Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hummus tweaking and south-of-the-border

Here's what I've been up to these days:

Saturday: I wanted hummus for dinner, but instead of making it the exact same way as I did last time, I decided to play around with the recipe a little bit. Here's what I came up with:

Spicy Hummus

1 can chickpeas
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle paste
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Process until smooth and creamy.

Bob noticed the "kick" in the hummus that came from the chipotle paste; I wish it had been a little more pronounced and I may add more next time (if I can get away with it). Even so, I love the texture of this hummus--it's smooth and creamy. And maybe the best part is, since I left out the olive oil, this hummus tastes better and has a better texture after being refrigerated than hummus with olive oil in it (which seems to harden when refrigerated).

Sunday: The fellowship lunch was great! All the salsa I made was gone, except for one spoonful (which I took care of once we left). After that, we went out to the farm to see Bob's family, and we had a nice visit. We took some of Dori's bread to share, and it was a hit all around. And for dinner, Bob took me to The Grit! He had the falafel platter, which came with falafel fritters, pita points, lemon-tahini dressing, and assorted veggies. I ordered a teriyaki tofu and veggie wrap, with a cup of their roasted red pepper and mushroom soup. Everything was fantastic, as we expected. I particularly LOVED the soup--it was creamy, and the roasted red pepper flavor was not too strong (as it can be sometimes). When I came home I pulled out my cookbook--and behold, I have the recipe for the soup! Hooray! So when I make it, you will get to see pictures.

Yesterday: I came home for lunch and Bob had a friend over, and they were making guacamole. Awesome! Bloggers have been creating tacos and burritos lately, which have been making my mouth water. Well, here is our version of "burrito day":

Black beans, lettuce, mushrooms, guacamole, and salsa all piled inside a whole wheat tortilla. It was a perfect lunch! The guacamole has avocado, tomatoes, garlic, red onion, lime juice, salt, pepper, a bit of hot salsa, and a bit of silken tofu to make it creamier.

In keeping with the theme set by lunch, we made a nice black bean chili for dinner. Often I follow The Grit's recipe, which calls for bulgur. This time, I wanted to leave out the bulgur and instead add in some TVP. So we played around for a couple of hours and ended up with this recipe:

Black Bean Chili

2 pounds dried black beans, rinsed and soaked
2 smallish onions, chopped
2 smallish green bell peppers, chopped
3 jalapenos, minced
1/2 bunch of celery, diced
4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
4-5 shakes cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Simmer all this together with the lid on for about an hour. Then add:

1 can crushed tomatoes (or whole tomatoes, crushing them yourself--add the juice too)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon chipotle paste
2 cups frozen corn

Let simmer for another 30-45 minutes. Making sure there is still a good amount of liquid in the pot, stir in 2 cups TVP granules. It will get very thick; if needed, add more water. Let it cook for another 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on the liquid level. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about an hour before serving.

It took a lot of playing around to get the spices just right, especially the heat. After 3 jalapeños and still no detectable heat, I finally just started throwing cayenne pepper in. After it all sat for an hour or so, though, the heat really began to come out. So this chili actually ended up being pretty spicy--but both of us were satisfied. And the result looks like this:

Lastly, I will just leave you all with a look at why I love fall... Yesterday morning was just amazing.

So happy fall!


KleoPatra said...

Wow! Laura, that photo of the sky!!!! WOW!

I wanted to comment on the food and congratulate you on your wonderful salsa that was a hit at the luncheon, but that photo just kinda stopped me in my tracks. Gorgeous!

So anyway, i love your burrito and that chili (in the gorgeous plate) and nice that you kicked up the hummus a little there with the chipotle. Nice to use less oil. Good one!

I used some chipotle sauce in a veggie stir fry the other day and it was yowza-ow-kinda hot. i like things a little spicy...

Dori's bread was a hit, that's not surprising, 'eh Laura! The woman can cook, yes she can... among myriad other talents!

Sounds like the Grit was a big ol' hit. Lotsa good eatin's there. Yummy. Glad you enjoyed.

Melody said...

I love that Fall photo... Fall is my favorite season too... omg. it is amazing..

Your chili looks great! You must have had tons of leftovers... I'm sure they freeze well...

Jennifer C. said...

Fall is my favorite season as well, I just wish it would hold off until my tomatoes have a chance to ripen!

The food looks great. I'll have to check that restaurant out if I ever have a chance to get to Athens!

Midwest Vegan said...

Great fall photo. Good looking chili too -- could you make it in the crockpot or would it be too soupy?

Johanna3 said...

i love the sky photo amazing!

the food looks yummy too!

Urban Vegan said...

Gorgeous sky--makes fall more bearable for me.

You cooked up some great bean dishes. Viva la protein!

Candi said...

Beautiful sky!! How can you not love Fall when you see that!

Your food photos are fantastic. I love the hummus sans-oil! Oooh! Great idea. And the fact it keeps better in the fridge is a great point.

I love the guacamole you made and adding tofu to make it creamy sounds perfect. I know what you mean with all the Mexican foods on the blogs and I have been wanting them too! Tacos, burritos...chilli! Sounds and looks so good!!!

funwithyourfood said...

holy geez
that burrito looks like the best burrito i've ever seen!