You remember when you were a kid, and Christmas was the BEST DAY EVER?? You’d toss around in bed, unable to fall asleep because you couldn’t wait for the morning? And maybe you would crawl out of bed every few minutes and run to the window, hoping that you’d catch a glimpse of Santa?
That’s how I felt yesterday about the UPS lady. Except I was at work, so instead of peering down the street for that brown metal sleigh, I stalked the UPS tracking website, clicking refresh every hour (fine, more like every 5 minutes) until the magic words appeared: “Delivered.” !!!!!!!!
So what was in the magical UPS box? Only my dream kitchen appliance, the finishing touch to the pièce de résistance that is my kitchen arsenal. Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But I really have been dying to get my hands on a food processor since I discovered my obsession for pesto, hummus and buttery, flaky pastries.
Anyway, given the time, I decided to start with something simple: hummus! The problem with hummus is that I don’t actually like how thick it is, or how olive oil and tahini make a huge dent in your daily fat / calorie intake (good fats, to be sure, but I’d rather have my fats in brownie form). Instead, I found this awesome recipe via GoJee (like Pandora, for recipes – thanks Diana and Jess for showing me!), which uses very little oil, and replaces tahini with cauliflower. YUM!
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 can of garbanzo beans, aka chickpeas (rinse them out in water and drain to get rid of the excess salt / preservatives it may have been packed in)
3-8 cloves of garlic, depending on your love of garlic (I roasted mine before, see note below)*
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon tumeric
*Roasted garlic – I like the flavor of roasted garlic best, because it has all the depth and goodness of garlic with that super sharp taste that fresh garlic has. Easy way to do it – take an entire head of garlic, drizzle it with some olive oil, wrap it in aluminum foil, and stick it in the oven for ~20 minutes at around 350-400 degrees. I do this when I’m baking other stuff, but make sure you put it in its own tray, or separate it somehow from your other stuff – the olive oil oozes out and gets everywhere. Alternatively, you can usually buy crushed / roasted garlic pastes from a grocery store. May I suggest Trader Joe’s? (I swear they don’t pay me…I just love it)
Put a pot on the stove, fill it about halfway (or whatever will cover your cauliflower florets) with water. Add some salt (brings out the yummy earthy flavor of the cauliflower) to the water, and bring to a boil.
As you’re waiting for it the boil, cut up the cauliflower into florets. I find it easiest to have it on a cutting board, stem side up, and cut around the stem so the leaves come off. Then you can just pare away any extra leaves sticking to the head, and chop up the florets into little pieces that will fit into your food processor. I made a mess – when I cut into them, the mini bits fly off to the far corners of my kitchen. Hmm, so maybe this wasn’t the easier way…
Anyway, scoop the florets into your boiling pot of water, cover, and let it cook for about 8 minutes, or until it’s tender. (As a side note, if you puree some with reduced fat buttermilk, a little butter and add chives, salt and pepper, it makes an incredible mashed potato-like bowl of happiness. But that’s for another day). For now, drain the water by pouring it into a collander, and let it cool a little.
Or don’t, because you’re super excited to use your food processor (oh no…is that bad for the food processor?? Shoot!). Add the cauliflower into the processor bowl, and add the garlic. Blend until the mix looks like chunky mashed potato, and add in the chickpeas. Blend some more until it’s incorporated, and add the rest of the ingredients – olive oil, lemon, spices.
Blend until it’s smooth, and taste test. Does it taste bland? Add more spices – salt sharpens the flavors, paprika a bit of heat (or go all out with cayenne pepper), pepper adds fun black dots. Ultimately, you’re the one who’s going to eat the hummus – so it’s completely up to you in terms of taste. I like things to be super flavorful, so I add a lot more stuff, including trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute, garlic powder (can’t get enough of that garlicky goodness), a dash of curry, and lots of extra paprika.
You can also add more olive oil to make it creamier (some recipes call for 1/4 cup… I kept it at 1 tablespoon to keep it light). Keep adding stuff until you’re happy with the consistency and taste, and you’re good to go!
I had mine for dinner (I got too excited about using the food processor to find real food to eat), with pita chips and endive leaves. I’m a big fan of the endive + cauliflower hummus combo, and had some this morning at work. Yum!
Now I need more ideas for what to make with the food processor. Hmm…let me know if you have any good ideas! (Or if you’re in NYC, come by and cook with me!)
Makes approximately eight 3oz servings. 120 calories, 3.5g fat, 700mg sodium, 360mg potassium, 18g carbs, 5g protein.