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Spiced Pumpkin Hummus

Do all vegetarians consume as much hummus as I do? I have enough hummus and bean dip recipes to fill a cookbook and am still concocting new ones on the regular. In addition to working my food processor to death, I’ll even occasionally pick up some Sabra from the store too. My fridge is almost never without some kind of creamy bean spread, and when it is, typically that means my food processor is spinning on the counter.

Even if I wasn’t a vegetarian needing a lot of legume-packed protein in my diet, I’d undoubtedly still be making and consuming hummus in mass amounts. Bean dips keep well spread on my on-the-go sandwiches and they’re perfect for entertaining company. When there’s always hummus in the fridge, you’ll never have hungry guests. Plus, it’s always a crowd-pleaser when you carry it along to other’s houses too.

My latest recipe was of course inspired by my autumn pumpkin craze. What better way to add an extra boost of creaminess and nutrition than with already creamed pumpkin. The cinnamon and chili sauce spice things up in complimentary way, while the mint adds just a hint of freshness.

If you need a last minute Thanksgiving idea, this is your hummus. I’m also sometimes last minute on things, hence why this post didn’t get written a couple weeks ago when I created this recipe with the pumpkin season in mind. But no fear, there’s little prep. required, and like most hummus varieties I’m a fan of, it whips up in no time. Plus, the full-flavored hummus pairs perfectly with all kinds of snacks, making it a great start to any holiday gathering. If this doesn’t get on your list for Thanksgiving, there’s still many more holiday events to come. Or, forget it as a party app. altogether and go with my favorite usage, a generous slather on top of a meaty veggie burger. Mmmhmm.

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Roasted Pepper Garbanzo Dip

So I made this a little while back for a dinner party I was attending, and it was a huge hit. It was one of those recipes you end up memorizing mid-party after countless people ask you to tell them how it was constructed.

The creation was actually inspired by a little Italian restaurant in Baltimore called Paolo’s. The food at Paolo’s wasn’t anything to fully rave about, possibly why the place recently closed down, but their complimentary garbanzo dip was to die for. A garlicky mix of roasted peppers, olives, and chickpeas, served alongside warm pita, the dip was worth every dinner trip ever made to the restaurant.

Now that the place is closed (not to mention, I don’t make it down to Baltimore too often), all the more reason to test out my own pre-dinner, dip-making skills. With a slew of multi-colored peppers in the fridge (yes, purple included), I got to work de-crisping the peppers with a little help from the oven. I pulled it all together with some lime, cilantro, cumin, and garlic, a list I have now easily committed to memory with a little help from my friends.

Serve with warm pita, pita chips, or crackers.

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Roasted Beet Hummus

From the minute I saw this idea, I knew I wanted to make it.  Just look how gorgeous it is!  Finally, the stain power of beets is good for something other than ruining counters.  That right there, ladies and gentleman, is Las Vegas in a bowl.  Hot mama!

I’m a huge hummus fan. If you haven’t been following me for long, check out the “Dip” section on my recipe page, and you’ll see numerous variations on bean dips.  Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to once again play around with chickpeas and my magical food processor.

With some beets leftover from my CSA job, I decided to use my favorite beet-softening method:  Roasting.  After that, I just tweaked my standard hummus recipe to accommodate the extra ingredient.

So how’d it taste?  Like hummus, with a kick of sweetness.  The earthiness of the beets was subdued by the chickpeas, making this a great way to introduce the veggie to skeptical newcomers or picky palates.  If you already know you’re not a fan of beets, simply cut down on the amount you toss in, and slightly reduce the lemon juice.  You’ll still end up with a striking bowl of hummus.

From now on, whenever I have summertime beets and plan on making hummus, I’ll absolutely be pairing the two together.  Who wants to have tan hummus when you could have hot pink?

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