Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Simplicity in the Kitchen – Hummus (Revisited)

Since my last hummus recipe, I’ve tweaked it, and tweaked it, every week, trying to go for as easy a recipe as possible while keeping the same taste that I like in it.

I was using a blender, but please forgive me – I never owned a food processor, and thought it was only to grossly chop vegetables. Making hummus in a food processor is awesome!

Today, I forgot one of the main ingredients, and this is what it now looks like:

  • 3.5 cups chick peas
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red hot
  • about 1/6 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tbsp chili
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder

Did you notice what I forgot? The olive oil! I was surprised about the resulting taste, which barely changed!

I like it more hot than not, but you can tweak the amount of Frank’s Red Hot and chili easily. In fact, next time I’ll put less garlic powder, as the hummus’ hotness drowns the garlic flavor.


I still love eating hummus on vegetables or on bread. It’s very healthy too, compared to 99% of other dips and sauces.

Categories: Cooking

Simplicity in the Kitchen – Hummus

Update: I made a significant tweak to this hummus recipe.

Before watching You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, I had never really tasted hummus (at least, as far as I can recall). I actually thought the hummus in the movie was a joke, and when I saw that at the grocery store, I didn’t want to taste it. Then I tasted it. I think it was at my sister’s, and I ate it with some vegetables. The taste was okay, but I still had the movie in mind (no idea why). Fast-forward a few months, when I gradually took care of my health more and more, and I finally learn what’s inside hummus: chick peas! I had no idea! Hummus is not some unhealthy dip, but contains a lot of proteins and fiber! (Silly me…) When I became vegan in January 2012, I knew I had to diversify everything I ate, one reason being that I need all types of essential amino acids to stay healthy. Animal sources of protein contain all nine essential amino acids, though people confuse the food being labeled as “complete” with being “healthier” (it isn’t, and by far – it’s just some marketing feat in favor of meat). Again, looking at some popular hummus recipes, I thought they were too complicated for nothing. In particular, I thought I didn’t really need the tahini (sesame paste), because buying it would steeply rise the price of my home-made hummus, and making it myself would add a complete layer of complication to the recipe. After many weekly tests, I have tweaked my hummus recipe to what I feel is a wonderful taste-to-trouble ratio:

  • 2 cups chick peas (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • Blend everything until desired consistency

I was initially adding parsley (2 tbsp), salt (1 tbsp), and pepper (1 tbsp), but forgot to add them recently, and the blend was still great. Add to taste if desired. I also usually add tiny cubes of red and/or jalapeño pepper, and more chili and cayenne. I like it spicy. Most of the time, I eat hummus as a vegetable dip. I tend to eat a lot of raw vegetables during dinner, so the hummus I eat gives me plenty of proteins. Other times, I put a cup of it in a wrap. This recipe is unfortunately hard on a blender. I had to go for the top-of-the-line consumer blender, and sometimes I feel it having a hard time blending the chick peas to a puree. Until I find another way to blend the hummus without making it too liquid or buying an industrial blender, I’ll continue this way, because it’s delicious and very easy to do.

Categories: Cooking

Simplicity in the Kitchen – Morning Beans

Before becoming vegan, I didn’t have too much trouble finding proteins for breakfast. In the later part of 2011, I was eating two eggs every morning, plus a bowl of cereals (often containing a few grams of proteins) with fruits on days when I was going to the gym or going for a run before work.

Being vegan, I found out that I tended to be a bit sleepy before lunch. Indeed, I was lacking proteins in my breakfasts most of the time, especially on days when I did not go to the gym.

The first thing I tried was to eat tofu. I was cutting it in slices, and put some home-made jam on them. I really liked it, although I prefer eating raw tofu with soy sauce. I tired of it after about a week, and looked for something with a bit of a stronger taste.

I had some leftover kidney beans in the fridge, and I like the taste of baked beans in the morning, although it’s way too fatty for my taste, because of the lard. Looking around on some recipe sites, I found a couple of good ones, but they were a bit too complicated.

It was time to improvise, and this is what happened:

  • 1 cup beans (any kidney-shaped beans, really)
  • 1 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Molasses
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Mix everything, and microwave if you want it hot.

I love the taste, and it’s the easiest baked beans recipe you can get.

Categories: Cooking

Simplicity in the Kitchen – Marmalade

I made this marmalade recently, and thought it was so delicious that it needed a post for it, even though it is a bit similar to the simple fruit sauce recipe.

Recipe gives 2 cups marmalade.

  • 6 Oranges
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 Grapefruits
  • Cut 1 orange, half a lemon, and a quarter of a grapefruit in small pieces;
  • Blend the remaining fruits;
  • In a saucepan, put everything in, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat, stirring often;
  • After 20-25 minutes at medium, remove from heat, let cool, and place overnight in the fridge.


  • You don’t need to add water, because the fruits are watery enough.
  • Remove the peel – don’t cook it. Just in case…
  • It will taste acid. It’s supposed to – it is made from citrus fruits, so what are you expecting? Why would you want to put sugar in it, and change the wonderful taste of the fruits inside? If you don’t like the taste of these fruits, make some other fruit sauce with sweeter fruits like apples or strawberries.
Categories: Cooking

Simplicity in the Kitchen – Guacamole

2012/02/24 2 comments

Here’s something that so easy to make it’s not even funny – Guacamole.

Here’s my recipe:

  •  2 or 3 ripe Avocados
  • 1/2 Tomato (or 1 small) (optional)
  • Cut the avocados in small cubes and mash them with a fork until desired consistency.
  • If using a tomato, remove the liquid and seeds insides, cut the rest into small cubes and stir them in the mashed avocados.

I usually add some random spices like parsley or chili. Some people like to add lemon or lime juice, but I think the mix is pretty good, just like that.

 Of course, the goal here is to make something as simple as possible. It takes but a couple of minute to make, and it’s a delicious and healthy alternative to the more complex guacamole you can find at the grocery store.

 In my honest opinion, an avocado is ripe when you can press the peel with a small amount of force. I sometimes see in the store an avocado section where they are, well, grossly overripe. You can push your finger in without using any force! I like my avocados between firm and soft, and of a beautiful light green inside, not brownish green.

Categories: Cooking