When I first heard about the required ingredients for the June 2009 round of the Royal Foodie Joust, I considered myself out of the running. I did not want to bother creating an entry because I simply do not use or enjoy two of the three ingredients: rice, bacon, and tomatoes. I find fresh tomatoes delicious, and I like tomato sauce, but I cannot stand hot, cooked tomatoes. Ugh. I don't know why, but they make me nauseous. Also, I don't like the greasiness of bacon, even while I think crispy bacon tastes good but not worth the effort or the calories. And I simply don't use rice. Instead, I'll use bulghur, which is far higher in protein than white or even brown rice. So I figured that I would be a no-show for this month's Joust.
Until two nights ago. For some reason, ideas started percolating in my brain. Joust ideas. Bacon, rice, and tomato ideas. I came up with two dishes I thought would be quite tasty. The first was savory cottage cheese pancakes made with rice flour, diced tomatoes, and vegetarian (ahem, fake) bacon.
Not too bad sounding, but my second idea won out. How does a maple bacon hummus with sundried tomatoes, served with almond rice crackers and a fresh crudite sound? Pretty darn interesting, if nothing else. Besides, I adore hummus. So last night I got out a can of garbonzo beans, my food processor, and non-traditional visions of hummus and played around. The result was this recipe.
A note on the fake bacon -- I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't really enjoy real bacon. Similarly, I don't like real hotdogs. Turkey versions of both are fine with me, but I prefer vegetarian soy-based options. Not for any ethical reasons, but simply because I think they just taste better. At least, they taste better to me in the cases of bacon and hot dogs. (Burgers are another story. When I want a burger -- I want a burger. Also, why go with soy patties when black bean burgers also rock my world?) For this recipe, I stocked up on LightLife's Smart Bacon. (Feel free to use pork or turkey bacon as you desire.) The soy strips are not bad tasting, although are obviously not real bacon, and crisp up nicely in the toaster oven. They also happen to match quite well with this recipe's tangy flavors. Good thing!
Maple Bacon Hummus with Sundried Tomatoes
3 slices Smart Bacon, toasted for 5 minutes at 450* in a toaster oven
6 sundried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
1 15.5 oz. can garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 T maple syrup (I used sugar free)
1 T minced garlic
1 T BBQ sauce
1/2 T Worchestershire sauce
1/2 T cider vinegar
1/8 tsp Sriracha (hot chili sauce -- use more or less to taste)
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Process until a smooth paste forms, adding water as necessary. Serve with crackers, chips, fresh fruits and vegetables, flatbread, as a sandwich filling, as a salad topper, or any other way you can devise. I served my batch with tonight's dinner alongside garlic naan bread, low-fat bacon cheddar-flavored baked potato chips, and a yellow lentil curry.
Makes three to four half-cup servings.