The Best Hummus Dressing

The Best Hummus Dressing

I love hummus. Always have and always will. Hummus = yummus. I was that kid being made fun of in first grade for eating my hummus and tomato sandwiches while the rest of the class noshed on ham and cheese. Since then I’ve enjoyed hummus in various forms, including as a base for salad dressing. And here today, I am sharing my favorite vegan hummus dressing recipe, on what is appropriately apparently #NationalHummusDay. Get ready; your salad may not be ready for the flavor explosion coming its way.

Vegan Hummus Dressing

I distinctly recall the very first time I had hummus dressing. It was the night before my Organic Chemistry II Final. I used to have this ritual I engaged in the evenings before Organic Chemistry exams: I’d end my night at the library with a late-night trip to the Union Square Whole Foods salad/hot food bar and load up on whatever tickled my fancy (this is dangerous…I’ve accidentally spent $16-18; be warned!).

Easy Best Vegan Hummus Dressing.

On this particular evening, I came across hummus dressing in the dressing section. It immediately caught my eye. What a concept! Hummus dressing?! I was so into the idea.

Hummus Dressing Recipe - Vegan & GF

I proceeded to squirt hummus dressing all over my box of goodies, and proceeded to savor every last hummus dressing-coated bite. It was so savory, nourishing, creamy, and delightful. I was inspired.

Continue reading “The Best Hummus Dressing”

Vegan Falafel Sliders

Happy July! It’s July already?!? Yeah, I don’t know how that happened either. June flew by. Last thing I knew it was Jimmy’s birthday and now suddenly Summerfest is half over and everyone is getting ready for the 4th.

Vegan Falfel Sliders!

Ahh yes, the 4th of July. Just the mention of such a holiday fills me with Katy Perry song-spirit. The 4th of July means food, and fun, and BBQ. It’s a great excuse to get outside with friends and family and come together to eat good food, enjoy the sunshine, play some weird outdoor games while half drunk, and explode things in the sky.

Falafel Sliders

Personally fireworks confuse me from a waste and ecological standpoint. I just don’t think they’re worth it. Also, they sound funny and my dog doesn’t like the loud booms. But you don’t care about my opinions anyway, do you? You care about what most people care about on the 4th of July which is tacky patriotic outfits and food. Fun food. Party food. Grilled food. Finger food. Basically, ALL DA NOMS.

Vegan Falafel Sliders

When it comes to being a vegetarian or vegan at a BBQ, things can get awkward. I’ve gotten used to the BYOVB (bring your own veggie burger) way of life. Which works for me. I’d rather bring something and know I have a good option than show up to a sad empty bun with a side of grapes, and/or a grilled portabella “burger,” Ugh. No thanks. I have nothing against portabella mushrooms, but I cannot stand the whole portabella mushroom “burger” concept.I kind of wish I did like it, because it’s so often offered to me at BBQs. But it’s just not my taste. Pass me the veggie burgers, plz & thank you.

Falafel Sliders with Muhammara Sauce - Vegan

So I usually come with my own veggie burger (or 4) in hand, and have a happy time. But last night I was eating falafel from Trader Joe’s on pita bread with simultaneously eating these amazing dinner rolls I had. And then it hit me – I could make falafel sliders! What a cute, delicious finger food for the 4th of July or any party! Or my lunch! Excitement flooded my entire being as I stuffed myself with falafel-y goodness.

Vegan Falfel Sliders !

You can also use Trader Joe’s frozen falafels as an excellent shortcut in making these babies. You simply microwave them and they are pretty damn tasty. You can also make your own. These Waffle’d Falafel Patties I made last year would work great. As would other pre-made falafels, or whatever falafels you make from your favorite recipe.

Falafels from Trader Joe's

The concept here is pretty simple: a falfel patty on a little dinner roll with whatever fixin’s and toppings you’re feelin’. I added lettuce, tomato, and a sauce I whipped up using Trader Joe’s Muhammara spread and unsweetened plain coconut milk yogurt. This was a delicious, flavorful, slightly spicy yet cool and creamy topping for the sliders. If you haven’t had the new(ish) Trader Joe’s Muhammara spread, you must.

Muhammara - Trader Joe's

I don’t really mean to tell you that you absolutely need this in your life to survive, but the truth is you actually really need this in your life to survive. Holy yum. It’s a hummus-like spread made of walnuts, roasted red peppers and pomegranate juice. It’s basically a spreadable flavor bomb.

Falfel Sliders - Vegan

If you can’t get access to this, you can sub roasted red pepper hummus. And/or any other spread you may like on your falafels. Like tahini or tzatziki. It’s up to you. Anyway you sauce, these falafel sliders are the boss. They’re tasty, satisfying, and obviously mini and adorable. Cheers to you and happy 4th of July!

Vegan Falafel Sliders

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes (depending on falafels used)
Level: Easy!

makes 8 falafel sliders

Ingredients:

  • 8 dinner rolls
  • 8 cooked falafel patties – [ I bought the frozen ones from Trader Joe’s which are vegan and quite good for a quick shortcut; you can also make your own – I recommend this Waffle’d Falafel Balls from last year (#tbt) and/or any other recipe you may already like 🙂 ]
  • 2 small roma (or other) tomatoes, sliced
  • lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Muhammara – (so, so good; can’t stress this enough. can also sub roasted red pepper hummus, and/or any hummus of choice, and/or sub with 2 tablespoons hot sauce)
  • 1/4 cup lain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt or other unsweetened yogurt (I used this one)
    • note: if you can’t find these ingredients, and/or are not dairy free, feel free to mix equal parts roasted red pepper hummus or any hummus with any unsweetened plain yogurt of your choice, or a few tablespoons hot sauce with any neutral base like unsweetened plained yogurt or veganaze, for your own dipping sauce. you could also sub Tahini sauce or Tzatziki Sauce – it’s all up to you!) 

Directions:

1. Prepare falafel according to instructions.

2. Prepare sauce by combining Muhammara (or roasted red pepper hummus) and unsweetened coconut milk yogurt in a small bowl and mixing well.

Vegan Falafel Sliders

3. Cut dinner rolls in half. Slice tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce into small slices. Place a piece or two of lettuce, a piece of tomato, and a cucumber slice on each bun. Add one falafel to each sandwich. Top with a dollop of sauce and place top of bun on falafel.

Falafel Sliders

4. Place a toothpick in each slider and serve. Happy summer fun! 🙂

Miso Hummus

Dude I love hummus. It’s been a lifelong infatuation that started at a young age. I have distinct memories of being a kindergardener and bringing hummus to school on a bagel with tomato slices on it and having two kids at my lunch table be all like “Ewwww what is that?” while peering over their basic ham & cheese sandwiches and ho-hos. And I’d be like, “Back off bitches, it’s hummus.” Vegan Miso Hummus Well, not really. But I did stand up for hummus since I was a wee one. And now everyone likes hummus. Hummus is cool. Always has been, always will be. Those lil homies just hadn’t experienced its magical wonders yet.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Another thing I’m into lately is Miso paste. I bought it at work one day (PSA: an 8oz container of White Miso Paste is $1.69 at Trader Joe’s) with no idea what to do with it but I was intrigued.

Miso Hummus

I’ve found things to do with it since! Like make this Ginger Miso Baked Tofu. Man that was good. I’ve also been adding it to rice, vegetable, and noodle dishes for a lil festive umami flair.

Homemade Miso Hummus Dip

Homemade Miso Hummus !

Before I knew it, I was hooked. I’d crave miso. I was eating it straight out of the container with carrots, as if it were actually hummus. And then, it hit me: Miso Hummus. And ever since that epiphany hit, I knew I had to make it. I believe during this epiphany I was texting with my friend/food styling idol, Becky (hi, BH!) and mentioned it to her and she sounded as excited as I felt. And since then I’ve been on a Miso Hummus mission.

Miso Hummus - Vegan

Well, after a little experimenting, I must say, mission accomplished. This miso hummus is boss. It’s all the legume-y umami creamy dreamy luscious yummus hummus foodstuff I dream about. Yes, I dream in hummus. Be jealous.

Vegan Miso Hummus. Easy & Delicious !

I ate this hummus in the morning. Did you know that’s actually traditional in parts of the world? With pickles. Seriously. Pickles + hummus = best breakfast (or snack) combo ever. Anyways, you can make it and eat it however and whenever you’d like. Or not. You do you.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Happy hummus, friends 🙂 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Level: easy makes about 1.5 cups hummus Ingredients:

  • 1 15 or 16 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed with water from chickpea can reserved and set aside
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 clove garlic depending on how garlick-y you like hummus (totally optional, can be omitted)
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid reserved from chickpea can
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Drain liquid out of chickpea can and set liquid aside. Do not throw it away. This liquid is a very helpful component in achieving good hummus texture. Trust me.I learned it in food science. They taught us important stuff at NYU.

2. Rinse chickpeas and place in a food processor or blender. Juice 1/2 a lemon and add to food processor. Mince garlic and add. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons liquid from chickpeas.

3. Grind chickpea mixture in food processor until desired consistency is achieved. You may have to mix it a few times with a spatula or spoon. Personally I like my hummus a little chunky, but if you like it super smooth, blend away!

4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with vegetables, pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or add to sandwiches.

More Hummus-y Goodness:

Curried Pumpkin Hummus

As I’m writing this post, the Packers vs. Bears game is on TV. I know this because of social media and because none of my friends want to hang out right now. Currently I’m watching an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians [one I’ve already seen]. Everyone in Wisconsin is now officially judging me. But no matter, I love football games. I see them as the perfect time to go to the mall, Target, the gym, or Trader Joe’s (no lines!! no people!!).

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So I’m not watching the Packer game. Football just was never a thing in my household growing up and then I went to NYU so that’s self-explanatory. I just don’t football. I DO go to football parties. For the food. And if I were watching the game right now, I would find this hummus a perfect “game snack.” Instead, it’s a good Kardashian snack. For today. But I encourage you to enjoy it however you please.

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So let’s talk about this Curried Pumpkin Hummus, shall we? This idea came about because I often combine canned pumpkin and store-bought hummus on sandwiches/wraps/etc and have grown fond of the tastes and textures together. When taking fridge inventory yesterday afternoon, I noticed about a leftover 1/2 cup canned pumpkin to use up, a can of chickpeas, and a freshly emptied container of hummus, so this was a no-brainer. I typically buy store bought hummus because honestly I think it’s one of those things that’s pretty-well done in the food world, and it’s easy and clean and tasty and cheap, so why not. Apprehension to spend a pretty penny on a large container of tahini also usually stops me from making hummus, because I just never end up using much of it. So rather than purchase tahini, I use sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or nuts, and puree them to give the hummus that nutty flavor.

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But yesterday all stars aligned when I realized I had everything I needed, and as I’ve been itchin’ to try out a pumpkin hummus recipe for a while, I gave it a whirl with delicious success! The curry flavor was a no-brainer for me, as well, as curried-flavor anything is something I tend to dig. The slightly spicy and earthy flavors of the curry powder and cumin pair nicely with the umami flavors of the pumpkin and chickpeas. You can make it spicier if you want with more paprika or cayenne pepper, but I urge you not to skip the curry flavors. They really marry the other ingredients together.

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Now use up that leftover pumpkin and make a fresh batch of festive hummus. Eat it with veggies or on a sandwich or on a tortilla [PS currently obsessed with THESE oh my goodness!]. Also pickles. Because pickles’n’hummus are secretly a match made in heaven. #trustme

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tahini, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts or almonds (use what you’ve got!)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 heaping tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (more if desired)

Directions:

1. Place tahini, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts or almonds into a food processor or blender. Purée until the nuts reach a paste, the consistency of a nut butter.

2. Mince garlic, and add it to the food processor. Pour extra liquid from the chickpea can and dump the chickpeas into the food processor. Add canned pumpkin. Purée until desired consistency is achieved. Most people like it super smooth. I prefer it a wee bit chunky.

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3. Add curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and sea salt. Mix until spices are well incorporated.

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4. Pour into a festive bowl and enjoy the way you would other hummuses. I like it on tortillas, raw veggies, and pickles. Yes pickles. Don’t knock it til ya tried it. 😉

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Spicy Sunflower-Infused Waffle’d Falafel Balls [Vegan]

Reason #1 you should make these: The name. Waffle’d Falafel Balls. Or Wafalafel. Whatever you call it, it’s great.

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Go ahead, say it out loud: “I made falafel waffle balls!” *instantly* you feel awesome. And a bit silly. Two great things to improve your mood and the mood of anyone lucky enough to share these with you.

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Which brings me to reason #2 you should make these: they are honestly ridiculously amazing. I [nearly] had to slap my mom’s fingers off them when I was taking photos. Although baking them in a waffle maker is totally unnecessary, it does wonderful things for the texture by providing more surface area for browning/crispiness and creating more dense and more airy pockets and gets a nice Maillard reaction going (which I explained better when I used the waffle iron to make Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookies here). You have my permission to make this recipe and simply bake them in the oven. They will still taste magnificent even though they would be as fun to say or quite as interesting to eat, but I think you’ll still enjoy them, and so will your body.

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Leading to reason #3 you should make these: they are quite nutritious! Chickpeas are powerhouses of protein, fiber, and quality carbohydrates which will give you oodles of energy to power through your day without leaving you feeling weighed down. If you aren’t already friendly with beans and legumes, I suggest you start eating more. They provide protein and satiety while also delivering the goodness of plants via an array of vitamins, and minerals. Aka, they win. Eat up friends, and don’t be afraid to toot. #worthit

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I made these vegan by replacing the egg typically seen in falafel recipes with one tablespoon chia seeds and 2 tablespoons water, which provided some viscosity and emulsification to the mix. I also ground up sunflower seeds for a boost of palatable fat, a more interesting texture, and a complimentary earthiness to dance with the chickpeas.

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These would be great on a salad, as part of a snack plate, or tucked into a pita or to bulk up a sandwich. Or, you can do what my mom did and just eat them plain. That works too. However you eat them, baked or waffle’d, enjoy these tiny nutritious nuggets of pure joy.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy
makes about 8 small waffle patties – serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas (15oz), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (can also use tahini instead)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds + 2 tablespoons water (or 1 egg, if not vegan)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder or cumin
  • a hearty squeeze of Sriracha or other hot sauce (if you like it hot, which I do ;-))
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Plug in your waffle iron and preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place chia seeds and water in a small bowl to congeal and set aside.

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3. Drain and rinse can of chickpeas.

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4. Chop green onions and cilantro.

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5. Place sunflower seeds in a food processor and grind until fine. Slowly add teaspoon of oil until the sunflower seeds become a peanut-butter-like paste.

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6. Add chickpeas, onions, cilantro, spices, chia/water mix, juice of half a lemon, and Sriracha to food processor. Whirl until you get a nice mushy paste that is slightly wet and sticks together.

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7. Roll into donut-hole sized balls and place each in a quarter of the waffle iron. Close and allow to cook until golden brown and firm, about 2-4 minutes.

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8. Transfer to baking sheet and place in oven for about 10 minutes to crisp them up a bit. This is optional, but I like things crispy, so I did it, yo.

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9. Allow to cool and eat on a sandwich, pita, or salad. Or straight to the face!

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restaurant review: peacefood cafe

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Peacefood Cafe, an Upper West Side favorite for vegans and carnivores alike, opened its second location just this March. Located on on East 11th street between University and Broadway, the vibe at the downtown location feels a bit trendier that the uptown location, and reflects the food served: clean, fresh, and bright. Service is friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable. Don’t know what something on the menu is? Have a food allergy? Talk to your server. The staff is genuinely adamant that all diners have a great experience.

The menu is free completely free of animal products, and is instead overwhelmed with creativity and flavor. A must­try is the chickpea fries. Made with chickpea flour and indian seasoning, these pan seared patties come with a creamy house dipping sauce, which tempers the spices nicely. This appetizer is incredibly hearty and addictive, and is reason enough to stop in the cafe.

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While one could easily make a meal out of Peacefood’s incredible appetizers, it’s wise to save room for one of their outstanding entrees. Peacefood knocks salads out of the park. Whether you try the Asian Greens, or the famous “Other Ceasar,” salads at peacefood are incredibly fresh, interesting, and lightly coated in house­made dressings, all of which enhance flavors in the salad without overpowering.

The cafe has also earned numerous awards for their sandwiches, and after tasting them, its easy to understand why. A customer favorite the Tempeh Avocado. Tempah, a meat substitute, is a more texturally interesting and heartier alternative to tofu, and plays the star­role in the sandwich. The creamy avocado spread plays nicely off the grainy tempah, and the shredded carrots and pickled radishes add even more layers of flavor. Cilantro adds a refreshing element, marrying together all the surprising elements of dish. Paired with one of the menu’s freshly squeezed juices or smoothies, a sandwich from Peacefood makes a perfect springtime lunch.

The menu offers many other specialties, including raw lasagna, pizzas, sushi, paninis, and arguably the best veggie burger in the city. Meat­lovers won’t feel like they’re missing a thing, as entrees are consistently dynamic, delicious, and filling.

Desserts at Peacefood easily surpass many non­vegan bakeries in flavor and quality. The carrot cake is not to be missed, nor is their famous Magic Cookie. Bursting with pecans, chocolate,
and coconut, it’s reminiscent of a samosa cookie gone gourmet, and is an ideal ending to a great meal.

What sets Peacefood Cafe apart from many cafes, vegan or not, is that the food is not only delicious, but makes you feel good. The cafe really seems to understand what it means to nourish the body, and their creative menu and quality ingredients will leave you quite full ­ but happy full. You’ll exit feeling energized, satisfied, and eager to come back.

Address: 41 E 11th Street (between Broadway & University Place)