Hummus

Hummus is a great snack for everyone in the family, and it’s super easy to make at home. My friend Molly taught me a trick to make the best hummus: let it go in the food processor significantly longer than you think it should go. Turn it on and walk away. Read a book, meditate, drink a glass of wine…ok, it’s only 2 minutes in the food processor, but it feels like a really long time.

Hummus in progress

Hummus

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can garbonzo beans, drained, 1/4 cup of liquid reserved
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Serve with pita chips and cut veggies.
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Hummus complete

Home Economics: save $400. On hummus.

I have two kids, a full-time job, and I blog. And sometimes I actually like to have fun with Dan and the kids. So I’m not opposed to paying for convenience. When the markup is reasonable. One of the things that really gets my goat though is when spending 5 minutes making something yourself could save you 500%.

So, I’m going to make some use out of my MBA. I’m starting an occasional series called Home Economics that’s about selectively doing some things yourself that you might typically pay for. Pay A LOT for.

Hummus in progressFirst up, hummus. Ok, it’s only $5 at the grocery. But it’s such a great snack, I found myself getting a container or two every week (each container is 5 ounces). So that’s nearly $500/year just on hummus. Think about what you could buy for $500, and that’s what I could spend on hummus. Insane, right?

Economics of making your own hummus

See hummus recipe

15 oz tahini = $6; recipe calls for 3 oz: tahini is $1.16
1 can garbonzo beans: $1
lemon: $0.50
I assume you use so little of the other stuff that it’s just a few extra pennies.

My recipe makes 15 ounces of hummus for less than $3. I was paying $5 for 5 ounces of hummus. That’s a 500% markup for something that takes 2 minutes in a food processor.

If you don’t already have a food processor, here’s a good reason to get one. 3 months of making your own hummus and it pays for itself. Let’s pause for a moment and digest that. If you make your own hummus you could buy yourself a Kitchen Aid food processor in 3 months. It’s like the best layaway plan ever.

So, now I make my own hummus and take my annual $400 in hummus savings and buy something nice for myself. Like diapers.

Tahini 3 Ways

TahiniHas this ever happened to you? You found an interesting new recipe to try and bought some ingredients that you hadn’t used before. The recipe called for a small amount and now you don’t know what to do with the rest it.  Welcome to my world. I used to have a fridge and pantry full of 1-use ingredients, until I went on a mission to use them all up.

Tahini was an ingredient that I originally bought to make hummus. Then it languished in my fridge for awhile until I’d make hummus again. And again.  First let me say that hummus is super easy to make at home, and very economical if you’ve already got tahini sitting in your fridge. But there is so much more you can do with it!

A quick primer if you’re not familiar with tahini. According to wikipedia, tahini is a paste of ground sesame seeds, typically used in North African, Greek, and West Asian cooking. East Asian cooking uses sesame paste as well, but of unhulled sesame seeds.

So, here are 3 recipes to use up that tahini you’ve got in your fridge, or to give you a reason to go out and try this versatile ingredient.

Hummus–a great snack for mom, dad, and the kids

Grilled Chicken Flatbread with Tahini Dressing–quick and easy grilled chicken dinner with a Mediterranean twist

Sesame Noodles–an Asian spin on tahini for a kid-friendly potluck or picnic meal

Do you already use tahini often? What are your favorite recipes?