2 cloves garlic
2 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium chickpeas, well rinsed, divided
1/3 cup tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1. Mince the garlic in the work bowl of a food processor; add all but about 2 tablespoons of the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt and cumin, and puree until smooth. With the machine running, slowly stream in the 1/3 cup olive oil. When it is fully incorporated, again, with the machine running, stream in 1/4 cup warm water.
2. Taste and adjust the lemon and salt as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl, and use the back of a spoon to swirl a channel in the hummus. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the channel and sprinkle the reserved whole chickpeas and parsley over the top. Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 145 calories, 4 g fat, 11 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 256 mg sodium
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, very finely minced
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Squeeze the grated cucumber of all excess liquid and combine with the olive oil, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice and salt. Mix well and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 74 calories, 3 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 109 mg sodium
BABA GANOUSH (ROASTED EGGPLANT DIP)
2 medium eggplants (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat the foil with cooking spray.
2.Pierce the eggplant in 6 to 8 places with a fork. Place on the baking sheet and roast, turning once or twice, until the eggplant is completely withered and very tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes.
3.Scoop out the pulp of the eggplant and place it, along with the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and salt in the food processor and purée. Taste, and add lemon juice or salt as needed. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 149 calories, 4 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 201 mg sodium
TIP: All dishes may be made one to two days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.