Homemade Hummus

For some reason, homemade hummus has always sounded daunting to me. But whenever I really thought about it, I knew it was probably the easiest thing to just blend everything together in the food processor. My thinking was right, but it does take a lot of time to end up with a batch of hummus (if you used dried chickpeas). I think it’s strictly the convenience of buying a tub of hummus at the store that kept me doing that. Now that I’ve finally made it at home, I think I’ve been converted.

Purists say that you can only used dried and cooked chickpeas to make authentic hummus. Again, for convenience sake, a lot of bloggers say that canned chickpeas work just fine and don’t really make a difference in the outcome. I used dried and cooked chickpeas for this hummus because J bought a ton on sale at the grocery store, but you do you! Whatever works best.

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Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz), drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water (and more as needed)
  • 1 large garlic clove or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice of 1 or 2 lemons, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Smoked paprika, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until desired consistency. Taste as you go and add more garlic, lemon juice, salt, water, tahini, based on your desired tastes and consistency.
  2. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika, and herbs. Serve with pita, veggies, or what have you.
  3. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week.

     

    You can easily make this hummus into whatever you want. If you’d like to add roasted garlic, do it! Or add some roasted red peppers. Or substitute some chickpeas for other beans. Honestly, you can experiment with whatever flavors you want.

Scallion Pancakes

My late grandpa used to make delicious scallion pancakes for our family. He taught my mom his recipe and she has been making them ever since. Growing up, I would often have them in the freezer at the ready. My mom would also bring them to me during her visits when I was in college and onward. Scallion pancakes have gotten me through plenty of empty refrigerator/pantry times throughout the years.

I introduced these to J when we were dating, and now he probably likes them more than I do. I finally got around to asking my mom for the recipe so now I make them whenever we have extra scallions. They take a bit of time but it’s always nice to have a stack of scallion pancakes in the freezer for when you want a snack. We often eat them for breakfast with a fried egg too.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil or neutral oil
  • 3/4 – 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 bunches of scallions, finely chopped
  • Oil, to cook the pancakes

Instructions

  1. Start by preparing the dough. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour and cup of boiling water with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a sticky dough forms. The dough should be sticky, but not wet.
  2. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it forms a cohesive, smooth dough. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the flour and oil roux by combining the oil, salt, and flour. It needs to have the consistency of a paste–continue adding more flour if needed to get desired consistency. Set aside.
  4. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each piece out into a thin circle. Next, take about 1 teaspoon of the roux and spread it across the entire circle of the dough. Take about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the chopped scallions and spread them generously and evenly over the roux.
  5. Next, roll the dough up into a log and then shape that log into a spiral (see photos). Using a rolling pin, roll out the spiral to desired thickness of pancake. Be gentle but don’t worry if the scallions tear through the layers. Just stuff them back in and keep rolling. Repeat with the rest.
  6. At this time, I’ll often stack the pancakes with layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper between each, stuff them into a plastic bag, and then freeze them for future use.
  7. When ready to cook, heat a pan over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the pancake in the pan. The pan should be hot enough so the dough is sizzling, but browning slowly. Move the dough around the oil to cook the sides of the pancake. When the bottom is slightly browned, turn the pancake over gently and let brown on the other side.
  8. Remove pancake and enjoy! If you like, now’s the time to sprinkle some extra salt on top to taste.

Homemade Vegetable Stock

I’m learning a lot about how to reduce waste and be more sustainable in the kitchen. We recently switched over to washcloths and rags instead of sponges and paper towels. We’re also utilizing our glass and produce-preserving tupperware instead of plastic wrap, Ziplock bags, and foil. Something else I noticed was how often I was throwing away vegetable scraps. I wish I could go back and save all the scraps I’ve thrown away throughout the years…it makes me sad to think how much I could’ve saved by making my own stock.

Anyway, it’s good to start somewhere. I’ve been saving all of my veggie scraps and peels and tossing them into a tupperware that I keep in the freezer. Once it’s full, I dump it all into a pot with some seasonings, garlic, and water. Let it simmer for an hour or so and voila! I have vegetable stock. I store them in mason jars in the freezer.

The first time I made this stock, I made the very stupid move of straining almost all of it into the sink. I’m so used to straining pasta that I didn’t even realize that all of the precious stock I had painstakingly made was all going down the drain…until the pot was almost empty. Sigh. Needless to say, I never forget a big bowl to catch the strained stock now. Don’t be like me!!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups vegetable scraps (carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, kale stalks, onions, garlic)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Additional chopped carrots and celery, if you have them
  • Bunch of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Water

Instructions

  1. In a big pot over medium-high heat, add some olive oil. Dump in all the vegetables and garlic and saute until everything is fragrant and onions are translucent.
  2. Add enough water to cover vegetables and easily stir them (my pot holds about 3 quarts).
  3. Add in thyme and bay leaf. Bring to boil then simmer for about an hour, covered.
  4. Strain the stock into a large container and pour into jars or containers. Let cool then store in refrigerator or freezer, fridge up to 5 days and freezer up to 3 months.