recipes for the frugal – hummus

I’ve been expanding my home food preparation skills since January. This started in part when I picked up a refurbished (“renewed”) Vitamix Explorian blender Christmas 2019 from Amazon for the “paltry” sum of $180. The regular “renewed” price is currently $270, and a fully new item starts around $350 and goes up from there.

When I got the Vitamix I began to expand my recipes into soups and dips. What follows is a hummus recipe I found and tweaked for myself. This recipe uses simple, inexpensive ingredients and is almost too healthy.


  • 2 cans Garbanzo Beans or Chick Peas, 16oz/can (or there-about). Drain the liquid out of one of the cans, leave the other can full of liquid.
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds.
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice.
  • One to three garlic cloves (adjust to taste, we like three).
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (this isn’t really necessary, but we have our reasons below).
  • Add all the ingredients into the Vitamix container, in the ingredient order as listed. It makes no sense to measure them out on the side and then put them in the container. It also helps that when you have dry and wet ingredients, to start measuring the dry first, then the wet, especially if you’re reusing a single 1/4 measuring cup.
  • Since this is an Explorian, I would recommend setting the central dial mid-way at 6. The dial goes up to 10 (no, not 11).
  • Rest your hand on the container and then hit the pulse switch for about five seconds at a time, multiple times. As the ingredients mix, the texture will go from course to fine. You want it to reach a fine texture. Pulsing lets the mixture collapse and release any air between pulses. Keeping it on constantly will results in the mixture rising above mixing blades and the mixing will cease. You can hear it because the motor will whine up in pitch. Continue this between three and five times, or until the texture as seen through the container is smooth with no discernible specific ingredients.

Some recipes say salt to taste. I say don’t. Some canned chickpeas come with salt added, some without. If your cans state they have salt on the side, then you definitely don’t need to add more. Besides, there’s more than enough seasoning with the garlic, cumin, and turmeric.

We add turmeric to our hummus because we like the taste and because tumeric is supposed to be a natural anti-inflammatory (as is ground cumin). Considering we’re in our mid-to-late 60s with arthritis we can use all the anti-inflammatory help we can get.

The recipe produces at least 32 ounces of hummus, enough for two adults to enjoy for about a week, either as a complete meal at lunch, or as part of an evening meal. And if it doesn’t it’s simple enough to make more.

For eating, we use natural corn chips or bread loaf ends, toasted, to dip and eat. Sometimes we use bell peppers sliced long ways, sometimes carrots, sometimes celery, and my wife also likes to use cabbage leaves. Regardless of what we use it’s all good.

I hope you find this enjoyable.

retirement = sheltering in place

I’ve been sheltering in place as it were since I retired back in January, which is when the coronavirus was really getting a foothold back in China. The idea of staying at home and only going out when I absolutely needed to was the habit I fell into, not due to some edict or prescience with what was happening in China. I never thought COVID-19 would get this bad because I thought we Americans had enough brains and resources to keep it from getting as bad has its currently gotten. Silly me. Today, as a sad marker, the number of official COVID-19 infections pushed past 124,000 in the US alone, while the world total confirmed is past 664,000. Because of the number of known infections in the US, we have the dubious distinction of being number one in the world.

NPR is reporting that in Wuhan, China, former patients who tested negative are testing positive again. Think about that for a moment.

Today I noticed something quite notable because I didn’t notice it (no, that doesn’t make sense, but bear with me). Today I finally realized that there was no jet noise over my house, and there were no contrails in the sky. No contrails anywhere. I don’t know how long its been that way, but it is very much appreciated. The back yard is quieter, and the blue skies with clouds and no jet contrails remind me of how the sky looked when I was a little guy growing up in Atlanta. I wonder how long the clear skies will last.