I confess. I am a nibbler.
It't more out of self-defense than anything else. For some reason, I was blessed with one of those systems that goes all wonky if I don't eat every couple of hours. As in total shut down. It makes me
absolutely miserable to be around kind of grumpy.
And if I can't/ don't eat on a regular schedule, I kind of start to stress out. Because I know what happens next. It's not very pretty...
Another confession. I get uber-jealous of people who walk around saying "Oh, I forgot to eat anything today and it's dinner time already". Seriously? Who forgets to eat? Really. (By the way - I don't believe them - they are either lying because they ate already or are ravenously hungry to the point where they are probably about ready to start chowing down on their left arm. Just saying.)
Now, there are rare occasions when I go well past my replenishment point. But miss two meals? Mother Nature would have me flat on my back with the lights out in a New York Minute...
Unfortunately, my wonky ol' self is not always smart about making choices. If I don't plan ahead, well...it's just not pretty.
So, I have been working to find options that are prepare-ahead-able enough that I can avoid at least some of the bad decisions that come along with lack of planning. (Proper preparation prevents poor performance, right?)
I know there are lots of "ready to go" options out there. But so many seem kind of blech to me. And I am not a huge fan of pre-packaged "stuff". And it's gotta taste good. And I have to want to eat it.
Hummus is one of those foods that "does it" for me. I love it with capers in it. Olives. Roasted red peppers. Olives. Roasted garlic. Olives... (I like olives, by the way.)
But every once in a while, a girl needs a little break from the traditional. And the carrots and celery like to make new friends also. Have to remember to consider the feelings of your vegetables once in a while, you know?
Sweet potato hummus is a change-up from the traditional chick-pea based fare. Chick-peas still make an appearance here; but take a back seat to the sweet, creaminess of the unassuming sweet potato. And sweet potatoes are good for you! Which makes this better than breaking into that box of cosmic-sprinkled brownies with its list of forty-five suspicious sounding ingredients that your youngest child talked you in to buying during a weak, harried shopping moment. (Not that I currently have such a box in my pantry right now or anything like that...).
So make a new friend... Your carrot sticks will thank you for it!
I really enjoyed this twist on traditional hummus. The original recipe called for tahini & cumin. But I didn't have tahini on hand - so I substituted almond butter. And I don't like cumin. So I traded it in for sweet roasted paprika. If you are a fan of cumin, go for it!
Sweet Potato Hummus
adapted from Power Foods
1 lb sweet potatoes (2 medium sized) - peeled & cut into 1" cubes
1 15-oz can chickpeas - drained well
1/4 cup lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil + some for drizzling
1 tsp smoked paprika + 1/2 tsp for garnish
2 garlic cloves - finely minced
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper to taste (~1/2 tsp each)
Steam sweet potatoes until fork tender. (I set the sweet potatoes into a colander and then set the colander in a pot containing 1"-2" of boiling water, cover the pot and steam for about 15 minutes.)
Once tender, transfer sweet potatoes to a food processor. Add all ingredients, except salt & pepper (and any garnishing ingredients) and process until smooth - ~1 minute. Season with salt & pepper - process & taste to see if more seasoning needs to be added. If mixture is too thick, thin with a teaspoon or two of water.
Let mixture cool. Garnish with paprika & a drizzle of oil just before serving. Dip keeps well for ~1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.