Hummus evolution

Hummus is a staple in my diet, but the type and quality of hummus is constantly evolving. For Saturday’s girls’ night, we opted for a plain variety and a roasted red pepper rockstar.

Two years ago I posted my early version of hummus, and while the current version isn’t drastically different, it now includes a bit of nutritional yeast and some tahini.

Hummus…enough for friends:

  • 2 15 oz cans organic chickpeas (garbonzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • Juice of one whole lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (used Whole Foods 365)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Freshly ground black pepper (1/2 to 1 tsp)
  • Salt to taste (used 1 tsp celtic sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Water to thin to desired consistency
  • Extra olive oil to drizzle on top

Add ingredients to a food processor and turn on for at least a minute.  Check the consistency and slowly add water until the hummus is smooth and creamy – or whatever consistency you like.  Usually it takes another two to three minutes in the processor. Scoop into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Finish with freshly ground pepper.

Roasted red pepper hummus:

  • 1 15 oz. can organic chickpeas
  • 1/2 whole fire roasted pepper (used Whole Foods brand…sold in a glass jar…enough for 3-4 batches of hummus)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The fire roasted pepper adds additional moisture to this version, so wait to add water and/or olive oil until you’ve judged the consistency. As above, finish with an olive oil drizzle and a turn of the pepper grinder. (Note: Sometimes I add cumin powder to this version, but Saturday I kept it in its basic form.  Experiment!)

We enjoyed both versions with gluten-free treats…corn chips, rice/flax crackers, pepper strips, and celery.  Healthy snacks, treasured friends, conversation long overdue, and a little wine…couldn’t ask for more.

Photo credit:  Nicole Erikson.  : )


Feta keeps me in the rookie league

But I am so very close… Check out this spaghetti squash Caprese bake courtesy of Pink Troll Kitchen on Pinterest.  The foreground features the nearly vegan version, and the original vegetarian (and gluten free) version shines on the back burner. (Punny, eh?)

My son will enjoy the mozzarella… 

While I’ll stick with nutritional yeast and yes…a tablespoon of feta on top. 

Feta may prevent me from going 100% vegan, but perhaps my resolve will be stronger some sunny weekday in the future. As it is on this dreary, soggy, Friday evening…I will give in to a tablespoon of Feta bliss. In truth, the two tablespoons of nutritional yeast (one in the mix, one on top) give this enough cheesy flavor to make any vegan happy. As a full batch, I’d probably mix in 4-5 tablespoons. Experiment…

The other kicker… It’s squash! Squash that actually tastes like something sinfully Italian. This one will stay on the short list, with or without the feta. And with the smell of basil and the warmth of the oven filling my kitchen, let it rain. 

Happiness is…a savory cauliflower white sauce 

 A warm puppy helps too, but for now we’ll focus on food. First, a shout out to Nicole Erikson ( for sparking this idea. Nicole shared a link for vegan lasagne and issued a friendly challenge to try it. The cauliflower white sauce intrigued me more than the lasagne itself for two reasons. First, I’m one of those oddballs who doesn’t love layered foods…unless it’s seven layer dip, then get out of my way. Second, I limit pasta, even gluten free, and shaved zucchini just doesn’t motivate me. That white sauce though…the wheels were turning about the one bowls…posted earlier. 

One bowls need a sauce. If you’re easy to please, lemon juice or tamari may do. My preferred sauce would be cashew cheese, but dang. When a girl wants to drop a few pounds, cashew cheese isn’t ideal either. Enter the cauliflower sauce, which as it turns out, is amazing! Nicole’s post was here.  I skipped over the lasagne and went to the sauce. 

Bowl before:

And after:

Oh yeah! (Yes…packaged for lunch at work. This time with a bit of toasted millet hiding at the bottom.)

The possibilities may be endless for this sauce, but this week it will satisfy me at lunchtime and make me feel like I’m getting away with something.