When PGEW went through a major redesign a couple years ago, the most daunting task was moving everything from such a huge blog over to its new digs. At the time, I had close to 300 recipes under my belt, not to mention a ton of tip posts and articles on other topics, so there was a lot to move. Today, much to my dismay, I discovered that one of my most popular recipes from back in 2008 was nowhere to be found. Not just the picture, like so many other older posts that were compromised after I deleted the jerk from having control of my blog – the whole darn post was missing! I noticed another popular sandwich recipe had also disappeared without a trace, so I have a lot more backtracking to do so I can put the earlier part of my blog back together.
Fortunately, I still have access to a lot of said older posts and photos, so all is not completely lost. It’s just a bit of a PITA to have to go through it all and insert posts where they are supposed to belong. I have every intention of giving this a good photo makeover for food porn purposes once the sun is back where it’s supposed to be (the lighting in this apartment is soooo unforgiving). For now, let’s take a trip down memory lane with the original shot and the original post from way back in ’09… before the method had clear numerical directions, and when my paragraphs were really, really long. ; ) ~ Kimberly
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Originally posted 01/12/09
I can actually recall a time when I didn’t think hummus was all that appetizing. I was working at the UC Davis CoHo (Coffee House, for you non-Aggies) in the Cold Foods section, watching it being made in great quantities. The tahini was in this large, opaque plastic bottle with a faded label written in old Sharpie, so you couldn’t really tell what was in there, and when they were squeezing it out into the garbanzo bean mix it just looked…… WRONG. The guy training me also had me try it before the lemon juice and spices had been put in, so all I got was bland goop. Needless to say, I was not impressed. I like to give things second chances though, so I wound up trying it again, this time from a tub of Haig’s Hummus that my friend Don had lying around. NOW we were talking! It was creamy, lemony, garlicky… just delicious! I became an instant devotee and now eat it very regularly.
Though I’ve never made it from scratch (it’s on my To-Do list), I know exactly the flavors I’m looking for, so I do stick to Haig’s a lot of the time. However, it’s a bit pricey and I’ve shopped around for something more affordable, trying a variety of different brands. I was very unimpressed with the Athenos brand, so I’ll never touch that again; the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op has a few different varieties, but like everything there, they are really expensive; the Davis Food Co-Op makes their own and it’s outstanding, but alas, they’re in Davis; lastly, Trader Joe’s has a couple different kinds, my new fave being their Mediterranean Hummus. Their traditional one is just fine but this Mediterranean one comes with pine nuts, parsley, spices, and a nice drizzle of olive oil, all suspended in the middle, ready for you to stir into the rest of the generous 16 oz. tub. It is a little too creamy though, so I use the traditional one in my sandwiches instead since it’s a little sturdier.
Before I launch into yet another super-easy recipe for one of my favorite lunches ever, I feel I should discuss why hummus is such a staple in this Poor Girl’s fridge. First of all, it’s relatively inexpensive if you shop around for something you like. I’m sure making it from scratch would cut the cost in relation to the volume, but I can’t say for sure since I’ve yet to do so. Still, when you figure how many different ways you can use it, it pays off. Second, it’s a great source of protein and healthy fats, and when you’re tight on cash it becomes a little harder to pay attention to nutrition v. just filling one’s belly. Since I’m hell-bent on staying relatively healthy no matter how poor I am, this is a huge selling point for me. Lastly, it just tastes GOOD. Whether it’s the traditional kind, black bean, white bean, or TJ’s new edamame one, hummus is just GOOD.
So, the recipe sounds like an entrance exam into a professional school. But once you read the simple ingredients you will know what they stand for. Creamy hummus, crisp spinach, ripe avocado, and tangy tomatoes, all on toasted whole grain bread. Though I’m a firm believer in a mean grilled cheese, this truly is my favorite sandwich to eat. I hope it will become one of yours too. And now, on with the show.
My Favorite Sandwich – The H.S.A.T. (Hummus, Spinach, Avocado & Tomato)
The one thing I didn’t add to the original version, which actually goes into EVERY one of these that I make, is sliced red onion. I just didn’t have them on hand that day, and wrote the recipe accordingly. I know not everyone’s an onion lover, so it works just fine as is, but trust me… the flavor and the crispness of the red onion just ties everything together. Just keep your breath mints handy for later. ; )
2 slices of whole grain bread
4 T good quality hummus
1 small Roma tomato
1/2 avocado, sliced
Small handful of fresh spinach
Sliced red onion (optional)
Drizzle of Italian dressing or balsamic vinegar
Couple of sprinkles of ground pepper
Lightly toast the bread. Thinly slice the tomato and avocado, and rinse the spinach (unless you’re using the bagged kind, though it’s always a good idea to rinse it anyway). Spread the hummus on each slice of bread. Put a few slices of the tomato on one side, spinach and avocado on the other. Drizzle with either vinegar or some yummy Italian dressing onto the tomatoes and/or the spinach (not too much so it’s not messy), sprinkle plenty of fresh ground pepper on both sides, put the sandwich together, and enjoy! (Oh, and be sure to grab plenty of napkins… sometimes if the avocado is too ripe this can get a little messy, though ever-so-tasty!)