New month, new beginnings! I have finally gotten off our IKEA chairs (no couch yet, ha) and gone for a run, my first since some time in July or early August. Hmmm. It was the perfect running weather this morning, and I discovered a good route that manages to avoid heavy traffic. Could this be meant-to-be? I’m obviously not going to be doing the Cardiff Half Marathon in a couple of weeks like I had originally planned, so now I’m looking at a January race to keep me motivated. Stay tuned on how long this running phase lasts!
With running, there will be healthier eating around here! I’ve recently been on a hummus-perfecting-roll. Hummus is really easy to make, although it can require a bit of planning ahead. The ingredient list below looks long and therefore suggests a laborious process; however, once you’ve gathered your ingredients (and they’re all fairly cheap to procure), it’s just a matter of throwing everything together in a blender. The spices make the list look long, but then again, a lot of these spices are staples in my kitchen, so the investment wasn’t too bad. I start with dry chickpeas, but I’ve given the rough quantity you’d need if you were to buy cooked/canned chickpeas, too. See? Simple.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I really enjoyed Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now, and I’ve been playing with a lot of her recipes in the kitchen. This is one of those recipes I keep going back to. I’ve been trying to pare down some of the recipe yields in her book, decreasing the quantities until I make just the right sized batch for Alex and me to enjoy. The recipe below makes just enough for us, so I know that it’ll be consumed within a day or two before we get tired of the hummus and push it to the back of the fridge…only to discover a mouldy container months later. If you were entertaining, I’d suggest quadrupling the recipe (but go easy on the garlic – 8 cloves altogether might be a bit too much!).
Homemade Small-Batch Hummus – makes about 2/3 cup
- 60g dry chickpeas, or 150g cooked and drained chickpeas
- 1/2 dried bay leaf
- 1 small whole peeled garlic clove
- 1 small crushed/minced garlic clove
- 1/4 lemon
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch ground cumin
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 10g (2 tsp.) tahini paste
- 15mL (1 tbsp.) water
- 15g (1 tbsp.) olive oil
- Soak dry chickpeas overnight. Bring a pot of generously salted water, bay leaf, and whole garlic clove to a boil. Add chickpeas, bring back to a boil, and turn down the heat. Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chickpeas are cooked through and soft.
- Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid if you remember to do so. You can use this liquid instead of fresh water for the recipe.
- Peel each chickpea. Yes, you read that right. You don’t have to, but I do it, and it really does make your hummus that much smoother. Peeling the chickpeas probably takes away some fibre content, so if you’d rather be wholesome-like, go ahead, that’s cool.
- Whizz the minced garlic clove, juice of 1/4 of a lemon, tahini, water, salt, cayenne, cumin, and pepper together in a small food processor/blender.
- Add in chickpeas and purée. The mixture might be a bit dry and difficult to move around after a while, and at that point, you can drizzle in the olive oil. Continue to process until everything comes together beautifully.
- If the hummus in the blender looks too dry, you can add in water 1 tsp at a time, but give it a chance first. The paste always looks a bit thick to start with, but the liquids will be distributed properly and it’ll look OK.
Serve with a generous drizzle of good quality olive oil on top, and another pinch of cayenne or smoked paprika if you’ve got it. Goes well with everything, guilt-free.