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Hummus is a chickpea-sesame dip that works really well on a  sandwich or with veggies.  It is also a good source of  vegetarian protein and fiber. It is rich in monounsaturated fat,  if  made with olive oil.  Hummus also contains calcium, iron,  magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and a few other trace minerals. It  contains a little of the B vitamins, including a good  amount of folic acid and a little vitamin A.

Most people buy hummus in the store and get a bunch of preservatives and artificial ingredients with their chickpea dip. I  make my hummus myself, since I spent quite a few years in Israel, where hummus is eaten every day and the standards for hummus are quite high.  Very few recipes are as easy as the homemade hummus one.

My hummus can be fed to babies, because its protein will help them grow and all of its ingredients are completely natural.  Older children love dipping veggie sticks and crackers into the hummus. You can cook your chickpeas or use canned ones, if pressed for time. You can add things to hummus to keep the dip new and exciting every day: adding whole chickpeas to the finished hummus gives it an interesting texture, cilantro or parsley or chives or garlic or even curry or paprika or pesto sauce change its flavor. Mashed carrots or sweet potatoes add sweetness, while avocado makes it more subtle-tasting. You can even be as adventurous as I am sometimes, making this hummus into a completely different dish altogether, using white beans, instead of chickpeas.


2 cups of cooked or canned chickpeas

1/3 cup tahini paste

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4- 1/3 cup of olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Process everything in a blender until smooth and taste. Some people like their hummus to have a more pronounced sesame flavor (add tahini) and some want its consistency to be more liquid ( add 1/4 cup warm water.) Add the spices I mentioned above if you feel like it and serve on a plate with some more olive oil, poured on top (but not mixed in.) You can also serve it with a pinch of paprika on top. Hummus can stay fresh in the fridge for about 4 days.



I just discovered a wonderful new television sitcom for fighting childhood obesity: The Chefsters.

Parents can tell their children to “eat their vegetables,” but getting the kids to do it is a whole new thing.
The growing trend of childhood obesity inspired Chuck Pardee  (creator, writer, and producer of the show) to teach children how to eat healthier foods. Show’s episodes are centered around a group of preteens (“Chefsters”) cooking from simple recipes, learning safe basic cooking techniques and learning about nutrition. It also includes facts and history of certain healthy foods and above all, having fun with foods that are nutritious and healthy.

This salad is wonderful for lunch or for eating at a picnic: just add some green leaves for health value. I usually use rice pasta for it, but other varieties should work fine. The salad is also good as part of a nutritious school lunch.


Penne ( either whole wheat, or rice or quinoa variety) 1.5 cups

Green beans, cut lengthwise 1.5 cups

Cherry tomatoes, halved  1 cup

Chives, finely chopped 1/2 cup

Basil, finely chopped 1/4 cup

Olive oil 2 tbsp

Optional: grated parmesan or vegan cheese 2 tbsp

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.Throw the green beans in the last three minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water. Add all other ingredients and gently toss together.


photo by Michelle Meiklejohn

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