Saturday, April 20, 2013

10 non-chiche vegan hummus ideas and contest winner

I had Artichoke Spread Hummus for lunch with baby carrots, and slices of apples [yes, apples!] and Persian cucumbers
Hummus. It's a filling, nutritious and endlessly versatile chickpea dip that's been around for centuries; some even speculate it's an ancient food. Omnivores and herbivores alike adore its creamy texture. But it has become one of those – yawn! – tiresome cliche vegan foods. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
  • Pot luck invite: "Oh, you're vegan. Can you bring the hummus?" 
  • Business lunch: "Don't worry! There are hummus sandwiches for you vegetarians." 
  • Dinner at a meat-centric restaurant: "We offer a hummus and pita appetizer. [How progressive are we?!]

You eat with your eyes first. So treat yourself to a nicely presented meal.
We appreciate the effort, of course. But there's no reason for your hummus to be "ho-hummus." The flavor profile of this popular dip is receptive to many variations. My first cookbook contains a recipe for Smoked Paprika Hummus that remains one of my favorites. And I often call my pal Dreena Burton the "Queen of Hummus," because she has developed a litany of delectable, unconventional twists on this humble garbanzo paste. [Check out Dreena's books, which are chock full of "yummus" recipes.] And even omnivore cooking goddess Nigella Lawson recently made hummus using peanut butter instead of tahini. Last week, I ran across an Israeli blog devoted entirely to hummus. See all the possibilities?

Hummus is a whiz to make in a blender or food processor.
Since I've been busy lately working and running, training for some upcoming races, I've been relying on store-bought hummus. You know, the usual bland suspects: garlic, roasted red pepper. edamame, and maybe horseradish for a kick? Today, I decided to make a batch of my own hummus, partly because it is only about 1/3 the cost of store-bought, partly because it tastes better and mostly because I can pimp it to high heaven. I call this version Artichoke Dip Hummus, because it reminds me of the popular bread bowl dip. Below, you'll also find 10 more unconventional ideas for hummus, and the lucky winners of last week's Betty Goes Vegan giveaway.


  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T tahini
  • 3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup canned, jarred or defrosted frozen artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup spinach or thawed, drained frozen spinach
  • Up to ¼ cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Makes a healthy 2 cups

Mix all ingredients, except water, in a food processor until they reaches a creamy, smooth consistency. Add water as needed, 1 T at a time, until you get the desired texture.

Serve with crudités, on crackers, as a sandwich spread, dip or my favorite way: as a protein-packed salad dressing.

Pimp your hummus.


Pimp your hummus! Replace the artichokes in my recipe with the following substitutions.
  1. Red Beet:  1 cup cooked chopped red beets will give you a nice magenta hummus. Perfect for kids and/or Halloween.
  2. Pesto: 1 cup packed basil and substitute almond butter for the tahini.
  3. Masala: Skip the veggies. In addition to the cumin, add 1-2 tsp garam masala. 
  4. Ass Kickin' Hot: Add 1 chopped, seeded jalapeño pepper.
  5. Guacamole: Skip the olive oil. Instead add the flesh of one medium avocado, 1/2 chopped onion and 1 finely chopped, seeded Roma tomato. 
  6. Roasted Veggie: A great way to use up 1 cup of leftover roasted vegetables like eggplant, peppers and cauliflower. 
  7. Hot Date: Add about 1/2 cup pre-soaked, pitted dates [skip cumin and add a pinch of cayenne, if it suits you]. This makes a more kid-friendly dip.
  8. Fennel: Add 1 cup cooked fennel and maybe some organic lemon zest, too.
  9. Crab[less] Cake Hummus: Skip the cumin and add up to 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning 
  10. Island Hummus: Skip the cumin and add up to 2 tsp Caribbean-style curry powder. Serve with dried plantains

Betty Goes Vegan contest winners

Thanks to everyone for entering. Congratulations....[drumroll]....Lizzie Bordello and the Painted Moonkin.  Email me your addresses and we'll send your copies pronto!

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VeganYinzer said...

My local food co-op in Pittsburgh sells red beet hummus. I'm not a huge fan of beets, but it's downright delicious. Great post!

urban vegan said...

Why thank you! I love anything with red beets.

Lizzie Bordello said...

You are absolutely right about the, "oh, you're vegan? Uh...HUMMUS!" thing, but luckily I'm a hummus hound, so it works for me. :) A couple of those variations sound awesome - I haven't quite perfected homemade yet. Will definitely be trying the Hot Date, and the Crab(less).

(Oh, and I just emailed you my info for the giveaway. Yay! Thank you so much!!! :])

Andrea said...

I like the idea of adding jalapeno to hummus, and artichoke hearts, too. Also pistachios. At parties and other events, I always figure hummus is a big improvement over nothing, but yeah, boring.

Amey said...

mmm. I love hummus. But, I must admit I am a sucker for the classic original. I never get tired of it. I actually sort of want to go to Israel just to eat hummus. A hummus trip.

foodfeud said...

Ha! Yes, hummus is a little too ubiquitous, but I do like it. I was wondering the other day how apples would go with hummus; now I know it's doable. Hopefully it works for other flavors.
I've been meaning to make beet hummus for a long time, and that island flavor sounds delicious. maybe on top of a jerk tempeh burger or something.

Joey said...

I do like hummus, but I never eat it at home because it's just that ubiquitous, and I don't want to cure myself of hummus-love by overdoing it! The peanut butter idea does sound rather good, as does the date hummus. And the jalapeño. And the... Yeah, time to get the blender out again!

Kate Cunningham said...

These are great ideas but classic hummus is still my fav - I make skinny hummus with less fat, that way I can eat a pot full without any guilt :)

Here is my fav recipe for a skinny hummus sandwich with caramelised onions and baby spinach leaves:

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! i just got a jar of artichoke hearts on sale at the store and was bummed because I miss hot artichoke dip as a vegan. I also have a can of chick peas! This is happening tomorrow! Thanks!


Anonymous said...

What a great idea! i just got a jar of artichoke hearts on sale at the store and was bummed because I miss hot artichoke dip as a vegan. I also have a can of chick peas! This is happening tomorrow! Thanks!