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4 Hummus Variations

My toddler is in the “dip” phase of eating. Everything is better if she can dip it in something. Red dip (ketchup) and white dip (ranch dressing) are her main go-to’s, but she is willing to branch out. Today, she asked me for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch with red dip. Gross.

While her obsession can be frustrating, I have to admit that I love dip myself. Chips and dip, veggies and dip, soup with a sandwich to dip, rolls to dip in gravy…really I could go on. The biggest problem with dip is the addition of empty calories. Hummus falls into the traditional dip pitfalls by being somewhat calorically dense, but does at least provide some protein and fiber along the way. I have found that if I pack it full of flavor, I don’t use as much dip either, which reduces the calories.  Here are four different variations on hummus we have been enjoying lately (with only pictures of three because I don’t always think things through).

Enjoy!

Basic Hummus (Makes about 2 cups)

Basic Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup tahini
¼ cucumber
1 clove garlic
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water (or more)

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor. Blend, adding water to achieve desired consistency. Serve or chill until ready to use.

Nutritional Information (Amount per 2 tablespoons):

Calories: 26
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 36 mg

Variation 1: Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion (where I forgot to take a picture.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Take a whole head of garlic. Slice off the bottom to expose the cloves inside. Drizzle ½ teaspoon olive oil on it. Place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until soft. Let cool.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add one thinly sliced onion. Saute until beginning to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until deep golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

4. Prepare hummus as above, omitting original garlic. Substitute up to half of the cloves from the roasted head of garlic. Add in the onions. Blend to desired consistency.

Variation 2: Roasted Red Pepper

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1. Preheat a grill or broiler to high. Lightly coat a red bell pepper with olive oil. Grill or broil, turning every few minutes as each side is charred. Once done, place in a paper bag for 5-10 minutes. Remove from bag. Peel off skin. Remove stem and seeds. Chop red pepper.

2. Prepare hummus as above, adding in chopped red pepper.

Variation 3: Sun-Dried Tomato

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

1. Prepare hummus as above, adding ⅓ – ½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (preferably dried, not packed in oil).

Recipe Notes: Don’t be afraid to add water to get the consistency you want. I also found that this solidifies a bit when refrigerated, so maybe err on the thin side if you are not serving immediately.  You could also try these variations with my baba ganoush recipe with yummy results.

Source: Adapted from various sources online

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Tangy Cranberry Sauce

For most of my life, cranberry sauce was kind of an afterthought at Thanksgiving. I remember it more on leftover sandwiches than with the actual meal. I think that is because sometimes we totally forgot to put it on the table. Then my sister-in-law introduced our family to homemade cranberry sauce, which revolutionized their place on our table. They now hold a place of honor, almost as a side dish more than a condiment.

We generally make the recipe on the back of the bag of cranberries. Why mess with something great? This year, I remembered a recipe I saved several years ago for a friend called “cranberry ketchup”. I thought I’d give it a try. I don’t know that this replaces traditional cranberry sauce, but it definitely provides an interesting flavor. Forget the sweet and embrace the tart. I will be offering both to my Thanksgiving guests this year.

Enjoy!

Tangy Cranberry Sauce (Makes about ¾ cup)

IMG_6101label

6 ounces fresh cranberries
2 tablespoon dried minced onions
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup vinegar
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have popped open. Let cool slightly.

2. Blend until smooth. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Nutritional Information (Amount per tablespoon):

Calories: 45
Protein: 0 g
Fat: less than 1 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Fiber: .7 g
Sodium: 3 mg

Recipe Notes: You can use frozen cranberries, if they are not packed in any juice. You could use about ¼ cup of regular chopped onions, but I found it easier to just throw in the dried ones. This does have a strong vinegar taste. You might consider reducing that by half and substituting with more water if that isn’t your thing. The original recipe called to serve it with sweet potato fries, which you can see I did. It was good, but serving it with turkey or other meat would also be delicious.

Recipe Source: Cooking Light

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