Sunday, October 02, 2016

Survival Cooking with Sable: Super Easy Hummus

Hey people!

For a while now I've been meaning to start a "Survival Cooking" series of sorts geared towards students living away from home who need a little help with kitchen things. I had big plans once, I wanted to cover everything from technique to shopping to recipes... As it stands, those things aren't going to happen any time soon.

BUT! I'm going to start sharing my easy recipes as a jumping-off point for more involved blogs (and maybe even videos) in the future! So here we go!

Survival Cooking with Sable: Entry 1 - Super Easy Hummus

Hummus has been a thing that's been around in my life for as long as I can remember. Ironically I don't think it had much to do with my slightly Greek ancestry. For those of you not familiar with it (somehow): hummus (or "hummous", or one of many variant spellings, not "humus" with one M because that's a kind of soil) is a fresh dip made from a base of blended chickpeas with lemon juice, tahini (sesame paste), and a lot of olive oil. Hummus can be seasoned with a lot of different, things, depending on where the recipe originates from. The recipe I've written up is close to a Greek-style hummus, seasoned primarily with lemon and oregano.


Base ingredients: just five! (garlic not pictured, oops)
Our base ingredients are:

  • 1 can Chickpeas (540 mL/19 oz can)
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1-2 tbsp Lemon Juice

Additional ingredients: spices!
Additional ingredients:

  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Oregano (to taste)
  • Paprika and/or Cumin (optional, to taste)
You'll notice some ranges in this ingredient list; adjust according to your own taste! If you like garlicky hummus, 3 cloves is probably the way you want to go. I tend to do lemon juice to taste, but the end result is usually about 2 tbsp. Olive oil is a little trickier; 1/3 cup is probably the minimum you want, for a smoother texture and easier time blending it, err on the side of more.


Drain and rinse chickpeas in a strainer. Mince garlic. Add chickpeas, garlic, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice to a bowl. Mix slightly to dissolve tahini and distribute garlic. (You can add salt/pepper/spices now, or after blending if you want to measure by taste.) Blend using stand-up blender or immersion blender. This may take a few minutes because chickpeas are stubborn. If your blender is struggling, try adding a bit more olive oil and/or using a lower speed setting. Season to taste with salt, pepper and, for this recipe, a liberal amount of oregano. Enjoy!

Not the prettiest but man it's tasty


As I mentioned before, hummus recipes vary across regions, and you'll find different tastes spanning across the Mediterranean and into the Middle East. Greek style hummus focuses on the lighter flavours of lemon and oregano. You can make a spicier, smokier hummus by using paprika and cumin instead. You could include blended beets, which makes a sweet pink hummus. You could also use roasted garlic instead of fresh garlic, for a sweeter, earthy taste. If for some reason you only have lime juice, use a bit less than what this recipe calls for, as limes have a sharper flavour. If chickpeas aren't your thing, I did once make hummus using pinto beans instead. The result was a light but meaty dip closer to re-fried beans.

Goes With...

Pita bread, of course! Or any other bread, really. I prefer the taste and texture of naan bread to store-bought pitas. Toast lightly to warm boring store-bought breads and give them a nice crunch. Fresh veggies like carrots, celery, or bell peppers go well with hummus. If you want, you can use it as a spread in a pita wrap or on a sandwich.

Today's lunch
Alright, so that's how you make my Super Easy Hummus, and I've suggested what to have with it, but what else is important here? Well, since Survival Cooking is going to be geared towards college student types, we need to know how much these ingredients cost and how well the recipe keeps.

Budget: $35 - <$2

Some of these ingredients are a bit costly, but you'll only need to buy them every once in a while. Tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and the spices may rack up the cost a bit but will last for months once you get them. They're also versatile, so it's not like you're buying them just for hummus (with the possible exception of tahini, but even a small jar at about $6 will last you months)
Buying from 0 pre-owned ingredients, this recipe will probably come close to $35.
Assuming you have olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and spices from making a previous batch, your cost comes out to <$2 for only a can of chickpeas, closer to $6 if you buy pitas and veggies as well.

Leftover Rating: 4 - 4.5 / 5

I love hummus, and I think it makes great leftovers. I can get about two weeks worth of lunches from a batch this size. Keep it refrigerated. Hummus keeps its flavour and texture when fridged and has a pretty long shelf-life if kept cold. You'll probably find it gets a bit firm or dry in the fridge, just add a little olive oil to the portion you take out to loosen it up. 


  • Vegetarian and Vegan friendly
  • Quick recipe (10-20 mins covers assembly, blending, and cleanup)
  • Easy prep requires only basic knife skills or a garlic press
  • No need for stove-top or oven (toaster optional for breads)
  • Some investment required for initial ingredients, successive batches are super cheap
  • *Specialty ingredient: Tahini (sesame paste) may take some searching, try ethnic or alternative foods aisles, usually grouped with legumes or nut butters
And that's it! Give it a try, feedback is much appreciated. (Find me on DeviantArt, on Twitter @SableGear0 or just comment here on my blog!)

Until next time!