Since moving to Kansas 8 months ago, I’ve realized that the thing I miss most about the city is the food. In Portland, you can find any kind of food you could ever dream of within the city limits, finding the best foods in the least-expected places – like food trucks! There are a couple of locations within the city where you can find groups of food trucks parked along the same city block, offering things like elephant ears, bubble teas, breakfast burritos, ultimate tacos, barbecue and, my favorite, gyros. If you ask me, gyros are the best street food, period. Of course, Portland has plenty of restaurants offering food that consistently top the charts, featured in food magazines and blogs from all over the world. I’ve found that the most authentic flavors come from the dinky hole-in-the-wall places that use recipes perfected by generations. This theory is how I came to love Middle Eastern foods such as falafel, tahini, pita and hummus.
If you’ve never dragged a hunk of fresh, warm pita bread through a plate of garlic-y hummus, your tastebuds are being neglected. Okay, maybe not literally, but hummus is so delicious! And it’s insanely good for you! This tasty snack is made from chickpeas, the legumes that pack a whopping 39g of protein per cup! They’re also full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the good kinds of fat that help to energize your body, regulate insulin, lower cholesterol and also lower blood pressure. Chickpeas are extremely versatile – they can be eaten savory or sweet, solid or in a paste, in a salad or as a crunchy snack. There are endless possibilities! I love finding ingredients that I can use in almost anything, like these chickpeas and coconut oil. Versatile ingredients like these make cooking so simple.
If you haven’t caught on yet, I love my kitchen and experimenting with new things. When my husband brought up chickpeas and I realized that they are the main ingredient of hummus, I was immediately inspired and determined to make my own. This recipe is my own creation but I looked at few, including this one, for inspiration before starting. Let’s get to it!
- 1C Chickpeas (If you’re using dried chickpeas, go here first)
- 3Tbs+ Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2tsp+ Garlic/Garlic powder
- 1/4tsp+ Crushed red pepper flakes
- Lemon juice
- 1/4tsp+ Pepper
- 1/8C+ Water (optional)
- 2tsp Vinegar
- 1/2tsp+ Parmesan
If you are using dried chickpeas (recommended), make sure you cook them first! Drain the chickpeas and rinse with water then add them to a food processor, along with 2Tbs olive oil, reserving the rest of the oil for later.
Pulse the chickpeas and oil together until the chickpeas are in much smaller pieces and starting to form a paste. Next, add in seasonings, vinegar, a drop or two of lemon juice, parmesan and remaining oil. Pulse some more and then taste your hummus. Adjust the oil and seasonings until you find a combination that you like. If your paste is too thick, add in the water and pulse again. Keep pulsing, checking and adjusting until you’ve got a something delicious! I had to check a few times, add a bit of oil and more seasonings, but this turned out so good!
Serve your hummus with fresh veggies, such as broccoli, peppers, carrots, pita bread or crackers. You can also top your hummus with roasted peppers, tomato or garlic in addition to more spices. To make your own pita bread or pita chips like the ones I made, check out my recipe!