Hummus

Hummus
I have looked over a lot of recipes for hummus.  Trader Joes has an excellent version that comes in a circle pack with four sections and each section is flavored differently.  My favorite is the spicy.  If you want to make it on your own so you know what is actually in the food you are eating, I think this recipe is the best by far.  It is actually a combination of a few recipes I’ve worked with and it has just the right flavor.  I think working with hummus is fun because it is very versatile and you can flavor it up any way you want.  It’s almost like a canvas.  You start with the base and then keep layering in flavor.  It’s also heart healthy for you!
If you are looking to make this the appetizer for a romantic meal, prepare it as shown below, but withhold the paprika and parsley.  Take a piece of paper and fold in half.  On the fold, cut out half a heart shape.  Unfold the heart and lay it directly on the surface of your hummus, but off to one side a bit.  Sprinkle  your paprika over the top and make sure to cover the heart.  Follow up with sprinkling your parsley.  You really don’t need much.  Carefully lift the paper heart off and there you have a very special Valentine’s Day treat for your sweet one. 
Hummus

Ingredients

1 14 oz. can of chickpeas, undrained
6 large cloves of garlic
1/2 C. olive oil
1 t. taco seasoning
1/4 C. Tahini paste
1/4 C. lemon juice*
1/2 t. salt
3 dashes of paprika for garnish
handful of flatleaf parsley, chopped
Directions
In your Cuisinart, add chickpeas, garlic olive oil, taco seasoning, tahini paste, lemon juice and salt.  Blend until smooth.  Taste for flavor and consistentcy and adjust as necessary.  Spoon hummus out into decorative bowl and serve alongside rice crackers, breadsticks, toasts or use as a spread on paninnis, tortillas or sandwiches.
*Special Note:  Tahini paste is really a paste made from sesame seeds.  It contains oil from the seed.  It usually comes in a can or a jar and can be found in the peanut butter section of your grocery store.  Unlike peanut butter, it separates into oil and solid.  Be sure to either shake well or stir it up prior to measuring it out for this recipe.
Enjoy!
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