Not Your Mother’s Hummus

Well, actually, this is my mother’s hummus. She made some for me today and it’s bright, acidic, and garlicky. It’s a variation on Lime Cilantro Hummus, and it’s really kind of a mix between a Latin-style bean dip and Mediterranean hummus. What makes it a bean dip? The garbanzo beans. What makes it a hummus? Again, the garbanzo beans. There’s no Tahini, which makes it lighter than most hummus and a rather guilt-free.

In today’s version, my mom made her own tweaks and additions.  She subbed Jalapeno chili flakes for the cayenne, used regular salt instead of garlic salt, and added the bottom four inches of a leek. She also used already-cooked dried garbanzo beans.

Even as I write this, I’m waiting to be done so I can go have a few more corn chips with this delectable dip. So, go make some for yourself! It’s easy, delicious, and could be a great addition to many meals.


Ingredients from Ag Connect: Cilantro, garlic, leeks


Going Garlic

Mincing garlic is simultaneously one of my favorite and least favorite parts of dinner prep. It smells delicious, it doesn’t take long, and the results are always satisfying; it also makes the chopping board smell, the garlic can become sticky, and the odor hangs onto my fingers for hours. However, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a tiny jar of bland garlic. I dislike the buildup of empty jars, it costs way more than its equivalent of fresh garlic, and I don’t know where it comes from.

Last year I learned a trick to combine the best of both worlds. When I had a surplus of garlic, I peeled all of the cloves, tossed them in the food processor with a small amount of vegetable oil, then let the electric blades do all the work. I found in my stash of mason jars the perfect little jar to hold the garlicky goodness, filled it to the brim, and tucked it away in the fridge.

Some nights, I still choose to mince my garlic by hand. But you can bet that many other nights I reach into the fridge, grab my little mason jar, and simply spoon my garlic out of it and into whatever dish I’m cooking. All the wonderful garlic aroma, non of the sticky garlic mess.

Ingredients from Ag Connect:

A Model of Versatility

Acorn squash is one of those amazing food items that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. If you roast it and scoop out the flesh, it can be used in squash pancakes or waffles, which are delicious with walnuts, maple syrup, and bacon (if you’re me, you toast the walnuts and cook the bacon to crispy deliciousness then put both right inside the batter). The squash is also delicious as a hash, with any and all of your favorite hash ingredients.


However, my all-time favorite way to cook this winter treat is to stuff it.

I cut mine in half and roast it until it’s almost cooked through. I then add a mixture of already-cooked wild rice and sauteed goodies. This could include MANY different ingredients, and I often use it as a way to use whatever I have in my pantry or fridge. Some of my favorite ingredients include shredded carrots, dried cherries or cranberries, celery, toasted walnuts, apple, yellow onion, chopped up kale or chard, garlic, and maybe even shredded beets or parsnips. Almost any combination of these ingredients is sure to result in a flavor-packed, textural, hearty dish.

Once I’ve stuffed the squash, I put it back in the oven to finish cooking and get everything nice and hot. Depending on your preference, this can be served as a main course or side. Either way, it will warm you up from the inside out, and make excellent use of winter-time ingredients.

 So, if you’re looking to experiment with some new applications for this gorgeous gourd, try any of these ideas and enjoy!

 Ingredients from Ag Connect: Acorn squash, carrots, apples, beets, garlic, kale, chard, yellow onion, parsnips, bacon, flour and eggs for pancakes.