No Fast Food Challenge: Day #2 - Our Daily Green

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No Fast Food Challenge: Day #2

As we shared yesterday, we've undertaken the challenge to go without any fast food for 10 days. My first thought was that it would be a piece of cake (homemade, not store bought). But upon reflection, I realized that I do keep a handful of convenience foods in the house as quick bites for our family on the go. For example, here was our household's evening schedule last night.
  • 3:45: Child #1 & #2 arrive home from school, driven by Child #1.
  • Child #1: 4:45-6:00 Speech & Debate practice, driven by self.
  • Child #2: 6:00-9:00 Community theater rehearsal, driven by Parent #1.
  • Parent #1: 7-8:30 Meeting at the church
  • Parent #2: 7 PM Arrive home from work, 8:30, leave to retrieve Child #2. 
A simple flow chart would indicate that the entire family was not in the house at the same time until about 9:20 last night. This is a slightly busier than usual evening, but pretty close to many of them, especially during theater shows. A saving grace has been having Child #1 drive. Last year at this time, I would have been single-handedly responsible for transportation to and from all the activities.

I say this not to justify our use of convenience foods, but rather to explain the importance of having easy to fix food to take on the go. This need not be something that is frozen in a box or is handed to anyone in a bag at the window. So today, I'm sharing my recipe for sun-dried tomato hummus, a favorite "fast" food of ours, which packs a nutritional punch and fills a wrap quickly.
sun dried tomato hummus

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus


  • 2  teaspoons minced garlic (you can use 2 fresh cloves, but for this recipe, I prefer the more mild flavor of the pre-chopped)
  • 2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed (again, you can use dried chickpeas and soak them overnight, but that tends to defeat the idea of this as a quick recipe)
  • 2/3 cup of tahini (sesame seed paste) (I buy my tahini at a Middle Eastern grocery store, the supermarket tahini is about 4 times the price)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (bottled works also)
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes soaked in 1/2 cup hot water, reserve water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

homemade hummusPulse the drained garbanzo beans and garlic in a food processor until they are well chopped. Add the tahini and mix well. Add the sundried tomatoes, that have been softened until they are well chopped. At this point, your hummus will have the consistency of a chunky peanut butter. With processor running, add the lemon juice, then the reserved water, then the olive oil and salt. Adjust the amount of oil by eye, when the processor is running smoothly and the texture is now like creamy peanut butter. For a softer hummus, add more lemon and water. This really does come down to personal preference. I like a thicker hummus that spreads on the bread, while others prefer more of a dipping consistency. 

It really is that easy. It keeps in the refrigerator and can be used to fill a pita, spread on a rice cake, anything you wish. You can make plain hummus without the sundried tomatoes (just add more lemon juice or water), or with fresh spinach, pine nuts, peppers, again, whatever you prefer. Just adjust the liquid accordingly to get the preferred texture. My favorite on the go meal is hummus with fresh spinach leaves and some chopped vegetables in a wrap. I once tried to make wraps up the day before, and the wrap gets too soft, but it's quick enough to make on the go that as long as you have that on hand, you're back out the door. 

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