Hummus for Breakfast? Yep, and Even in Mashed Potatoes

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For many of you, hummus is probably not on your list of favorite things to eat, but it should be. Hummus is a healthy, tasty and satisfying food you should incorporate into your diet.

I have been a huge fan of hummus for many years; I love dipping carrots, pita chips, crackers and other veggies into it for a snack, or adding it to my salad to act as a healthier (and sometimes tastier) alternative to dressing.

One of the most popular brands of hummus, Sabra, is traveling around the country with a hummus food truck serving up samples of hummus with various foods to pair with the creamy dip, and now is in Houston until September 5. Follow the truck on Twitter @Sabratruck1 for information about the truck's daily locations.

Chef Diane Henderiks works with Sabra and has developed a wide variety of hummus recipes which include adding hummus to your breakfast and your mashed potatoes.

"I think people need to give it a try," Henderiks says. "People are kind of like 'hummus, what is that?' Hummus traditionally can be gritty and that's where Sabra stands out. It doesn't have the hard grit."

The creamy consistency of hummus allows it to be incorporated into a variety of dishes you wouldn't think would be possible, as in a chicken enchilada casserole, with deviled eggs, and in my opinion, the most surprising dish, in mashed potatoes.

"It cuts down on the butter and cream," Henderiks says. "If you do three parts mashed potatoes and one part hummus, they are delicious."

Henderiks also suggests trying some of the different flavors of hummus in mashed potatoes, such as chipotle or roasted garlic, to easily incorporate flavors without adding any extra prep or cook time.

For the chicken enchiladas, Henderiks starts with making a homemade enchilada sauce - you can certainly use a jarred or canned sauce - which she spreads on the bottom and tops with corn tortillas. She bakes chicken with cilantro stems and rice wine vinegar in a dish covered in water, then shreds the baked chicken and mixes it with hummus, low fat cheddar cheese, low fat sour cream and cumin. Finally, she places the chicken mixture on top of the corn tortillas and repeats until the casserole dish is filled, then tops with black olives.

One of Hendriks's favorite ways to use hummus is in hot dishes like the enchilada casserole. Whereas many people think hummus is strictly a cold dip, it can be used in a variety of hot dishes, like pasta, garlic bread and even as a spread on pizza made with pita bread.

It's easy to understand how hummus can be used in savory lunch or dinner meals, but using it in an early morning breakfast dish seems to be the most unconventional, however, Henderiks has a recipe that her 15-year-old son likes.

"One of my favorite breakfast dishes is a whole wheat English muffin," Henderiks says. "I toast it and spread hummus on the toast; I take an avocado and mash it on top of the hummus, then add some lime juice, fresh cilantro and a hard boiled egg. The lime pops the hummus flavor."

Sabra spokeswoman Ilya Welfeld and Chef Diane Henderiks both believe that everyone should give hummus a shot and that they should start with a flavor they are familiar with and enjoy. Sabra has sixteen different flavors of hummus, like basil pesto, roasted red pepper, jalapeno, and sun dried tomato.

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