Prime party season is beginning this weekend with Halloween “boo-yas.” Hopefully my preschool-age son is now past the point of being afraid of adults in silly headwear like he was a couple years ago when he refused to enter a friend’s home upon seeing a herd of Santa’s reindeer gathered inside. I suppose a room full of “grownups” sporting reindeer antler headbands is rather, er, scary. Needless to say, our attendance at that shindig was cut short as there was no convincing him the wacky big people were indeed okay. Now as he himself will don costumes, I think we’re okay to rejoin the ranks of revelers.
When thinking of parties, there’s always a question of “what to bring?” It’s super easy to make your own hummus and it’s a great option to either bring to a party or serve at your own—or just have around for snacking. Plus, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a good protein source that’s low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol and sodium.
Chickpeas are the classic ingredient for hummus, but cannellini or white beans may be substituted for them if needed. This recipe includes tahini, which is a thick paste made of ground sesame seeds and is often available in the “international” food aisles of your regular supermarket. If you don’t have a food processor, a blender works just fine, too. Serve it with fresh-baked pita chips—and sliced veggies are also good for dipping. As Thanksgiving approaches and the rounds of merry-making throughout the winter holidays start, this would make a great addition to those parties, as well as for football-watching snacking. (Recipes from Real Food magazine by Alison Lewis, author of 400 Best Sandwich Recipes.)
Red Pepper Hummus
Serves 8 (makes 1½ cups)
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 c. roasted red peppers from a jar, drained
¼ c. tahini
1 to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
Add all ingredients except parsley to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Stir in parsley. Serve with pita chips.
Fresh-Baked Pita Chips
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
½ tsp. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Drizzle oil over pitas, tossing well. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and salt. Bake until toasted and golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition info (per serving) – Red Pepper Hummus: CALORIES 110 (46 from fat); FAT 5g (sat. 1g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 126mg; CARB 13g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 5g. Pita Chips: CALORIES 86 (15 from fat); FAT 2g (sat. 0g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 223mg; CARB 15g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 2g