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Delicious Sabra #HummusDay Vegggie Bowls

A couple of years ago my friends at Sabra Hummus invited a group of nos influencers to their corporate kitchen right outside of Richmond, VA. We were there to eat loads of hummus, no doubt, but really to explore the difference between flavors and taste and how to discern the difference. There are a few different techniques to identifying flavors versus the taste a certain ingredient has. It’s quite easy to get the two mixed up if you don’t know what to “look” for.  Using hummus as a guinea pig was the perfect excuse for an afternoon of dipping madness, led my Sabra’s corporate executive chef.  Her smooth demeanor slid back into her role and allowed us to dive into massive creativity with a farm table’s worth of hummus. It was parallel to the most stylish girl being treated to a day in her favorite shoe boutique where she gets to try on everything and even walk away with her favorite pairs. Dreamy, right? Well, that’s what our day was like.

A plethora and over abundance of ingredients that were beautifully mise’d for us were the watercolors for the challenge before us: to create beautiful and delicious, flavor-forward bowls out with the different flavored hummus containers. Our canvas’s were equally spread for each of us. It was as easy as picking a flavor or cuisine and building our masterpiece. Ironically enough, I contributed 3 to 4 ingredients for the toppings — pickled celery, pickled onions, mango relish and something else — but I sat out of the challenge. I was more eager to mosey my way around everyone else while they pondered the different ingredients. After 20 minutes, hands up, and pretty bowls of goodness — with varying inspirations — 12 bowls of amazingness were laid out tasting. And judging. I can’t remember which bowl won, I just remember that each of them were pretty ingenious and perfectly designed for entertaining friends and family with different palates.

Hummus on its own is the perfect dip for vegetables, chips — obviously– and spreading on sandwiches, salads etc. But to take a simple container of your favorite hummus and create a bowl full of layered goodness, with contrasting colors and textures, is the best thing I’ve done with Sabra yet! I won’t lie that I later regretted not playing the game.

To celebrate National Hummus Day this Saturday, May 12th, I recalled that afternoon in Richmond and thought it was time to redeem myself.

The guy and I were hanging out on a lazy Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago when it dawned on me to introduce him to a different way to eat hummus. His approach is very much standard: a dip for chips and veggies. Thats’ cool, but I wanted to indulge him. Lucky me, he and I have similar interests in food and enjoy collaborating in my kitchen to explore our individual likes and dislikes.

We were hungry, needed to eat, but didn’t have a whole lot to time to engage in more conventional cooking. The Richmond bowls were the answer to satisfy our mid-day pecking. I needed it to be simple but robust enough to be a  full meal. It also needed to be healthy so that I could eat freely at my best friend’s engagement party later that night. We just needed something healthy to hold us over.

I didn’t have a particular theme or cuisine in mind to work with. I just knew I wanted vibrancy, smokiness and crunch. The chips would offer that, but I wanted a different kind of bite from within the bowl.  I applied the guy’s personal cooking approach: open the fridge and cohesively mashup what you have inside. That allowed me to peel apart my pantry full of common and more daring staples.

I had no intention of going so big, but I went all in. It worked well for us! I didn’t have the roasted garlic hummus on hand so I cheated a bit and dumped two tablespoons of pre minced garlic into a container of Sabra Classic Hummus. The magic then started.  I caramelized onions and that set the tone for what was to come. I then lightly blanched sweet bell peppers which added a lovely touch of sweetness. To round it all out, kalammata olives, saturated herbed artichokes and crunchy celery with the perfect hint of smoked paprika and cumin, topped with cilantro, made a unicorn dip I’m proud of. Talk about healthy goodness for days. I added everything in small grouping next to each other, but mix and combine if your heart prefers. I loved most the onions. I could eat a container of hummus with caramelized onions alone it was so good.

My ultra hyped veggie bowl satisfied everything we needed and stayed within our indulgence budget. He was happy that it didn’t violate his weekend rule: no riding, no meat. The protein came from the humus alone, so we were good. It was the perfect meal for us to share together. Double dipping fully allowed.

We bonded.

{TASTE: Tons and Tons of Sabra Hummus Creations!}

I’ll make it again this weekend for Mother’s Day, and then again for Father’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and anytime I need an unofficial meal. It took no more than 20 minutes to take fresh veggies and herbs and dried seasonings to create a really good meal that can literally serve as a proper lunch; at minimum it’s a great appetizer or precursor to a bigger dinner. Truthfully, lazy weekend days and nights are more and more frequent, lending these hummus bowl creations to default meals. I’m all for saving time and avoiding a messy kitchen sink full of dishes.

If you’re a newbie to hummus, the classic flavor is always a good baseline to play with making a bowl. I’d say no more than six ingredients will do the job. If you’re going to use a flavored hummus, like the roasted red pepper, limit your magician hand to no more than three complementary ingredients that would make the hummus pop even more.  Ultimately, the goal is to create an eclectic and mouthwatering dipping bowl for your guests that easily become a fun and healthy meal.

Have a fun with it. That’s really the point. Go wild. Get crazy. Try new flavors. Mix things you’ve not thought of before.  Enjoy your results and spread the word!

 Follow #NATIONALHUMMUSDAY and #SabraHummus for other great ideas using Sabra Hummus!

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Enjoy

SABRA HUMMUS VEGGIE BOWL

  • 1 container Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 2 heaping Tbsps pre-minced garlic or 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup Spanish onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin, ground
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika, ground
  • 1/8 cup marinated artichokes, rough chop
  • 3 tbsp. cup kalamatta olives, sliced
  • 1 stem celery, small dice
  • 5 stems cilantro, rough chop

Add garlic to classic hummus container and stir. Heat olive oil in medium skillet and caramelize onion, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, over medium heat. Transfer to small bowl. Using the same olive oil, lightly brown the sweet red bell pepper over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Add cumin and smoked paprika to the hummus and stir well to combine. Add each ingredient to the hummus container in small groupings. Garnish with cilantro and dust with additional smoked paprika, if desired.  You may have left over ingredients which you can save more making another bowl with another container of hummus.

Serve with a mix of blue corn and white corn tortilla chips or any dipping chip of your choice.

 

If you like this recipe then you'll love the ones in my debut cookbook!

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