Meatless Monday – Hummus 101

What food is in the running as the top food for the travelling vegan? I vote for hummus. This chickpea dip is readily available in a number of cafés and restaurants in otherwise meat-centric places. I had more than my fair share of it whilst travelling through New Brunswick, a predominantly seafood-centric province.

See my review on Trip Advisor:
My Happy Place: The Happy Hummus Hut

This chickpea dip is indigenous to Egypt and the Levant. The combination of beans and seeds makes for a complementary vegetarian protein full of fibre and essential fats. The addition of vegetables and grains makes for a balanced meal that is filling, economical and healthy.

Basic Hummus Recipe
1½ cups of cooked chickpeas
¼ cup each of lemon juice and tahini/sesame seed paste. (I like to be generous with the tahini.)
1 Tablespoon of a good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt to taste
optional: a sprinkle of sumac, cumin and/or coriander

Pulse chickpeas in food processor until crumbly. Add the remaining ingredients (except the olive oil) and purée until smooth. With machine on less intense speed, slowly pour in the olive oil through the pour spout.

Plating option:
Top with fresh parsley, a handful of chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil.

Flavour suggestions:

  • orange juice, Ras El Hanout (Moroccan spice blend) and sweet potato purée. Substitute the olive oil with argan oil if you have it.
  • sweet potato purée with curry spices
  • dill and finely shredded carrot
  • substitute some of the chickpeas with lentils and add a little bit of Ethiopian berbere (a spice mix)

Serving suggestions:

  • Use as a dip for vegetables and crackers.
  • Spread on pita bread and top with grilled eggplant, zucchini and red pepper for a ‘Middle Eastern pizza’.
  • Use in place of mayo/mustard on sandwiches.
  • Substitute part of the cream in mashed potatoes with hummus.
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