Hummus Guilt Free Dipping

Nutrition and

Nutrition and

Hummus is a Levantine dish that is a mixture of mashed chickpeas, garlic, lemon, and tahini. Despite these basic ingredients, the taste and texture of hummus varies wildly across regions and even between restaurants. Typically, the further you get from its homeland, the worst hummus tastes (the canned stuff here in the West shouldn't even be called by the same name).

When you find a chef who knows just how to manipulate these ingredients, it is something truly special to eat. Within countries like Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, there is always some obscure little restaurant tucked away in a back alley, which is a candidate the best hummus in that country. If you get a chance to visit Israel, we recommend "Hummus Said's" in Old Akko.

Did we mention that this hummus has great nutritive properties?

After all, taste is not the only thing we're after here. Hummus combines the monounsaturated fat in tahini and olive oil, together with chickpeas, which are an excellent source of folate, potassium, vitamins B6 and C, and zinc. But wait, you may ask, isn't this dish composed primarily of carbohydrates and fat? Say it ain't so! Do not distress, for chickpeas provide a rare exception to the rule of avoiding significant amounts of these two macronutrients in one sitting. With their rock bottom glycemic index of 28 and extremely low carb to fiber ratio, the blood sugar release of chickpeas can only be described as glacial. Given that hummus is included here in a section of side dishes, it is presumed that it will be a component of a well-rounded meal including a protein source and some vegetables.

PRELUDE

Late August in Hatch, New Mexico is harvest time, and for chili aficionados, there is something magical about the smell of these green peppers being roasted over an open fire. Roasted Hatch chiles are used in dishes ranging from quesadillas, salsa, pesto spread and crab cakes. They can be used straight from the grill (after peeling), or marinated. This recipe makes marinated roasted peppers. Regular green bell peppers are substituted for Hatch chiles, unless of course you can get your hands on the real deal. This extends the shelf life of the peppers, and provides a versatile side dish that can complement almost any type of grilled or roasted meat.

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