chickpeas … for lunch and dinner

Abby and I took the littles to lunch today.

Which is not often a relaxing experience … four kids under the age of 4.

But today.

I have no idea what was different about today.

Today we went to a local favorite called Chickpea.  It’s one of three Mediterranean joints in town, but their garden platter is THE BEST! And they make great pita.  And falafel.  It’s just excellent.

Anyway, today the pre-schoolers decided that they were going to sit at “the kids’ table.”  And it was a revolutionary experience.

IMG_6569 Seriously.

They sat patiently.

Chatted.

Colored on their eraser boards (why doesn’t every restaurant have eraser boards for kids?  So much less messy than coloring books and crayons … eco-friendly in their great re-usability … and fun for everyone!)

And they ate.

Everything.

On.

Their.

Plates!

I’m talking Hummus.  Pita.  Tabbouleh.  Torshi (Persian pickles).  Cucumbers.  They even had a little Falafal. IMG_6572

We got in the car and the entire 7-minute drive home was filled with talk about hummus and how much our little girl likes hummus.  She said she would like more for dinner.

For real.

So what did I do?  I asked the Cowboy (who was on his way to the store) to pick up some Tahini and a lemon, whipped out the food processor and got to work, because I’m not going to miss an opportunity to embrace a happy culinary experience if I can help it.  (NOTE:  We’ve had hummus before … in fact, we eat it a lot, but it’s never been a favorite for this particular little.  She’s more of a torshi fan.  She loves herself a pickle … so it’s been a challenge to really get her to even try something else if there are tart vittles on the table.)

CONFESSION:  I kind of cheat when I make hummus.

I mean … I could soak and cook and flavor the chickpeas (which are also called garbanzo beans) for my hummus.  I could even take the shells off.  But I’ve actually never done any of those things.  I totally take the easy way out and use canned organic garbanzo beans.

So … here’s my cheating (5-minute) recipe for really delicious hummus:

IMG_6577 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can (15 oz) organic garbanzo beans
  • 2 overflowing tablespooons tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice (juice from one large lemon)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or more … depends on how salty you like it)

Image copy 2

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse garbanzo beans really well until the water runs clear.

Add all the ingredients to your food processor.  Pulse until combined.  Then let it run for about a minute.  If it’s too firm, you can either add a little more olive oil or a bit of water until you get the consistency you desire.

So easy.

So good.

And not just good on pita bread … try it on chips … or on Abby’s ultimate veggie sandwich (which we’re making for dinner tonight!) … or instead of mayo on whatever sandwich you pack for lunch.  It’s good on a bagel.  It’s great as a dip for veggies.

Oh … and if you want to dress it up for a party?  Put it in your serving bowl, drizzle with a really good olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of paprika.

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