The “perfect plate” of food is half vegetables— providing a variety of color, texture, and nutrients. Protein and starchy foods take a back seat to vegetables on the plate (they each get a quarter of the plate). This requires shopping two times a week so there’s always lots of fresh vegetables in the refrigerator. Hummus– a spicy, rich garbanzo bean dip that is easy to make– is delicious with vegetable sticks and salads. This recipe uses ground sesame seeds (use hulled seeds–the whiter ones–instead of unhulled for a milder sesame taste) and sesame oil instead of tahini.
2 ½ cups cooked garbanzo beans (or cook dry beans*)
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (or ¼ cup sesame oil and ¼ cup olive oil)
½ cup ground hulled sesame seeds (buy hulled sesame seeds and grind in a blend)
½ tsp. ground cumin seed
1 tsp. sea salt
Black pepper and cayenne powder to taste
*If using dry beans, soak about 3 cups overnight and then rinse well—this will make about 6 cups cooked. Place in at least a 4-quart pot and cover with 2-3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a steady simmer. Add water as needed to keep beans well covered. Simmer until very soft (3 or more hours). Drain well.
In food processor, process beans with all other ingredients until thoroughly mixed and processed into a smooth spread. Chill. Serve with vegetable sticks or salad.