Picture perfect creamy hummus provides protein


I love vacation photos. Not just my own vacation photos, but I like other people’s vacation photos, too. So, you can imagine I am glued to Facebook lately. It’s been like having a front row seat on a summer tour of Canada, France, Israel, Hungary, and just about every National Park in the U.S.

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, people used to invite friends over for dinner and a slide show to share their vacation photos. While many folks rolled their eyes at the thought of sitting through hours of the whirring projector fan, clicking slides and droning description of each vacation stop, I relished the vivid colors and sharp details of the Kodachrome slides.

Kodachrome, a film by Kodak, was different than other color films in that the dye coupler was added after the film was processed, resulting in a thinner film which made dark areas of the film deeper. This made for higher contrast and more intense colors, a trademark of the Kodachrome look. Kodachrome slides are no longer manufactured, but their appeal lives on.

Charles Phoenix, a humorist, author and self-appointed “Ambassador of Americana,” collects Kodachrome slides and incorporates them into his retro slideshow performances all over Southern California and the world. I recently liked his page on Facebook and have enjoyed a chuckle or two at his posts featuring a 1979 Mercury Bobcat, vintage signage at a skating rink in Oklahoma and a Kodachrome slide of a 1955 tract home billboard.

Having returned from my own vacation recently (Niagara Falls – it should be on everyone’s bucket list.), I noticed how many food photos I took while on vacation. Well, what would you expect, right? But what struck me was how vivid and appetizing the food looked when I played around with the filters on my phone, especially the one called “chrome.” I couldn’t help but wonder if it was inspired by the old slides from Kodak.

One of my goals this year was to incorporate more plant-based proteins into my diet. One great resource of non-animal protein comes from beans. For example, just 1 cup of kidney beans provides just over 15 grams of protein and healthy amounts of trace minerals like folate, iron, magnesium, manganese and molybdenum, an important component that helps our bodies break down the sulfites in food and certain beverages.

Kidney beans are also rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. What does that exactly mean? Soluble fiber is the fiber that binds itself to bile and cholesterol in the digestive tract and helps move it along to be eliminated out of the body. Insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation and aids in preventing digestive woes like IBS and diverticulosis.

According to the Food is Medicine website, kidney beans help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar, helping to control heart disease and diabetes. Thanks to their high fiber content, low glycemic index, and antioxidant effects, kidney beans are rock stars in the bean world.

The recipe this week is from the website sheknows.com. If you like regular hummus, you will like this kidney bean version. It is built on the same foundation of tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. The result is hummus that is creamy, lemony, and garlicky, but with a pretty pinkish hue, thanks to the kidney beans. I bet it would have looked even more beautiful captured on a Kodachrome slide.

Kidney Bean Hummus


  • 1 (15.5 oz.) can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 dashes ground cumin
  • 3 dashes ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or salt to taste)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, for garnish
  • 1 sprig parsley, cilantro or dill, chopped, for garnish
  • 2 tsp. pepita or sunflower seeds, for garnish
  • 3 teaspoons crumbled feta cheese, for garnish


Combine the kidney beans, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

To serve, pour hummus into a serving dish and drizzle olive oil on top. Garnish with fresh herbs, pepita seeds and feta cheese. Excellent with pita bread, crackers or fresh veggies.



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