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Meatless Monday: Obsessed With Hummus

hummus

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

How much hummus is too much hummus? Whatever the threshold is for normal people, take that number, double it, and you’ll see the approximate amount of hummus I eat in any given week. It might make me a vegetarian cliche (vegetarians eat nothing but tofu and hummus!) but hummus is so delicious and convenient that I’m not interested in breaking cliche.

How do I love hummus? Let me count the ways . . .

Homemade:
I make homemade hummus most of the time because it’s super easy and takes like 10 minutes. Dave Lieberman’s recipe (pictured above) is a good basic one and you can easily add other stuff to it, like roasted red peppers or a shot of sriracha if you like your hummus fancy or spicy.

Hummus Dip

Store-Bought:
Call me lazy, but last week my neighborhood grocery store had Sabra hummus on sale (two for $5!) so I stocked up. I do like homemade the best, but in a pinch (okay fine, when I’m lazy) the store-bought stuff is pretty good. I keep an emergency tub at the office for a quick snack with cut-up vegetables or crackers and I buy those little single-serve hummus packs whenever I’m on the road or stranded in the airport without sustenance.

On a Sandwich:
I loathe mayonnaise and have since I was a kid, but I’m no fan of dry sandwiches either. A smear of hummus — store-bought or homemade — on a sandwich, wrap or even a bagel does the trick: it adds a ton of flavor, plus it’s not all greasy like mayo.

Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wraps

Stuffed into Mushrooms:
Hummus is to savory foods as whipped cream is to sweet — add a dollop to just about anything to fancy it up. Grilled vegetables are a good place to start if you’re not sure what to start dolloping your hummus; it works well with any vegetable, but especially grilled eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini or bell peppers.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms With Hummus and Feta

On Top of Nachos
Move over, salsa; I declare hummus to be the nacho topper of 2013. Set up a nacho bar at your next party with pita chips, hummus, kalamata olives, chopped scallions, feta cheese, diced tomatoes and some chopped herbs and let your pals make their own plate of Greek-style nachos, or bake a big platter for folks to dig into.

Lightened Up Greek Nachos (leave the chicken out to make these meatless)

In or On Salad
A scoop of hummus and a squeeze of lemon on a green salad makes a mighty fine dressing. You can use hummus to dress picnic salads too — mix homemade or store-bought hummus into potato or pasta salad for a may0-free alternative (bonus: You won’t have to worry as much about how long your salad has been sitting out on the buffet).

With a Spoon
That’s right, just a spoonful of hummus. Don’t judge; you know you do the same thing with peanut butter — I don’t see the difference.

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