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veganmofo 15: Sabra Hummus

23 Nov

Hummus is one of those dishes that it took me awhile to start liking.  It seems like such a ubiquitously vegan food – I mean, there’s an entire chapter on hummus and its variations (I’m including white bean dips and spreads, etc) in ED&BV.  When I first tried it, I didn’t “get it”.  Why on earth would I want to dip my chip or cracker in a pool of mushy, cold paste?  Yeah.

A couple of years back, I finally tried hummus at a gathering and actually kind of liked it.  Then I discovered that if I nuked my hummus in the microwave for a couple of secs to bring it to room temperature or a bit above, I didn’t mind it.  Then I made my own hummus and fell in love. 

I’m kind of picky about hummus.  There are some brands I like and some brands of some flavours I like.  Oddly enough, my least favourite flavour of hummus is roasted red pepper.  I like normal hummus and I like roasted red peppers.  But the combination tastes absolutely terrible to me. 

Anyway, Sabra hummus is a brand I’ve heard tossed around on veggieboards and other forums and I’ve always wanted to try it.  I checked out the website and it looked epic!  It seems hard to find Sabra around here though.  I swore for a long time I’d seen it somewhere (they’re kind of distinctive) but lately, when I’ve looked for it, I can’t find any of it.  Anyway, the first time I tried Sabra classic hummus, it was in these snack packs.  Sobeys and metro sells them… about half a cup of classic hummus and half a cup to a cup of pretzel crisps.  They’re reasonably healthy, especially in these days of “these oil-laden chips are healthy because they’re baked and not friend!” or “sugar covered candy coated chocolate and caramel”. 

Anyway, I find the classic hummus good, but nothing to write home about.  I like the pc brand hummus too.  But if I want plain hummus, my favourite is my home made hummus.  It’s pretty simple.  Chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  But somehow it tastes different.  I like my hummus marginally chunkier than pre-packaged tend to be and somehow even using canned chickpeas, my hummus still tastes better… imo, of course. 

Today I found the roasted pine nut hummus at metro… I’m working out of town and needed lunch.  It’s fabulous.  Amazing.  Smooth, creamy and a little bit sweet from the pine nuts.  Yum.  I think this is my new favourite hummus.  Pity it’s so darn expensive! 

Now I want to try the Hummus Abu-Goush (although I wonder if that will just be just like the roasted pine nuts one) and spinach and artichoke hummus (my favourite dip ever!).  I think that’s it though.  The rest look good but not great just from the descriptions.  Now I just need to find a store near here that sells them… I can’t go driving off to London everytime I want sabra hummus!  There’s a metro in cambridge… maybe I should try that.  Although it’s probably a good thing I haven’t found it near here.  I’d eat nothing but hummus if I did.

Anyone have a favourite brand of hummus?  Any varieties of Sabra hummus I must try?

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veganmofo 14: Pad Thai!

23 Nov

I’ve always loved pad thai but I like it too spicy so it’s often hard for me to find pad thai that has the right level of sweet and tangy-ness when I eat out without it being too spicy.  It was also one of those recipes that just looked way too damn hard to make on my own.  It’s a taste combination that I don’t typically make at home.  But seeing as I’ve been trying soba and baking bread, I figured heck, why not.

My first attempt was this recipe from chef chloe’s blog.  As with her garlic sesame soba recipe, it’s pretty good but it’s not my favourite.  It was better the second day (tonight) but still not quite my favourite.  It is tangy and sweet as the recipe says, but it’s still missing something, in my opinion.  I think it is that the sauce is pretty light… it felt like it was missing depth.  I think this would be a great summer almost-noodle-salad recipe though.

My next attempt (with the other half of the noodles) was the Brooklyn Pad Thai from VWAV. 

This recipe was really, really good but I think it’s still missing something.  This time though, I think I know what it is.  I didn’t use peanut oil because I didn’t want to spend six bucks on a ginormous bottle of peanut oil that I wouldn’t use often when I didn’t know if the recipe would even turn out well, so I used olive oil.  I also didn’t use chopped peanuts.  I did add most of a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter which sort of helped, but then I got clumps of noodles with TONS of peanut butter and the rest of the noodles didn’t have quite enough.  In addition, I didn’t use tamarind concentrate (i couldn’t find any at either of the two grocery stores near me… i will keep an eye out for it in the future) and I think it would make a big difference.  Anyways, I wnat to try this recipe again with the peanut oil and the tamarind concentrate and I will review the actual recipe but last night… I thought that it was pretty damn good as it was.

I now have leftover soba, pad thai and enchiladas in my fridge.  And I can’t even eat any of it for lunch cause I’m out at a client’s where i don’t know if they even have a microwave and I’ve been bringing pb&j sandwiches and hummus (there is a fridge) so it’s pretty slow going with clearing out my fridge.  *sigh*  I only like leftovers when i can eat it for lunch the next days 😦