Saturday, April 26, 2014


I was shopping for something for lunch. Something beans & greens. I wasn't in the mood for salad. There wasn't a salad dressing choice to choke down. The 'fat-free' dressings in their plastic packets were so full of chemicals and starches that I'd be afraid to pick them up, let alone eat them. There were sandwiches with big, fluffy bread or the 'dieter's choice' a wrap with more calories in the lard laden wheat tortilla then in the rest of the sandwich. Maybe a spinach salad with chick-peas and half a lemon for dressing? That's doable. A bag of spinach, a can of chick-peas, maybe some cherry tomatoes, a fresh lemon and I have lunch for a four days for the price of a sandwich.

While I was thinking chickpeas, I considered hummus, maybe with those little carrots. That is, until I saw the price of prepared hummus! You must be kidding. Hummus is super easy, super good for you and super cheap. So while I was still in the supermarket, I picked up a bag of dry chickpeas and a red pepper. I had garlic, olive oil, parsley, and salt at home.


Makes about two cups


1 C dried Chickpeas (garbanzo beans or ceci)
1   Red pepper
¼ C Olive oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbl Parsley (chopped if fresh)
1 tsp Salt


  • Medium bowl
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Timer
  • Tongs
  • Paper lunch bag
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Microplane grater
  • Food processor with a small bowl attachment or
    a potato masher and a immersion blender.


  1. The night before: Place chickpeas in the small bowl and cover with water, to one inch over the top of the chickpeas.
  2. The next day: Drain & rinse chickpeas.
  3. Place in the medium saucepan & cover chickpeas with water, to an inch over the top of the chickpeas.
  4. Cook over high heat to bring to a boil.
  5. Cover. Turn off the heat. Allow to sit, covered, for one hour.
    1. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the red pepper
    2. Place the red pepper on a lit burner.
    3. Turn the pepper with the tongs, until all the skin of the pepper is blackened and blistered
    4. Place the blackened red pepper in the paper bag, fold the top shut.
    5. Let the red pepper steam in the bag for 15 minutes until the pepper is cool enough to handle.
    6. Remove the red pepper from the bag and remove the blackened skin by hand. You can run the pepper under a small stream of warm water to remove skin, but don't worry about the very small flecks that you can't remove.
    7. Core and stem the red pepper. Roughly chop it. Set aside.
  6. Peel & grate garlic.
  7. After an hour, check the chickpeas. They should be softened but not mushy.
  8. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking water. Rinse in cold water.
  9. Process the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth, or mash with a potato masher.
  10. Grate the garlic on the microplane grater or mince garlic.
  11. Add garlic & red pepper.
  12. Process in a food processor or use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.
  13. Slowly add olive oil, until smooth. Add the cooking liquid if the hummus isn't smooth enough for you. Use the rest of the cooled cooking water for your plants.
  14. Add parsley and mix until just combined.

Note on the the chickpeas: You can boil them for an hour, two if you didn't soak them over night. Just remember to skim the foam off the top and don't let them boil over. My way uses less energy and cooks them perfectly.
You can also used canned chickpeas, but the hummus won't taste as good.

Note on the red pepper: If the idea of charring a pepper on your stovetop gives you the heebie-jeebies, don't worry. You can core and dice the pepper and microwave it.

Note on the salt: There is not a lot of salt in this. You can add more, but try it without additional salt first. Processed food has made us used to too much salt; fight the urge to make this potato chip salty.

Note on the olive oil: A quarter cup of olive oil! Yes. You can divide this up into four servings and have lunch ready most of the week. That is only about a tablespoon of olive oil per serving. If that is still too much, substitute more of the cooking water for the oil.

This recipe makes a lovely orange hued hummus with green flecks, but this is only the begining, use your imagination
Variations: Maybe a little lemmon will brighten it up. Some chopped spinich would add more greens to these beans. Onion? Other roasted vegetables? Finely chopped jalapinos? It is all worth exploring.

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