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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

The Easter meal is a great time to spice up the menu with Hummus, a comforting old favorite dish that shows off a brand new coat of brighter colors. Hummus is so versatile it has become the base for a banquet of unique versions that bring nuance to a traditional, centuries-old Middle Eastern dish.

Sweet potatoes, still very plentiful at this season, turn this familiar appetizer into a velvety smooth, super nutritious, and very tasty starter. A hearty tuber, sweet potatoes are often featured on the Easter dinner plate. This unique take on hummus adds another delicious way to enjoy the naturally sweet vegetable.

For convenience, I've made this dish up to two days ahead and found it retains its color and flavor magnificently. Serve the hummus with wedges of pita bread.

Consider putting this recipe to work as the base of an open-face sandwich. For a tasty breakfast, I spread a generous layer of the hummus on whole-grain bread. Then I top it with sliced tomatoes and a slice of Daiya cheddar or Swiss cheese and melt it in the oven at 400 degrees F. for about 5 to 7 minutes. It's really tasty and quite wholesome, too.

Sweet Potato Hummus


Yield: about 3 1/2 cups

    1 pound (453g) orange sweet potatoes (yams)

    1 (14-ounce/396g) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
    1/3 cup (80 ml) tahini
    1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
    3 cloves garlic, peeled
    2 tablespoons potato cooking water
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne

    2 tablespoons minced parsley
    2 to 3 tablespoons pine nuts

    Pita bread, cut into wedges

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch (2.4 cm) chunks. Put the potato chunks in a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan with water to cover. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  2. Drain and reserve the cooking water. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the well-drained potatoes to the food processor.
  3. Add the garbanzos, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, potato cooking water, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Process until smooth and creamy.
  4. Transfer the hummus to a serving platter and top with parsley and pine nuts. Serve with wedges of pita bread.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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