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Caramelized Onion and Garlic Hummus

Growing up, my family didn’t eat a lot of meat. Occasionally burgers, pepperoni pizza, or chicken enchiladas made their way to the table but more often than not, meals happened to be vegetarian. As a result I’m not the kind of person who likes a big, meaty main course.

Living back at home I have noticed that I might not need a lot of meat but I do crave protein noticeably more than the rest of the house. Around noon you may find me tearing through the kitchen, searching for something substantial to make a snack into a meal. WHY IS THERE NO LUNCH MEAT IN THIS HOUSE. IF I HAVE ONE MORE BORING MORNINGSTAR CHIK’N NUGGET AND KALE WRAP I MAY LOSE IT.

Enter the chickpea. Canned chickpeas are a $1 wonder of versatility. Drained and rinsed, they are immediately ready to be poured over a salad or made into, my form of choice, a hummus. It brings excitement to a pile of raw veggies. It glues together leftovers from the night before. It makes a sandwich, a SANDWICH.

Just in case you don’t already know this; there are innumerable ways to flavor hummus. I have literally never measured out my ingredients because it’s so easy to freestyle with what you already have in the fridge and pantry. Every time I make a batch I use a different combination of spices, veggies, and flavored oils. One of my friends puts balsamic vinegar in his recipe and it tastes amazing. Shake it up and it never gets boring. I’m in in the middle of a caramelized onion phase, hence Caramelized Onion and Garlic Hummus.

Fixings

Caramelized Onion and Garlic Hummus
Butter and oil for caramelizing
1 small onion
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained
A small handful of fresh basil
Juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons tahini
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
About 1/2 cup of water
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by caramelizing a whole, small onion. Towards the end of the caramelization, throw the minced garlic into the pan as well.

In a food processor, combine the onions, chickpeas, basil, lemon juice, tahini, chili powder, and 1/4 cup water. Start blending, adding more water as needed. Give the hummus a taste before adding salt and pepper.

Hummus

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1 Comment

Properly Full

It’s hard to find the time to pull together three well-balanced meals + snacks every day. I know how I shooould be eating (veggies, whole grains, and making healthy substitutions along the way) and if I had all the time in the world I would do just that. As it is, I’m pretty busy and do what I can but there are still a lot of sandwiches in my life and Rice-a-Roni is featured in my dinner rotation.

The weekends though…oooh the weekends. I may live like a frazzled student during the week but Saturday and Sunday are for recharging and realigning. Coffee will be sipped while reading a magazine in the sunlight- not chugged while running down the stairs. Lunch will consist of farmer’s market finds dipped in olive oil and will last for at least an hour. No one will even mention “pasta” (don’t worry, my starchy friend, I’ll probably see you on Monday).

This whole week I was thinking about being FULL. Not a button-bursting kind of full but the kind where you know you’re not going to be hungry again in an hour after burning through whatever bread-product you ate for the previous meal. Insert chickpeas. And garlic. And you might as well throw in a little cheese while you’ re at it. Seriously though, I love chickpeas. I usually eat them in hummus form or (don’t judge) from the can with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. This weekend I was in a serious garlic mood and decided to up the flavor ante. This recipe for Garlicky Roasted Chickpeas fit the bill, so I tried it out.

First, you pull together the good stuff: garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and olive oil.

…the start of something beautiful.

Then you mix that concoction in with some chickpeas, throw it in the oven for 15 minutes, and finish it off with herbs and cheese. This leaves you just one step away from being the best kind of full.

Final step: EAT

You could spin this recipe about 1000 different ways. I used tomato-basil flavored feta (because it was in the fridge) and basil instead of mint (because it grows in a pot on the counter AND the flavored cheese would taste super weird with mint). One thing I will say is that if you over-bake the chickpeas they get a little dry. I was doing other things while this was cooking and casually thought, more time in the oven= more garlic flavor. Wrong. More garlic= more garlic flavor. So obvious now. Fun fact: Today I also learned that if you want your basil plant to be more bushy you should prune it by pinching off the top of the plant just before a set of leaves. Then those leaves can grow out into branches and you won’t have a skinny old thing that has to lean against the wall for support. Now you AND your herbs are on the path to success.