11/05/2012 05:44 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

RECIPE: Amped-Up Lentil Hummus


The inevitable outcome of many a meal made at home tends to amount to a vast variety of fridge and pantry odds and ends -- the pile of leftover ingredients you are stuck with after having purchased a bunch of recipe-specific food items. Living alone and constantly cooking, I tend to have quite a few unfinished bottles of this, or jars of that.

One evening this past week as dinner time was quickly approaching, I dove in to my pantry to grab some quinoa or brown rice to use as a base for an Asian-inspired veggie bowl I had been thinking about creating all day. But for the first time in as long as I can remember, I had neither item in stock. Clearly, something had hiccuped in my by now well-honed grocery shopping-shopping list food supply system! Not one, but two of my pantry staples had run out? Inconceivable.

And so, I did what any kitchen creative would do, and I compromised. I turned to the lone can of lentils that sat on the top shelf, and quickly my meal plan morphed from the world of miso gravy and kimchi, to a trip to the smooth and spicy landscape of curry, curry, and more curry.

And what was I left with at the end? A half a can of soft and mushy unused lentils in the fridge, that I gave new life to via this humble yet delicious take on hummus. With an extra kick of good fat and protein thanks to the addition of hemp hearts!

Amped-Up Lentil Hummus

• 1 C cooked lentils (freshly cooked or canned)

• 1 small clove garlic

• 7-8 fresh basil leaves

• 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 1 1/2 T tahini

• 1 T hemp hearts

• 1 T extra virgin olive oil

• 1/2 t cumin

• Sea salt to taste

Add all ingredients, minus the sea salt, to a small (2-4 cup) food processor. Process on low until desired consistency is reached. I like it a little bit chunky. Season with salt to taste.

If you only have a large bowl processor, feel free to double all of the ingredients. This will help bulk up the contents to allow for easier blending.

Hanker more from my recipe collection? Why not attend one of my vegan-raw cooking workshops? Upcoming classes include "Raw Harvest", "Intro to Raw" & "Raw Apps, Snacks & Small Bites." Details HERE.