Hummus How-To

One skill every flexitarian kitchen-dweller should have in their toolbelt (or pantry, or utensil drawer)?

The ability to make hummus. Smooth, creamy, zingy, zangy, hummus. The yummus kind.

 

Whether you’ve got a full-throttle food processor, a crappy old blender, or just a knife and fork, you’ve got no excuse. Hummus is just too easy to make, too easy to cater to one’s own tastes, too perfect for snacking and cucumber-hummus-sandwich-stacking and sandwich-and-wrap-spreading that it should really be a staple in everyone’s fridge.

You’ve got mayo? Switch it out for hummus.

Need a chip dip? Hummus.

Want to eat chopped up celery and carrots without feeling like you’re eating from a 5-year-old’s lunchbox? Hummus, hummus, yummus!

I mean, you could buy it from the store. But it just wouldn’t be as delicious.

Hummus is an excellent source of fiber, so they’ll not only keep you fuller longer, but they’ll also keep things moving, supporting a good digestive tract and colonic health.

If you want to make a raw hummus, you can do so easily with sprouted chickpeas. This recipe was created mid-essay, so I went for convenience and used canned chickpeas. Ideally, if using canned, try and find a BPA-free product. I like Eden Organics. For this version, I added sundried tomatoes and paprika.

Sundried Tomato Hummus (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free)

 

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained (but save the liquid!) (if you are cooking the chickpeas yourself, Gena swears that it’s best to use still-warm chickpeas)

2 tbsp tahini or sesame seed butter (it’s the same thing)

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp paprika

a few gluggs of extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes

Directions:

Food processor: In a food processor, combine chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, paprika, and half the sundried tomatoes. Process until mostly smooth. If you need it to facilitate processing, add a little of the reserve liquid, as needed. Stream in a few gluggs of EVOO through the food processor’s mouth (not yours) as it’s running if desired. Pulse in the rest of the sundried tomatoes.

Blender: Same as food processor, simply use a little more liquid and olive oil, and you have a less dense hummus.

By hand: For a chunkier hummus, place all ingredients upto paprika in a bowl and mash against the side of the bowl with a fork until desired texture is achieved. (This is easiest if you cook your own chickpeas, as you can cook them a little longer and mash while they’re still warm!) Chop the sundried tomatoes and stir in.

All versions last about a week in the fridge.

Advertisements

Kale & Pumpkin Seed Presto Pesto

Wheeeeee!

Check out the big haul of organic kale I got from the Farmer’s Market at Ryerson this week! Just three bucks for the biggest bunch, stems, dirt ‘n’ all!

I love kale.

Maybe a little too much, I thought as I placed it in the fridge next to my Red Russian Kale and Lactinato Kale.

Did I mention I considered naming the blog “Will Work for Kale”?

After I de-veined (to the earwig of Carly Simon) and washed my beauties, setting some aside for juicing, and some for easy lunch salads, I still had plenty upon plenty left. And I knew it could only have one fate.

PESTO

Not any ordinary pesto my friends, but a fresh, power-packed, pumpkin seed and kale pesto. For dippin, spreadin, sandwich-slotherin, and spoon-lickin. Yup. I did that too.

I call it “Presto” Pesto because it literally takes five minutes—my kind of recipe.

P.S. Notice how I said “organic” kale? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just released their 2012 list of the “Dirty Dozen“—listing which produce you should really buy organic due to its high pesticide content—and my beloved kale is on that list. So though I’m okay to buy onions, pineapple, and avocado conventional (they’re on the “Clean Fifteen”), I’ll be making sure my leafy greens are chemical-free, thanks. All the more excuse to swing by the farmer’s market!

Kale and Pumpkin Seed Presto Pesto (raw, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free)

Makes about 1.75 cups, according to my best eyeball measure

Ingredients:

2 big handfuls of washed, chopped and de-veined kale

2 cups pumpkin seeds, ideally soaked

1/2 cup nutritional yeast (gives it a slightly cheese-like, thick, rich flavour)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt and pepper to taste

a small handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (optional)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or EFA oil (I used UDO’s 3-6-9 blend, ’cause I had free samples :)) – you can use more for a more traditional-like pesto recipe

Directions:

Combine all ingredients up to cilantro in a food processor. While food processor is running, drizzle in the oil through the top. This will help ensure your pesto has a smooth, consistent texture. Keep combining until all the chunks are gone. Then toss with pasta, spread on wraps or sandwiches, make a tortilla or pita pizza, or as I like, schlop on potatoes like sour cream!

The Grand Unveil, Made Possible by Kale!

You may have noticed—I’ve been doing some redecorating.

Though I’ve had a blog since I was 12 (and I wish Geocities was around so I could show you some proof!), I’ve always flipflopped on the topics about which I’ve talked. This time, though, I’ve got something I want to talk about, on the real—real, real good, food.

I’ve been considering the overhaul and becoming a dedicated food blog for quite some time now—so now that full-time school’s finished, I’m happy to dedicate my blog and myself to creating room for discussion about, sharing, and creating food. Food is such a centrepiece to our lives—it’s the starting point for gatherings, cultural rituals and celebrations, the foundations of our health, a part of our environment, and issues surrounding food are becoming more and more prevalent as society slowly takes notice of the problems within our current system. Though I may not always speak to those problems directly, I can assure you that eating the food I share here will only help you become a part of the solution.

So grab a good sharp knife, a cutting board, and ready your appetite—and welcome to my recharged blog, Kale and Kass.

But wait… there’s more!

I couldn’t leave you with a Kale-based blog without passing along my ALL-TIME FAVOURITE kale recipe EVER, now could I? I swear, this thing is like our family secret. I debated long and hard whether I should share this secret magical recipe, but then remembered that after all, food is about sharing. This super-powered salad got my mom and I through a month of two-a-day intensive hot yoga teacher training last summer—it is craveable, hunger-curbing, and convincingly tasty. And YES, you can eat kale raw! So with all that, I present you Kale and Kass’s flagship recipe: The Alpha Kale Salad.

Blog appetit!

The Alpha Kale Salad (raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free)

The Alpha Kale Salad, served with Carrot-Flax Crackers and topped with Goji Berries

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or EFA oil blend (I like Vega)

1 avocado, peeled, pit removed

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp sea salt

1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed, de-veined, and torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 head of red cabbage, chopped into thin strips

2 carrots, peeled then shaved into short strips

1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1 handful of dulse (optional)

1 tbsp each chia, flax, and hemp seeds

Directions:

In a bowl, mash together the oil, avocado, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt with your hands or a fork. It’s fine to leave it a little bit chunky. Massage this oily mixture into the kale and set aside for at least 20 minutes (literally, massage the oil into the kale leaves as you would onto yours, or someone else’s body. Then get your head out of the gutter). This helps to soften the kale and remove the bitterness from the leaves, making it simple to eat raw.

In the meantime, toss together the rest of the ingredients.

Once your kale is softened, toss everything together and serve on a bed of quinoa or brown rice, or topped with some grilled tempeh or vegetables. Makes about 4 servings, but you might eat it all at once, and that will be totally a-okay.

If you liked this recipe, or just the blog in general, I highly encourage you to pass this blog along to other like-minded friends! Spread the good food goodness! And of course, thank you for reading.