Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes

Experimenting with Cauliflower as Mashed Faux-tatoes

While my husband and I were testing out the 4 Hour Body diet, we started to get a little bored with the food we were eating. I’m sure this was because we weren’t accustomed to strictly eating foods without starch or a high amount of carbs, so we had to learn a whole new repertoire of recipes and understand the increase in amount of food consumed. One noticeable difference in how we were cooking was how much more food we needed to eat since there were no breads, potatoes, pastas, rices or other fillers accompanying the meats, vegetables and legumes.

The 4 Hour Body diet was a hard adjustment to make and we still wanted to make sure we weren’t overdoing the amount of meat we were eating, since this is a large part of the diet. We know the health risks in eating too much chicken, beef, pork and fish, even if they are organic, so we tried to eat a lot more vegetables and legumes instead of gorging on meats. This lead us to explore starch substitutes like garbanzo flour and other bean flours, making vegetable chips for snacks and mashing cauliflower to simulate mashed potatoes.

We wouldn’t be doing cheapfoodhere.com justice unless we analyzed the cost of our side dish and while we’re at it, we’ll do a health analysis as well. According to a UK publication: “At around 29p per 100g (roughly one serving), broccoli is rich in a plant chemical called indole-3 carbinol – or I3C – which significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a recent study. It is also a source of immune-boosting vitamin C.

But cauliflower, at just 18p per 100g, packs a more powerful punch with similar levels of I3C and higher levels of lecithin, a fatty acid that helps lower cholesterol.

It also contains vitamin C and folate, which helps to prevent birth defects, as well as dietary fibre, which aids weight loss. And it’s a native veg so clocks up fewer air miles.

Winner: Cauliflower by a knockout”

While they are usually similarly priced, cauliflower is almost always slightly cheaper and definitely cheaper by weight since they are more dense than broccoli and you’re paying by the head. The average price I’ve found on cauliflower is roughly $2 per head and with mashed faux-tatoes, you will need a medium-sized head for every two people. That’s a pretty sweet side dish and can get pretty close to satisfying your mid-week hankering for some real mashed potatoes.

I’m not sure who coined the term ‘faux-tatoes’ but it’s fun to say and definitely serves it’s purpose. We scoured the internet for low-carb recipes for alternative side dishes and came across a few for faux-tatoes that included chick peas in some, cauliflower in others but a lot of them used cheese, which is a no-no for the 4HB. Without much success in finding a high-quality recipe, I set off to create one of my very own.

Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes Recipe

Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes Ingredients

  • 1 large head of fresh cauliflower
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes Directions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Yes you can use the stem too.
  2.  

  3. Put the florets into a large pot and fill with water until it just covers them.
  4. Add the mustard seeds, cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp salt to the water.
  5.  

  6. Bring to a boil and cook until just soft. About 6-8 minutes.
  7.  

  8. Strain the cauliflower and place back into the empty cooking pot.
  9.  

  10. Add the butter, rosemary, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and with a potato masher (I used a submersion blender) and mash to the desired consistency.
  11. Serve hot.

Citrus Lentil Salad

Citrus Lentil Salad Recipe

Lentils might be the most underrated food, for the American diet, that is. You’ll find lentils in diets across the globe, but not often in the United States. I wonder why that is since they are so cheap and healthy to boot. It’s crazy how a third world country could eat healthier than a rich and powerful western nation. I guess there’s always hope and I’m thankful I’ve been exposed to proper nutrition to make a decision about my diet and improve my life overall. With a cheap food like lentils, it’s amazing that people choose non-nutritious foods that just toxify the body.

I’ve made soups with lentils before but never really thought to use them in as a primary ingredient in side dishes or salads, until recently. Now I’ve opened up my menu of lunches and dinners considerably. In fact, this new staple cheap food of mine, when paired up with brown rice, the make a perfect protein (which is defined as a food with all nine essential amino acids) and these things are pretty versatile. Some of my absolute favorite lentil recipes come from this site and I’m sure I’ll be posting more as I explore with lentils.

There are tons of different types of lentils, health benefits and uses, according to Jenreviews.com:

  • Brown/Spanish Pardina
  • French Green/Puy lentils (Dark speckled blue-green)
  • Green
  • Black/Beluga
  • Yellow/Tan Lentils (Red inside)
  • Red Chief (Decorticated yellow lentils)
  • Eston Green (Small green)
  • Richlea (Medium green)
  • Laird (Large green)
  • Petite Golden (Decorticated lentils)
  • Masoor (Brown-skinned lentils which are red inside)
  • Petite Crimson/Red (Decorticated masoor lentils)
  • Macachiados (Big Mexican yellow lentils)

The recipe below combines the clashing flavors of oranges and red onion for a perfect dissonance on top of the Indian Garam Masala seasoning and hearty lentils. It’s great as a side dish or as a larger portion for a full lunch.

Citrus Lentil Salad Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of dried lentils (any color)
  • 2 small mandarin oranges, segmented, seeded and membrane removed
  • 1/2 small red onion, julienned
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a fresh jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/8 Cup of olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon (or lime)
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Citrus Lentil Salad Directions

  1. Prepare the lentils as directed on the package (use chicken or vegetable stock in the water for additional flavor).
  2. Toss lentils in a mixing bowl with remaining ingredients until well coated and salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend evenly.

Homemade Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Homemade Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Caramel popcorn is definitely for times when the sweet tooth takes over, but I have a hard time resisting snacks that are salty and sweet, especially cheap ones. Most sweet and savory snacks I love include chocolate. Chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered potato chips, honey-roasted peanuts, etc. But in this case, we got a sweet caramel instead.

When a friend of a friend came to Costa Rica to live for a few months from The States, she brought with her an amazingly cheap no bake cookie recipe that started with homemade caramel, which holds the cookies together. After getting through the majority of the cookie-making, we quickly realized we had too much caramel. That was no problem though, we’re quick thinkers and have popcorn kernels ready at a moment’s notice.

Not too long ago I had a birthday, which brought a fabulous new air popper. My husband bought it while we were traveling to North Carolina two weeks before and managed to hide it from me until my actual birthday. His hints toward the gift was simply that I would probably use it every day. My first thought went to a juicer, but knew that wouldn’t fit inconspicuously in his luggage, so I was stumped. However, when my birthday finally arrived, he was right, I WAS going to use this every day. You can’t get a much cheaper snack than homemade pop corn! So naturally, I broke out the air popper for breakfast and made my first batch of air popped popcorn. Amazing. Super-light and fluffy and there’s a convenient place to heat the butter to drizzle over the top.

Alright, back to the caramel popcorn. With the extra caramel from the no-bake cookie recipe, we knew we couldn’t let it cool or it would become solid, so we left it on the stove on low and cranked up the air popper. In just a few minutes we were ready to toss and eat it. The only drawback to how we went about this batch of caramel corn was the amount of caramel, which was too much. We could have done twice or three times the amount of pop corn and coated them a little thinner. But, it’s also hard to keep it fresh without going stale since we don’t have the luxury of preservatives like the commercial caramel popcorn companies do. So, I recommend eating it all in one batch, as we didn’t have very much success storing it for later. But if someone has a suggestion for this, PLEASE let me know. I’d love to have this stuff on hand.

Below is the recipe for a large batch of homemade caramel popcorn, which can easily be adapted to include all kinds of delicious extras (mini chocolate chips or peanut butter, etc) but this is the basic recipe. Since some of the caramel was first used in no bake cookies, you can safely half the recipe if you are only feeding, say four people. Enjoy!

Caramel Popcorn Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup salted butter
  • 1 Cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Cup of uncooked popcorn kernels

Caramel Popcorn Directions

  1. In small batches on the stove top or with an air popper, cook the popcorn and place it into a giant bowl (stainless steel works best, but plastic or glass is alright).
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt and bring to a boil (4-5 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and add baking soda, vanilla and cinnamon.
  4. Slowly drizzle the caramel over the cooked popcorn, mixing constantly to coat evenly. Do this slowly until your popcorn is coated to your liking and let cool for 2-4 minutes. Make more popcorn to coat with any extra caramel you have.
  5. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve.

Authentic Babaganoush

Authentic Babaganoush Recipe

Goal of today’s post: to find the most authentic babaganoush recipe possible.

While there isn’t too much authentic foreign food in Costa Rica, something you can find easily is Mediterranean or, more specifically, Lebanese food. With the Lebanese restaurant Sash within walking distance from my office, I am delighted to say we frequently have delicious, low carb, Mediterranean food. Why do I mention ‘low carb’? Well, because my husband and I have started the 4 Hour Body book and diet to see what we can do about toning up our bodies. The result has been great so far, and we’re about five weeks into it. Basically, this means we can’t eat any pastas, rices, fruit, sugars or other foods that are high in carbs (including beer…boooo) except on our cheat day once a week. So, Sash is a great restaurant for this type of diet because it’s all meat and veggies (just avoid the flatbread and desserts).

A typical starter for the table at Sash is the blissful triad of Tabbouleh, Hummus and Babaganoush served with homemade pita-ish flatbread. Tabbouleh is a dish whose main ingredients are cracked Bulgar wheat and curly-leafed parsley flavored with a bit of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Hummus is of course made from chick peas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), garlic, cumin, lemon juice and vegetable/olive oil. Finally, the Babaganoush is made from roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, coriander and garlic.

We’ll leave the tabbouleh and hummus for a different post, but for now we’re gonna dissect the babaganoush to find the perfect recipe. A few months ago, my co-workers and a few others met up at Sash for some drinks after work when the owner struck up a conversation with us. This then led somehow to the making of babaganoush and he quickly shuffled us back into the kitchen to watch how they made it. The quick version is: roast the eggplant until the skin is black, peel the skin off, pureé, add some junk and serve! Delish.

We’ll break down the recipe below and show you a little twist or two of how we made it our own. It’s a healthy dish that can be made on a budget.

Babaganoush Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 large, fresh eggplant (stem/leaves cut off)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini paste
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra Olive Oil and parsley for garnish

Babaganoush Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to a high temperature broil, or preheat a grill
  2. Slice the eggplant in two length-wise (this step can be omitted, but I prefer this method).
  3. If you’re using the broiler, place the sliced eggplant skin side up on a cookie sheet. If you’re doing it on a grill, place the eggplant skin side down against the flames.
  4. Roast the eggplant for 10-15 minutes until the skin is just turning black, but watch it so the inside of the vegetable doesn’t burn or dry out. There’s no need to flip the eggplant with this method.
  5. Prepare an ice bath and plunge the roasted eggplant into the icebath for 2-3 minutes until it’s cool to the touch.
  6. oven roasted eggplant

  7. Peel off the charred skin, slice into chunks and place into a large food processor (I find a blender doesn’t work very well for babaganoush).
  8. Add the tahini, lime juice, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper (you can add more later).
  9. Process until smooth
  10. Serve in a small dish and add a few drizzles of extra olive oil. Best served with warm pita.

GUEST POST – Chicken Florentine Pizza

Cheap Dinner – Chicken Florentine Pizza

This is a guest post for a cheap dinner of chicken florentine pizza with a great cheap recipe! Thanks so much Cheree for sending the recipe in, I can’t wait to try it once we’re off the 4 Hour Body diet or it’s my cheat day 😉 . All readers: make sure you check out her interesting adventures in food, mechanics, remodeling, outdoor travel, and all the things that make up her life here on her blog: Mohaus: Life is a beautiful adventure.

Cheap Recipe from Cheree

I used to live in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is where I met Ashley {before her days as an expat}. Now I live in rural Alabama and I find that there are plenty of restaurants that I miss from the Queen city. Since it is impossible to run to Charlotte for the weekend, I have started to improvise dishes from some of my favorite eateries.

This has been a fun endeavor since I love to cook new things. It also allows me to have a healthier lifestyle and save money.

One of the first dishes I attempted to create was the Chicken Florentine pizza from Brixx Wood Fired Pizza. While this dish doesn’t have the same wood-fired taste as the restaurant, it is big on flavor and small on price, so I would say it is a win as far as recipes go.

Chicken Florentine Pizza Ingredients

  • 1 pizza crust {homemade or store bought}
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced/crushed
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced
  • 1 fistful of fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp red onions, chopped
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 slices of bacon, crumbled

Chicken Florentine Pizza Directions

  1. The MOST IMPORTANT thing I have discovered when making pizza is to preheat your oven as hot as you can for a minimum of 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter if your crust is homemade or store bought. Turn your oven up to 500ºF and let it get hot. I use a baking stone and it is important for the stone to be hot as well.
  2. While the oven is preheating, cook your bacon until it is crisp. Set aside.
  3. Chop up the chicken breast and sauté in the bacon grease that is still in the pan. Once the chicken has browned, set it aside.
  4. Roll out your dough on a sheet of parchment paper {I cheat and use store bought and it always tastes great}. You will transfer the whole pizza to the stone once your oven is hot.
  5. Meanwhile pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the crushed garlic. Brush the garlic-infused oil over dough.
  6. Top first with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses, then add the chicken, tomato, spinach, and onion, crumbled bacon and finally sprinkle with Feta.
  7. Turn your oven down to 425ºF and transfer the pizza to the stone.
  8. Cook 6-10 minutes or until done. If you have problems with the spinach cooking too much, you can add it at the end.

  9. Cheree

Purple Cabbage and Green Bean Salad

Not Just Another Cheap Salad Recipe

If there’s one thing Cheap Food Here is set out to do, it’s get as far away from the stereotype that cheap food is boring. Many think that cheap food is unhealthy or uninventive just because you don’t have the ‘luxury’ of spending an arm and a leg when you’re shopping. The truth is, salads, for example, CAN be boring and uninventive, but a lot of times you just need a great homemade salad dressing to jazz things up a bit. One of our passions at Cheap Food Here is with salad dressings that perfectly balance the oil and vinegar mix in vinaigrettes adding fresh fruit or herbs that provide a natural freshness bottled dressings can’t.

Figuring out alternative ways to make a great, healthy, flavorful salad often starts with a great base. Ice berg lettuce can be a bit tasteless, but has a great crunch, so someone along the way figured out that cutting the head into fourths gives it a fancy style and thus named it a wedge salad. What a perfect cheap salad that is marketed brilliantly. Green leaf and red leaf lettuce add great color and texture with a somewhat delicate texture to contrast the crunch of veggies like cucumber, bell pepper and onion. Romaine on the other hand has crunchy with soft and a whole lot of vitamins and have done wonders with the Caesar Salad.

But don’t forget about cabbage as an option for a base. There are a ton of health benefits of cabbage, but most importantly, Cabbage has more vitamin C than oranges do per serving, is high in fiber and helps with brain function because of it’s high iodine content. The texture is thicker and hardier than lettuce and has a great distinct flavor which pairs well with ingredients you might not expect to find in a salad.

The recipe below combines three unique flavors, giving the salad an Asian flair that pairs well with fish or chicken dishes, like seafood empanadas or chicken empanadas. Enjoy it with a glass of white wine and tell me your thoughts.

Purple Cabbage & Green Bean Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1 cup green beans, ends removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A splash of sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Juice from one Lemon

Purple Cabbage & Green Bean Salad Directions

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage until you have a pile of shreds similar to coleslaw. Place into a large glass or wooden bowl.
  2. In a small pot with boiling water, blanch the grean beans for 2 minutes and then plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking.
  3. Then slice the green beans thinly into rounds and place in the mixing bowl with the cabbage.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, toss until evenly coated and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Cheap Recipe – Coconut Aphrodisiac Fish Soup

This coconut soup is a variation of a recipe I had seen a long time ago that included peanut butter and was more of an Indian-influenced dish, but for this one I wanted a cheap recipe that could be prepared in a short amount of time.

One thing I learned recently, is that some believe coconut to be a mild aphrodisiac. This being said, I think we know why piña coladas have become so popular. I will be sure to add more coconut to my recipes however possible.

One way to make cheap coconut milk is to buy the dried coconut flakes and make the milk by reconstituting it. The canned variety can range in price anywhere from $1.00 to $2.50 for 14oz. The flakes range in price from $.50-$1.00 for a bag of roughly 2 cups.

Basically, what you need is 2 cups of boiling water for every 1 cup of coconut flakes. Place boiling water and coconut flakes in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, let rest for 4 minutes and then blend again for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or sieve, catching the liquid and discarding the flakes, and you’ve got coconut milk.

While there are certain recipes that call for the extra thick and fatty coconut milk, sometimes I prefer a light version of coconut milk, which is when I use this method. This is a good alternative to the canned stuff, but sometimes you need the real deal. However, for this recipe, I used chicken broth as well, so the coconut milk is used to supplement the flavor and add a tropical flavor, thus the re-constituted process works well.

Here is the soup recipe, which was great for a Saturday lunch. It serves four large portions or six medium-sized portions that could compliment a nice salad or sandwich.

Coconut Aphrodisiac Fish Soup Ingredients

  • 1 ½ inch of ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 peeled tomatoes (without seeds)
  • 1 sliced onion
  • ½ diced bell pepper
  • 1 cup of water
  • Himalayan salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 Cups of Chicken Stock
  • 1 Can (400 ml) of coconut milk
  • A bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 Habañero chili
  • 1 cooked carrot and potato cut into medium pieces.
  • 1 lb of fresh white fish (we used Tilapia) cut into big chunks.

Coconut Aphrodisiac Fish Soup Directions

  1. In a large pot, add the coconut oil, minced ginger, garlic, onion, tomato and bell pepper.
  2. Saute for 1-2 minutes until the veggies are fragrant.
  3. Add chicken broth and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Using a submersion blender, blend the soup mixture.
  5. Stir in coconut milk, salt, pepper, carrot, potato, bundled thyme and habañero pepper. Let cook until carrots and potatoes are soft, about 12 minutes.
  6. Finally, add the fish and allow to cook for 3 minutes before removing the pot from the heat
  7. Remove the thyme and serve hot

Cheap Salad – Broccoli with Orange Peel and Cashews

This is a great cheap vegan salad that was inspired by a recipe book created by a naturopathic doctor here in Costa Rica. The photos were nice in the ebook, but the recipes didn’t always call for the correct ratios or explain the directions very well. This could be a matter of translation issues but I decided only to ever use the book as a guide for myself. My first clue was that several recipes called for an insane amount of raw garlic, and believe me I love garlic, but I could tell it would have ruined the dish.

Salads are always a favorite of mine probably because of the rich, fresh taste of raw produce and the chance to play around with dressings. Plus, my husband and I have been on a broccoli kick as of late, which has shaped our dinners quite a bit. It isn’t unusual for us to cut up a head of fresh broccoli, steam it and throw some olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and just down it for a full meal. So, when I found this recipe for a broccoli salad, I was hooked. It reminded me of a previous post of a roasted broccoli pasta salad, which I love and make frequently.

So, here is the adapted recipe. It’s easy, quick and delicious so don’t hesitate to make it and let us know what you think. Is it better than the broccoli pasta salad?

Broccoli Salad with Orange Peel and Cashews

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh broccoli head cut into florets
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tsp of red pepper flakes
  • Toasted cashews
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Himalayan (or sea) salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 1 large lemon or 1 small lime

Directions

  1. Heat a medium-sized pot to boiling and quickly blanch the broccoli for 1 minute and then plunge into an ice bath.
  2. Toss broccoli in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes to several hours and toss again before serving.

Soy Milk Crêpes with Nutella, Strawberries and Bananas

You know, I never really got into Nutella while growing up. I was much more of a peanut butter girl and put that on everything imaginable. But, a Costa Rican friend of mine told me to try some Nutella in a batch of crêpes and watch the miracle happen. Before I did the research and actual testing on my own, I wondered how different the batters were between waffles, pancakes and crêpes. The basic difference is that waffle batter is the thickest and has the most oil or butter in order to allow the outside to crisp up in the waffle iron. Waffle batter should also have whipped egg whites folded into the batter just before putting into the iron, which helps with the lightness overall. Pancake batter is slightly thinner and doesn’t use the same amount of fat so the texture is fluffy and soft. Crepes are the thinnest of the three and usually use more milk and eggs than flour.

According to the Arcadie Company, crêpes come from the Brittany region of France originally made from buckwheat, since white flour was considered a delicacy that only the most wealthy could afford. Eventually, the price of white flour came down and farmers became wealthier, thus enjoying crêpes in the sweet form and perfecting them to the French crêpe that we now lust after.

Now that you have the history of crêpes I’ll bring you up to the present when we entertained some guests the other night and our friend whipped up some strawberry and banana crêpes with Nutella. They were simple to make and it was a great dessert rather than breakfast. We based the crêpe batter off of this recipe.

Here’s what we ended up with and below are the instructions:

Soy Milk Crêpes with Nutella, Strawberries and Bananas

Ingredients

  • 1-1/3 cup unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole banana, peeled and sliced
  • 6 strawberries, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp Nutella
  • Chocolate Syrup, to decorate

Directions

  1. Place soy milk, flour, egg whites and water into a bowl and wisk rapidly until well-combined. A mixer or blender will work here too.
  2. Heat a medium-sized, shallow skillet on medium heat. Melt 1/2 tsp of butter in the pan and pour 1/8 Cup of batter in the center of the skillet and lean/swirl the pan to spread out the batter as thin as possible
  3. When the edges begin to look dry, lift with a fork to check the color. Once the crêpe is golden brown on the bottom, using the fork on the edge, roll the crêpeinto a cylinder and place on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees.
  4. Continue this process with the butter, pan and then cookie sheet until all the batter is used.
  5. When plating, spread a thin layer of Nutella on the top of the crêpe, followed by several slices of banana and strawberry. Top with a little chocolate syrup and serve warm.

Whole Garbanzo Hummus Recipe

It’s rare for me to find a hummus that I don’t like and there are a million recipes out there for me to try. However, today’s hummus recipe is my very own, no recipe used, but inspired by a hummus I had when I first visited Costa Rica and found a Lebanese restaurant called Lubnan. This place is decorated in a very Mediterranean style, gives off a great vibe and has terrific food. It’s located on Paseo Colón just a few blocks down from La Sabana on the right hand side. On Thursday nights they have a belly dancing show, which is great to take visitors to before sending them off to the beach or canopy tour for the weekend. However, this post isn’t about Lubnan since the prices don’t fit in very well with cheapfoodhere.com but the restaurant plays a huge role in the backstory on the fabulous hummus we had there.

We were expecting a fairly traditional hummus when we ordered it, but once it came to the table we realized they left the chickpeas whole and added a few extra ingredients. The hummus was served warm, with whole garbanzos, raw onion and tomatoes tossed in just before serving. Based on taste there seemed to be tahini, garlic (a LOT of it), lemon juice and olive oil in there as well, but I’m not sure about the rest. I had never had hummus like this before with the whole bean used and served warm, but it was amazing. It was served with warm pita bread and I remember being so impressed with the hummus that I wrote down what I thought was in it on a cocktail napkin to refer back to later. This hummus is something that has stuck with me until today, two and a half years later when I needed to make lunch and just happened to have a can of chickpeas handy, but the cocktail napkin has long since disappeared. So, I was left with just my memory.

My husband has struggled lately trying to perfect his own ground hummus recipe. He’s tried dried garbanzos, canned, brining them, slow cooking them, and everything but deep frying them. Not to make fun, but there were a few times where he merely soaked the dried garbanzos without actually cooking the beans. Needless to say, the raw hummus was inedible, poor guy. Since then the hummus has slowly improved but he still hasn’t nailed it yet. So, I decided to take back ownership of the household hummus recipe and change it up a bit.

Here’s the recipe, it turned out fantastic and will definitely stay on the docket for future lunch, dinner or party recipes.

Whole Garbanzo Hummus Ingredients

  • 1 large can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh Roma tomato, seeded and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp reserved chickpea water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • juice from half a lime

Whole Garbanzo Hummus Directions

  1. Drain garbanzos, reserving 2 tbsp of liquid, and pour into a small pot.
  2. Add reserved liquid, tahini, garlic, red pepper flakes, lime juice and olive oil.
  3. Put on medium heat and stir until well-mixed and hot throughout.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add lemon juice, chopped onion, tomato and salt and mix well.
  6. Serve immediately with warm pita slices.