Monday, September 30, 2013

Frugal Foodie on a British Pound: Back to School Edition

Why hello! As you can see, Monday has a new title (though same great theme), to reflect my current state of starving studenthood. A couple of years ago, I wrote a post titled 'A Frugal Foodie', in which I laid out my manifesto for eating well on the cheap. As low effort as it may seem to just make rice and beans every day, there is also so much room for creativity and exploration, even on a slim food budget. Now, more than ever, that mentality will come in handy, and I'm going to take you along for my culinary journey.

One of my rules of thumb is to always opt for dried legumes. In the States you can buy a pound of black beans (a solid 6 cups cooked or 3 cans) for less that $2; similarly 500g (1.1 lbs) of garbanzos are about £1.5. Plus, you avoid all the fillers, preservatives, and salt by cooking your own. Innevitably, beans lead to hummus. The funny thing, and unbeknownst to me, is that the Brits apparently have a thing for the beany dip. An article in the Guardian noted how 41% of households  harbour some in the fridge, and it is definitely a picnic staple. 

While perhaps veering away from traditional Middle East preparation and consumption, it is still a reliable and reasonable lunch or snack. I've added a bit of greenery with some local arugula (better known as rocket on this side of the Pond) to spice things up. 

Rocket Hummus
1 cup garbanzo beans, soak overnight and then cooked until very tender
2 cloves garlic, roasted (if you have time)
1/4 cup olive oil (good quality!)
1/2 cup arugula (or more for spicier/greener hummus)
1/4 cup walnuts, raw (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
Water from the beans as needed
Sea salt to taste

Hummus is such a simple dish to make. Toss all the ingredients in a food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Note that this recipe does not have tahini (a pricier ingredient), but adding some of the sesame paste would make it a little creamier. Regardless, enjoy with crackers, pita, or some good ol' crudites (e.g. celery sticks)!


Unknown said...

Hm, sounds like a great variation on classic hummus!

Rachel said...

Thanks Sara for the comment! There is a surprising amount of arugula here, so I'm going to have to start coming up with creative uses...welcome any thoughts!