Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Happy New Year!! I hope everybody had a fun, happy, safe holiday. If this is your first January with us (or in case you forgot), we like to spend the entire month of January showing you that we don’t just know how to make naughty diet disasters–we actually try to cook and eat healthy most of the time.

Confession time: I kind of gain a lot of weight when I’m pregnant.  One of my goals this pregnancy/New Year’s resolutions/whatever you want to call it is to not gain fifty million pounds this time around because, well, I never really lost the last fifty million I gained the last time around.

One of the hardest things for me when I’m pregnant is that not only am I completely flat-on-my-back nauseous for a good 3-4 months, but I’m also ravenously hungry, which just seems like such a cruel paradox. What got me in trouble the other two pregnancies was that I used my ravenous hunger as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted or that it was my body’s way of telling me I needed, say, 4 Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburgers Deluxe (is that the correct plural? I feel a little like Yoda saying that…) in a single day. My strategy this time, especially now that my “morning sickness” (whoever came up with that term is hilarious) is starting to wind down, is to not let myself get hungry, but to keep myself constantly surrounded by healthy snacks that won’t make me crash and burn. And ice cream.

Hummus is one of my favorite snacks, even if my husband threatens to leave me every time I make it because he thinks the garlic usage is excessive (I didn’t know there was such a thing as excessive garlic usage). We have an awesome basic hummus recipe in our book, but I like mixing things up every now and then with this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. It has all the classic hummus elements like chickpeas, tahini, garlic, cumin, and lemon, but it also has the sweetness of the roasted red peppers (which also helps offset the bitterness of the tahini, which can sometimes be a little overwhelming) and the brightness of a little chopped cilantro, which scared me at first. But you guys should know us better than to be too scared of cilantro; that’s just silly.

Speaking of tahini…it’s kind of a must in hummus. I find it in the Mediterranean section of the grocery store, but you can also often find it with the kosher foods (or both places, and sometimes there’s a good $1-2 difference in the price). And speaking of price, it’s expensive. Not as expensive as buying store-bought hummus all the time (which isn’t nearly as good, at least in my opinion), especially since a jar of tahini should last you a little while (unless you’re some kind of hummus junkie). That said…if you don’t want to buy tahini, don’t have room for it in your grocery budget, or are just plain not super crazy about the flavor (it’s kind of like slightly bitter nut butter), here’s a little secret: try getting an all natural peanut butter. Like the kind that you have to stir up when you use it and doesn’t have any added sugar or anything. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s surprisingly close and a good substitute in a pinch.

Anyway.

Toss all your ingredients (except the oil and cilantro) in the work bowl of your food processor or the jar of your heavy-duty blender…and blend until smooth. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream and process until the desired consistency is reached. Add in the cilantro and pulse it a few times until the cilantro is evenly distributed. If you can, let it stand for an hour, and then serve it with fresh veggies (I like it with carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, and grape tomatoes) or whole-grain pita chips. You can also spread it on a bagel or roll it up in a whole-wheat tortilla with some turkey and your favorite veggies. You could also substitute it for regular hummus in this 7-Layer Greek Dip.

This makes about 2 cups of hummus.

 

54 comments

  1. In a pinch ( like when you live 90 miles from any store that sells tahini) add a touch of sesame oil instead. I start with 1 tsp, because it has a strong flavor.

  2. I gain a ton of weight when I am pregnant, too. But I don’t usually get sick at all, so I have no excuses!! This looks wonderfu – I made a similar version years ago, but feel like I need to revisit it now!

  3. How long is Tahini in the refrigerator good? I have half a jar that’s been in there for a couple of years? Would it be rancid by now?

  4. My boss has changed his eating habits to vegan and is health has improved dramatically. When we have office celebrations, I like to try different vegan recipes for him. He likes hummus; but he cannot eat garlic. Is there any substitution you would use to add flavor in place of garlic or just leave it out altogether. Finding a hummus recipe without garlic is nearly impossible.

  5. I have the same issues with pregnancy! I usually gain around 60 lbs. But with my last pregnancy I did just what you are doing and I only gained 30! I love hummus and this looks really good! Good luck 🙂

  6. I didn’t know there was a Mediterranean section of the grocery store. If I was shopping at say WinCo, or (gag) if I had to Walmart, where would I find tahini? What other stuff is it by?

    1. We don’t have a Winco, but a great start is the foreign foods aisle. At our Kroger, the Mediterranean/Greek section is close to the Italian section and I usually find the tahini near the Greek olives and peppers and flavored rice and couscous mixes (there’s also a kosher section in the same aisle and they sell it there as well). At our Albertson’s, I’ve found tahini with the kosher foods, which is by NOTHING else in the entire store.

      I’m almost positive the Walmart here doesn’t sell it, but we have an embarrassingly small ethnic food section. 🙂

      You can also see if you have a Greek/Middle Eastern market in your town and I bet they sell it there.

      1. At winco it’s by the peanut butter. I used to work there. You would be surprised how many people asked me where tahini is. Usually next they asked me what tahini is.

    2. Our Winco here in Washington has it in the peanut butter area next to the almond butter, etc. The brand I use for my hummus is Marantha. (Personally, I don’t care for peanut butter as a substitute for tahini–ever. It is worth it to go to the trouble of finding tahini.)

  7. Well I guess I’m just silly then, because I am THAT scared of cilantro, but you already knew that about me.
    I’m glad you are starting to feel just a little bit better.

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