Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hummus for a crowd

We are reclaiming our health as a family. A large part of this journey involves finding new ways of satisfying hungry young eating machines. My soon to be 14 year old son can eat for two solid hours after school and then sit down to a full supper! One of my daughters was seemingly born with a bread addiction. 

Helping your children improve their dietary habits without giving them a complex is a tricky stunt. How do you explain what will happen if one eats an entire pan of brownies? We don't really want to go there, especially with our mix of sensitive personalities.

So, when it comes to food, we focus on "healthy" choices as much as possible. As it turns out, healthy choices can be CHEAP choices! Win/win.

Lately I have been introducing my family to the wonder and deliciousness of various types of dry beans. We've been doing a lot of chili and split pea soup, but the real crowd pleaser here has been hummus.

I love the roasted red pepper hummus from the grocery store, but I am too cheap pay grocery store prices when chick peas are only about $1 per pound. Let me tell you, a pound of chick peas makes a boat load of hummus! I made up my own version of roasted red pepper hummus. It's not authentic, but we love it.

I soaked one pound of chick peas all day long, because who thinks about soaking beans before going to bed. Not me! Except at the end of the day, I have these beans that I have to do something with...so I simmer them overnight. This is probably the exact wrong way to cook beans, just sayin'.

In the morning, after the last child had been buckled into the school bus, I took time to deal with my cooked beans. At this point I could have slipped the papery skin off the beans, but nah...who has time for that. I got out my hand blender and start whipping them up. A regular blender is fine too, but my hand blender works well with really hot food.

Then came the really fun part, making it taste good. I chose to use my natural peanut butter (not natural peanut butter SPREAD! There is a reason they have to label it as spread and it can't be good.) instead of tahini. I just added a little more than half a cup. It's optional anyway.

Lemon juice came next, no idea how much, maybe 1/4 cup? I might experiment with lime juice next time. Salt to taste. It tasted kinda boring still. Then I got a bright idea to throw in some red curry paste. I blended in about two big tablespoons of that delicious, dreamy red paste to get it to taste just right. Boom! Perfect! It was a major hit on pretzels and carrot sticks alike.

Don't you just love the way I throw things together? It's an art, not a science. I actually thought I was a hummus genius until I did a bit of Google-ing. There are all sorts of recipes for curried hummus out there! Who knew? 

So go out and grab yourself a bag of chick peas and a jar of red curry paste, do a little Google searching and you too can make an awesome pot of curried hummus...enough for a crowd. Try something new, something healthy, something cheap!