The Idea
I've been a consumate hummus eater for years, but when I finally looked at the ingredients, I was a little surprised. I knew it was a garbanzo bean (chickpea) based puree, but had no idea that it was so packed with oil and tahini. Tahini is a sesame seed paste that, while extremely high in fat content (82% of it's calories are fat calories!!), is somewhat low in flavor. Plus, with some of the Sabra hummuses, the oil is just floating on top, and when I eat around it, I find the hummus to be just as tasty.

I eventually decided to figure out what I could use as a substitute for the oil and tahini while still producing a creamy dippable protein-filled concoction. In the end, I settled on feta cheese! The end product comes closest to a chipotle or a spicy hummus and by playing with the added liquids, you can really have a creamier/soupier/thicker spread as you prefer.

I happen to really like the spicyness of chipotle peppers and put those in, but if you can't handle the heat, just put in a dash of black pepper or more red peppers or more lemon to make it more veggie/citrus respectively. Here's the basic recipe:
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(From the left)
Jar Roasted Red Peppers (I use about 1.5 but feel free to add)
15oz can of chick peas (the low sodium ones are great!)
**Reserve the chick pea liquid, I use about 1/4-1/3 cup**
Lemon: Zest and juice (the fake stuff is fine too!)
2 servings Fat Free Feta Cheese (the fat free is saltier and more solid, so I would highly reccomend this over the full-fat variety!)
Lemon Pepper
Salt
Notes: Lemon Pepper is great, it has TONS of flavor and almost no sodium (translation, less bloating!)

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Throw everything into a blender.
**Sometimes not all the chickpeas fit so feel free to leave some of those out and put them in after the first round of blending**

Sometimes this doesn't blend so well and I find myself having to shake it up or even stir. Just keep trying, it'll go eventually.
You can always add more bean liquid or lemon juice.

Other suggestions: I generally add in a whole chipotle pepper (seeds removed!!) but I like things pretty hot. If you want it spicy but are afraid of the chipotles, start with a dash of cayenne, or maybe a half chipotle.


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Finished Product
Notes on budget/shopping/nutrition:
1) The roasted red peppers last for EVER. Buy a nice big jar and they'll sit even after they're opened.
2) Same goes for the chipotle.
3) Dividing this into 3 portions gives you a nice heaping portion of hummus for lunch or as an appetizer for about 140-150 calories.
4) In all, if you buy all these ingredients this will cost you more than a small tub of hummus but you'll have lots of leftover feta, roasted red peppers and chipotle. Sounds like a nice salad to me!
5) This packs in a ton of protein, fiber, calcium and is really filling!
(*easy to make and serve when having friends over!*)
(*this stuff dissapears really quickly from my apartment, so I'm reasonably confident that it's pretty good*)

 


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