Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Who knew garbanzo beans could be so tasty!

My stomach was gurgling this afternoon and I wanted something light and tasty to quiet it down. I’ve turned my back recently on all things sugary and loaded with fat – donuts, cakes, cookies and ice cream … deep sigh. So my options seemed limited.

I was sorting through the usual stuff in the fridge – veggies, fruit, cheese – when I spotted a container of garbanzo beans. Yech! The lovely Miss Wendy has taken a liking to the whitish legumes in recent years, tossing them atop salads and other simple dishes. I find them both nasty and bland; so initially I pushed them aside.

Then I recalled scarfing down a shawarma gyro last week that was lathered with hummus and realized that I’ve been eating garbanzo beans for years, albeit smashed and tarted up with an assortment of condiments.

Having absolutely nothing better to do and feeling oh-so creative, I decided to make a batch of the Middle Eastern spread from scratch. My first problem is that other than chickpeas – just another name for garbanzo beans – I had no idea what ingredients were needed. A quick google search – hey, I’m a high-tech sort of guy – solved that problem and then a quick search of the fridge and pantry and I was good to go. Here’s the recipe I found on under Middle Eastern foods.

Nor’s Hummus extraordinaire1 can chickpeas (15 oz.)
2 tablespoons roasted garlic
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon oregano

In a food processor, process beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and oregano until desired consistency. If hummus is too thick, simply add olive oil in small increments (1/2 teaspoon) until desired consistency.

I smartly decided to use a blender instead of hauling down our food processor and the results were just fine. My hummus might not be ready for the Food Network quite yet, but it was smooth and delicate, tastily infused with a rich blend of garlic, oregano and the citrusy tang of lemon juice.

It only takes 10 minutes or so to whip everything together, and hummus is low in fat, sodium, carbs and sugar. You can spread it on just about anything and it's perfect as a side dish, appetizer or snack.

Up next? Baba ganoush.

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