Tuesday, July 3, 2012

summer hiatus: sweet potato hummus for the birthday girl

I've been home from LA for a week now and finally I am catching up with all the things unattended during my basically two week hiatus.  One week of travel and one week of recovery.  Last week was also Sara's birthday so I was taking requests and thinking of creative things she'd like all week.  The current mid afternoon snack of choice is hummus and carrots and since I bookmarked a recipe for sweet potato hummus in my Power Foods cookbook when I bought it over a year ago, I thought birthday week would be a great time to give it a try.  Sara's a big fan of sweet potatoes and every beta-carotene rich food so I knew I'd have everything we needed on hand.  Plus, Sara's pal Coco was joining us for birthday dinner and since she is a big fan of my blog and my baking Sara and I decided to make pita bread.  To go with the pita bread we had store-bought hummus in the fridge, we didn't have sweet potato hummus.  So Sara assisted in the kitchen and we whipped up Greek green beans, chicken shawarma, pita bread, sweet potato hummus and birthday banana rum cake.  Good birthday dinner choices and excellent leftover possibilities.

Sara's birthday dinner festivities with Coco and  Greg in Sara's new hat 


Hummus is very easy to make at home if you have a food processor and tahini.  Tahini is sesame seed paste and the only tricky thing about it is stirring the oil in before you use it.  Buy it in a glass jar because you only use 1/4 C at a time for most recipes (including my broccoli spinach soup).  It's easily found at your grocery in the international foods aisle with Indian or Middle Eastern food and at Trader Joe's, of course.  This recipe is adapted from Whole Living's Power Foods cookbook so it's light on the olive oil.  It's creamy but a bit drier than what you usually buy.  You can easily smooth it out with a little water or additional olive oil. My garbanzo beans didn't completely process and the hummus had a few lumps which Sara and I liked, but if you don't process your hummus a little longer.

Click the link for my pita bread recipe.  In that post I cooked the pita bread in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet (it is actually my mother-in-laws and was a wedding gift 51 years ago but she has an induction cooktop and sadly can't use it).  It was so crazy hot on Sara's birthday (a new record, 103 degrees) that I almost used the cast iron skillet on my gas cooktop.  But since I was grilling the chicken, I toughed it out.  So much sweating this summer.  Still going to hot yoga, but every day the great outdoors feels like the hot yoga room, even at 10 o'clock last night when I got off of work.  My mantra:  it's a long cold winter, it's a long cold winter, ......  Join me in my challenge to stay hydrated!


Sweet Potato Hummus

one pound sweet potatoes (about 2), cut into 1" cubes
one 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 C fresh lemon juice, 1-2 lemons
1/4 C stirred tahini
2 T olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Place a steamer basket in a large pot filled with an inch or two of water (just below the steamer basket) and bring to a boil.  Add the cubed sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cover the pot and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the sweet potatoes to the bowl of your food processor.  Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, cumin, paprika and garlic.  Process until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Thin with a little water or a little more oil, if desired.  Add about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and process briefly to combine.  Taste for seasoning.  Cool and refrigerate for up to a week in an airtight container.




ingredients

steamed sweet potatoes in food processor

the rest of it

all processed

Greek green beans, chicken shawarma and sweet potato hummus

little pillows of heaven, or home made pita bread



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