I know what you’re thinking…another hummus recipe? Does the world need another recipe for hummus? My answer – YES! I promise that you’ve never tasted anything like this vibrant yellow spread.
Let me back up for a moment and apologize for my long absence. Life if tough. OK, that’s a common excuse, I know. But it’s true, I’ve been going through some stuff. First, it was the Elimination Diet, a protocol that changed the way I that I had to eat and will continue to eat moving forward. I know that I promised a more detailed account of the entire process, but to be fair, going through the protocol drained me emotionally. As you know, everyone has emotional connections to what they eat, in some way or another. Most of my food-mood interactions are highly positive; so when I had to remove certain foods from my diet, even for a short window of time, I felt a change in my feelings and my mood. Those changes were not always positive, in fact, they were oftentimes very negative.
I don’t want to scare anyone away from an Elimination Diet, it has been a very valuable experience overall. But I just don’t think I was expecting the responses that my body provided me throughout the journey. I’m continuing to process those feelings and thoughts, which I hope will help me to help others and guide them along on Elimination Diet protocols.
Beyond the Elimination Diet, I celebrated a milestone birthday last week. I finally turned 40! If you know me well, you know that I love to celebrate my birthday each year (and even my 1/2 birthday in November). However, turning 40 was difficult for me, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I laughed and I cried, and then I was in a funk. I felt terrible, I felt old, I felt unaccomplished. Without getting into the specifics, now a week later, I’m feeling much better. I’ve accepted that I’m 40 years old and I’m moving forward with joy.
Now on to the recipe…
I was recently writing some materials for a workshop, all about the best sources of plant-based protein. Obviously, legumes are an excellent source of protein, but I didn’t realize that lentils, specifically, boast a whopping 20 grams of protein per cup! That’s a lot of protein in these little beans. I’d never used white lentils in any recipe before and decided that it would be fun to experiment with them. Most hummus is made from chickpeas, but in my attempts to broaden my legume intake to other less-used varieties, I found that lentils make a very creamy spread.
Since my mind is still in Elimination Diet mode, I wanted to make an allergen-friendly recipe – that means avoiding the most common food allergens, such as nuts, soy, sesame (gluten and dairy are also in that category, but since I don’t make any recipes with either, that wasn’t a problem). Traditionally, hummus contains tahini, which is sesame paste. You know from my prior recipes that I love tahini. Quick side note – removing tahini from my diet during the Elimination Diet was probably the hardest thing I had to do, since I enjoy eating tahini daily! And I’m happy to say that tahini is now back in my diet, it wasn’t a food that was bothering my system – hooray!!!
This hummus recipe came together easily. I wanted it to have minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, all with a beneficial nutritional profile. Just 6 ingredients, plus salt and pepper. The addition of turmeric provides an excellent dose of anti-inflammatory goodness, plus it tastes amazing. If you don’t like turmeric, simply leave it out. Give this recipe a try, let me know what you think. It’s the perfect snack, along with crudités, to enjoy outside.
Creamy Turmeric-Infused White Lentil Hummus
Ingredients: (use organic whenever possible)
1 C white lentils, rinsed and drained
1 T sunflower oil
1 C leeks, white and light green parts, cut in thin-sliced 1/2-moons, rinsed and drained
2 t lemon juice
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t ground turmeric
1 t sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place lentils in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, lower temperature to a simmer, with lid slightly ajar. Simmer until lentils are cooked, but not mushy, approximately 15 minutes. Drain lentils and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Heat sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced leeks and sauté until softened and slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Place lentils in a food processor. Add all but 2T of the sautéed leeks to the bowl, along with the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, turmeric, and salt. Process until mixture is smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste mixture, adding more salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Remove lentil mixture to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.
When ready to serve, place lentil hummus in a serving bowl and top with reserved 2T sautéed leeks.
Recipe yields 8 generous servings
Serve the hummus as a dip with raw veggies and crackers, or as a spread on your favorite bread or wrap with fresh veggies. Or put a big spoonful on top of green salad.
Leftovers keep for 3-4 days in a covered container.