All of my recent posts have been about sweets. I love sweet things and can’t get through a day without at least a little bite of something delicious. I don’t survive on sweets alone though., and try very hard to eat 3 healthy meals and have lots of fruit and vegetables. Since my blog posts have been sweet-heavy, I thought I’d even it out with a healthier recipe. Here is Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Whole Wheat Pita.
Hummus is a fairly new addition to my diet, as I didn’t try it until my mid-20’s. I can be pretty picky about trying unknown things, so I’d always turned my nose up at it. I don’t know why I waited so long; hummus is great. Especially with pita and cut up veggies. If you haven’t tried homemade hummus and pita, you must. Hummus is pretty easy to make, and you then control what ingredients go into it. As I’m big into kitchen adventures, I loved getting to make this myself. Homemade pita great too, because it’s so much softer and chewier than the store-bought stuff. When store-bought, pita and hummus are a quick, simple and healthy meal or snack. When they’re homemade, it’s a really special treat.
Pita and hummus are also a great addition to a school lunch. Just pack a pita in a baggie and then a little hummus in a glass jar (or plastic container if you don’t have the same obsession with glass jars as I do). Toss in some veggies and maybe some leftover meat from last nights dinner, and it’s a pretty excellent meal. If you’re like me and have to have some sweets, throw in a cookie or two and a piece of fruit. That’s a meal that will have me skipping down to the staff room at lunch time!
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Whole Wheat Pita
Organizational Note: I started roasting the red peppers first, then got to work on the dough for the pita. When the dough was rising, I went back to the peppers and finished the hummus. Once the hummus was done, I went back to the pitas and finished those.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 – 45 minutes
2 large red peppers
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tbsp water
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the red peppers on a baking pan.
2. Roast for 30 – 45 minutes or until the skin on the peppers has blackened. Turn often so all parts of the pepper can feel the burn.
3. Once the skins have blackened over most of the peppers and the flesh has softened, remove from oven.
4. Pull out stem and seeds, peel off the skin and discard.
5. Reserve and dice half of one pepper for topping the hummus at the end. Cut the remaining 1 and 1/2 pepper into small strips.
6. Place all ingredients into a food processor. Process until the chickpeas have broken down into a smooth paste, and all ingredients are combined.
7. Transfer to a serving dish (or container with a lid if not using immediately). Pour a tablespoon of olive oil on top of the hummus. Sprinkle with a little paprika, and finish with the reserved red pepper. Hummus will keep in the fridge for about a week.
(Adapted from Roasted Red Pepper Hummus at Self.com)
Whole Wheat Pita
Yield: 8 pitas
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Place 1/4 cup of warm water (between 100 and 105 degrees F) in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the honey, then sprinkle the yeast in. Stir gently, then allow the yeast to proof for about 10 minutes. It’s ready when the yeast is fluffy and sitting on top of the water.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the yeast mixture. Mix with the hook attachment on low-speed until all ingredients are combined.
3. Turn up the speed to medium, and knead the dough here for about 10 minutes. The dough is ready to rise when it’s smooth and elastic.
4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to cover it in the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60 – 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
5. When the dough has doubled its size, punch it down and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then cover these with a towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
6. While the dough is resting, move the oven rack to the middle setting. Place a pizza stone or an overturned cookie tray on the rack. Pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees F.
7. Dust each piece of dough with flour and roll out each to 1/8 inch thick.
8. Open the oven and throw as many pitas on the hot pizza stone as will fit.
9. Allow to cook for 3 minutes. If you want them to be browner and crispier, cook for up to 5 minutes.
10. Let the oven reheat for a few minutes in between each set of pitas. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all pitas are cooked. Eat hot out of the oven, or they keep in a bag for a day or two. They also freeze nicely, and can be kept in individual baggies to throw in a lunch.
(Adapted from Pita Bread at The Fresh Loaf)