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.
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.