently, my mom has an obsession with Garbanzo beans (or we have thought to make hummus in the past and forgot) because we had four cans on the shelf. We never have 4 cans of anything on the shelf in our hosue!  The cuke and green pepper are my additions to make it a layered dip.

I started to put everything in the blender, but took a break to mash the garbanzo beans. This was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Definitely use sturdy tools to mash!

Then it's everything in the blender and BLEND AWAY!
We taste tested this hummus compared to the store bought we had in the fridge, and we both preferred the homemade. Sure it wasn't a complete apples to apples comparison (or should I say chickpea to chickpea), but we really liked the tartness of the homemade. I did add a little dill to the hummus for added flavor. Lisa Lillien, you have another successful recipe!
Then I chopped up 1/2 the cucumber, 1/3 the green pepper, 10 kalamata olives and then sprinkled feta cheese and a little more dried dill to make the beautiful creations below.

This makes technically 8 servings but at 56 calories a serving, I doubled our portions for lunch and took some pita chips. Count in the veggies and cheese and this is a nutritious and very delicious, yet simple lunch!

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