Quick/Easy/Cheap Vegan Eating – All Hail Hummus!

May 28th, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Recipes



A lot of people ask me for easy vegan recipes, because they want to eat better but feel that they don’t have the means or the know-how. But it ain’t about all that!

Firstly, eating vegan is almost always cheaper. That animal stuff is expensive! This isn’t a financial obstacle, it’s a misunderstanding of options. So here, I’m aiming to get you thinking outside of the SAD (standard American diet) box.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to the most dynamic dip, and your new best culinary companion: the incredible, the unparalleled, hummus!

You’ve probably tasted this splendid spread, and perhaps you’ve even made it (1 can chickpeas, add tahini + EVOO + garlic + lemon juice + spices, then blend). You probably know that it’s full of nutrients, low in fat, high in protein, and easily altered to suit your every edible whim. But have you truly explored its endless versatility? Here are a few of my favorite applications:


Sandwich   Don’t leave the great garbanzo for carrot sticks and crackers. Stick it in a sandwich in lieu of meat or cheese! Flavorful and filling, this schmear is sure to shine. I usually layer avocado, tomato, and cucumbers for a simple Mediterranean flavor. It’s also great with kalamata olives + roasted peppers + spinach, or sprouts + shredded carrots + black olives, or hot green chiles + vegan cream cheese, or . . . well, you get the idea! Try it on toast or wrap it up in a whole wheat tortilla, or fill a cabbage cup for a gluten-free creation. It’s simply divine, and different every time!


Quality bread, like fresh baked no-knead, is key!


Quesadilla   This is hands-down one of Damian’s favorite dinners, totally simple and scrumptious. Cook it in a skillet just like the dairy version, but replace the cheese with blended chickpeas! Dress it up Mexican, Mediterranean, or however suits your fancy. We like ours with with bell peppers, black beans, olives, and salsa. They’re also great with grilled veggies, or fresh garden greens like parsley and cilantro. If you’re eating gluten-free, just substitute corn tortillas!


Easy green olive and green pepper quesadilla.


Pizza   Last but not least, one of my favorite creations. Unpretentious and nostalgic, pizza is just about as fun as food gets.  Once more the hummus fills in for cheese, and from there your pizza is all up to you. Top it with whatever excites you, from fresh or grilled veggies, to red sauce or pesto or olive oil, to exotic additions like thai cilantro or hawaiian pineapple. 100% unique, 100% awesome!


Simple pizza margherita with whole-clove garlic and fresh Italian basil.



Healthy, hearty, and utterly heavenly, hummus has it all! So now tell me, what’s your favorite creative way to feast on this most flexible food?




  • Jenny B.

    These are great Sayward. I have a question for you…my son, is a super picky eater and is vegan. It seems like for at least two meals a day he is having soy, which I read somewhere isn’t that great to eat a lot of…..What are your thoughts on soy useage? Thanks.

  • http://selfsufficiencygirl.blogspot.com Belinda

    Brilliant, thank you.

    And I completely agree about a vegan diet being cheaper. I’ve just turned vegan and last weekend made a tofu quiche just using leftover veggies and whatever was in my cupboard. I’ve had it every single day since then…and it’s only half-eaten! [Plus, vegan food lasts longer! It is as good today as it was on Sunday]

  • http://www.annechristensen.com/ Anne

    I have followed your blog for a while and absolutely LOVE it! I had no idea it’s only 4 months old, you’re doing an amazing job and I check in daily (if not more…). I’ve never posted here before but just wanted to introduce myself and say hi :) I look forward to reading more in the future, you’re a great inspiration.
    Best wishes from Anne.

  • http://www.annechristensen.com/ Anne

    I’m wondering about the details of making hummus and hope you can help me out. I checked out an earlier post and got your recipe but what *kind* of tahini should I aim for? Hulled? Unhulled? Fresh or dehydrated? Hmm..

  • Amber Kaplan

    Yep, I’m with Anne…can you post an exact hummus recipe complete with measurements and descriptions of ingredients for those of us less adept at the creative cooking thing? Thanks!

  • Margaretha

    Ooohh I’m already drooling! I agree with Amber and Anne, a recipe would be great! And for us Non-US-people; what’s EVVO? I always find myself scratching my head about what to substitute when I come across stuff like this :)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Jenny B. – There is *a lot* of literature out there regarding soy, and a lot of contradictory information. My personal thoughts are along the lines of: ‘everything in moderation’ and ‘processed foods are not healthful’. From what I understand, a lot of the health concerns come from phytoestrogens and from isolated soy proteins, which show up in the highly processed foods like fake meats and cheeses, but also in all sorts of foods (omnivorous included) like soups and sauces, etc. Corn and soy are in pretty much everything pre-made these days, and for that reason I tend to avoid them. I figure I’m already getting plenty!

    That said, I don’t think it’s anything to terribly worrisome. Compared to what most people are eating, a healthy vegan diet that’s a little tofu-heavy is still by far superior. Still, eating any one food too often is something I’d try to avoid. I’d say try almond, rice, or hemp milk instead of the soy milk. Maybe experiment with other meat substitutes, like a lentil loaf or chickpea cutlet or homemade or store-bought seitan.

    What kind of soy products is your son eating right now?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Belinda – So much cheaper! I don’t understand the misconception that vegan = pricier, but I need to figure it out so I can help to change it! =)

    @ Anne – Hi Anne! Thanks so much for posting and I hope I’ll be hearing more from you! Welcome! (also, the previously posted hummus recipe is for a RAW version – it’s not normal hummus and probably would not work for these purposes, just fyi)

    @ Amber (and Anne and Margaretha) – You guys are right, I’ll post a hummus recipe next week. It’s so easy and different-every-time that it feels like cheating to post a ‘recipe’, but I think it’ll be a good reference point to have on the site. Consider it done!

    @ Margaretha – EVOO is the shorthand way of saying ‘extra virgin olive oil’. Sorry for the confusion!

  • http://lushpunk.etsy.com Eden

    Hi! I came across your blog via a link from twitter/Haute Macabre – this is an awesome article, thankyou so much! I’ve been wanting to eat better as well, and even though I adore hummus, I hadn’t thought of using it in the inventive ways you have! Thankyou again ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Eden – Aw, you’re welcome! And yay for Haute Macabre, we love them!

  • Dan in Southampton, UK

    Hey Sayward,

    I’ve recently discovered your blog and love it! Am going through a hummus phase right now so this is great! I’ve been vegan for about 18 months now and the *only* thing I *kindof* miss is pizza so will be trying the hummus pizza (and quesedillas) very soon! I’m definately going to recommend your site to my veg friends here in the UK! Regards


  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Dan in Southampton, UK – Dude, I hear you on the pizza – I feel the exact same way. It’s the only thing I miss. There’s a new product in America called Daiya, and it’s a cheese sub that is SO amazingly good. It’s blowing up all over the place and getting really huge, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it hops the pond at some point. Anyway, point is it makes such good pizza!!! It melts and stretches and mostly it has the certain mothfeel of real cheese. Mmm, so good. You should look into it!

    But, hummus is also very amazing and of course, much healthier. Welcome to the site, I’m glad you like it here! =)

  • http://peanutbutterandginger.wordpress.com Lauren (PB&G)

    I would have never thought to make quesadillas with hummus! My parents usually make humongo quesadillas on the grill during the summer, maybe I’ll have her make a version with hummus for me! YUM!

  • Pam

    I spread hummus on my pizza crust last night and topped that with olive bruschetta and roasted veggies. Heaven!!!