It’s back-to-school season and parents are always looking for new ways to add flavor and variety to packed lunches or after-school snacks. Our team at Theory, the locally sourced restaurant at OMSI, has two easy recipes that will get even the pickiest of eaters reaching for another helping of vegetables. Plus, they can be made in advance, which helps save time and hassle during a busy week.
Carrot sticks, snap peas, fresh fennel bulbs, radishes and celery all are great items to dip and scoop hummus with. Use whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand (or experiment with new ones!) and prepare them to a size that makes for easy scooping.
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water salt to taste
1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blend until it’s smooth or reaches a consistency you like. Taste, add salt and adjust the seasonings as you see fit.
2. Want to try some different flavors? Add roasted red peppers, olives, roasted mushrooms or spinach to make different varieties of hummus.
*Note: You can use canned garbanzo beans for this recipe, but Godinez prefers green or dried beans. If you use fresh or dried beans, put them into a saucepot and cover with water, a bay leaf, a teaspoon of dried oregano and two or three black peppercorns. Boil over medium heat until the beans are soft. If the dried garbanzo beans have been presoaked, they will take about 75-90 minutes to cook. If not, figure on about 3-4 hours. Pro tip: Process the cooked beans when they are still warm for a smoother puree.
Looking for an alternative to raw veggies for dipping? Try these root vegetable chips that are quick and easy to make.
Root Vegetable Chips
Any of the following vegetables make great chips: beets, fennel, turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery root, zucchini, yellow squash and butternut squash. We like to use different types of vegetables because the various colors look so appealing and each offers its own set of key nutrients.
4 pounds of a combination of any of the above vegetables
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 335 F.
2. Wash and peel your vegetables. Slice the vegetable into very thin rounds, about 1/16 of an inch thick for a crisp chip. Our chefs like to use a mandolin, but any sharp vegetable slicer will work fine — just be sure to take care around sharp edges.
3. Toss 1 pound of sliced vegetable rounds in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ensuring that they are evenly coated. In a single layer, lay the vegetables on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
Pro tip: For easier cleanup, line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes until the chips are dried out and golden brown. Repeat in batches with the remaining vegetables and oil.
4. Let veggie chips cool before transferring them and storing in a closed container.
Bert Godinez’s interest in food began as a young child while watching his mom and grandmother in the kitchen. He currently serves as the interim sous chef for Bon Appetit at OMSI’s Theory restaurant. Chef/author Bert Godinez, at OMSI’s Theory restaurant.