It's not uncommon, here in the US, to have Mexican food, Thai, Chinese Stir-fry, Italian, Breakfast-for-dinner, Sushi and a good burger all in one week of meals!
This is unique to this country and our good northern neighbors. For the most part, countries stick to the traditional foods they have eaten for centuries. French eat French food. Germans eat German food and so on.
So, today, it's off to mediterranean! (Probably Greece, but some would argue that.)
One of my favorite foods, Hummus, is what I call the perfect-3 recipe. A combination of three things: tasty, healthy and inexpensive (in that order, because yummi-ness always comes first).
It is primarily made from Chick Peas (read here for some great Chick Pea info). If you make it from dried Chick Peas (which Alton Brown will de-mystify later) you'll get approx. 17 cups of delicious Hummus for about $2 a batch. That is a LOT of nutrition for $2. (I buy a 25 lb bag and currently, that costs $43 here in Utah.)
Nutritionally, Chick Peas are high in protein and fiber. Hummus can vary in calories from 15 to 30 calories per Tbsp. You can lower the fat with little change to the flavor, so if you're trying to cut calories, just reduce the amount of oil you use.
I am a big fan of Chick Peas. You can read and watch another Chick Pea recipe I did for Studio 5 a few years ago...Falafel!
Ok, enough rambling...on with the recipe! I've been tweaking this recipe for many years and finally hit on Alton Brown's Slow Cooker Chick Pea recipe. It's perfect! Put them in at night, wake up in the morning to a lovely smell and chick peas I could eat straight out of the pot. The rest just makes it super tasty and creamy and a perfect snack or lunch.
Hummus with Sun Dried Tomatos
1 lb slow cooker chickpeas (see link above) 4 cloves Garlic, smashed 1 Tbsp Kosher salt 6 Tbsp Fresh squeezed lemon juice (approx. 1 large lemon) 1/4 water (or bean liquor from crock pot) 1/3 cup Tahini (sesame paste, found in any grocery store, just ask) 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil (I buy a large jar at Costco) One whole bunch of Cilantro (or parsley or both)
I don't wait to cool the chick peas, I just pour them into the food processor and start adding all the ingredients until it's super smooth. Taste it. Need more salt, pepper? Something I haven't thought of? If so, let me know!
You can adjust any and all of these ingredients, but you do want some of all of them.
I like to quarter pita bread, brush with a little olive oil, sprinkle with Johnny's garlic seasoning and bake in the oven for a bit until they are warm and a bit crispy. Veggies are also good to dip.
This recipe makes a lot, but we all eat it pretty quickly here at the Neal house. I have not tried freezing it, because I haven't need to, but I probably should try it and let you know.