I share quite a bit with you about the people who are closest to me. I’ve introduced to you my grandparents and, briefly, to my father. Why do I spend so much time writing about my family, rather than just sharing my recipes? Because it feels good. Sharing stories about my loved ones is my way of saying, “thank you.” Of expressing gratitude for the people who grace my life with joy and abundance. Who make my heart feel full.
I also believe that one of the first steps toward becoming gentler, kinder, more compassionate human beings is to recognize our place in the world. And with that recognition comes an overwhelming sense of humility and profound gratitude for all that we have been given.
Lately, it’s been troubling me that there remains one very important person in my life who I have yet to speak much about on this blog.
Whether she likes it or not, I am afraid her day has arrived.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to my mother, Mary.
Mom doesn’t like being the center of attention, so I’m afraid she’s grimacing as she reads this–especially as she sees I’ve stolen her Facebook profile picture and plastered it across the front page of my blog! But, since my words will be kind and my gratitude heartfelt, I think she just might forgive me. Besides, she’s grown accustomed to my shenanigans by now!
In reality, my mom and I are very close, although, judging by my posts alone, you wouldn’t know it. Why, you ask? Why haven’t I really talked about my mother in any of my posts? The answer is simple: She does not like to cook! (Shocking, isn’t it?) And it’s pretty darned difficult to center a good food story around someone who hates being in the kitchen. But, because my mom is, in fact, one of the coolest people I know, I felt she deserved her very own recipe post anyway.
Whenever I visit home, either for the holidays or for family events, I stay at my mother’s house. One of the reasons she looks forward to my visits is that she’s guaranteed a home-cooked meal every night. And a freshly made breakfast each morning. At Christmas time, I make tons of cookies and homemade confections, so she gets to sample whatever she likes without having to do any of the baking herself. Although, I will say, Mary does make some mean Christmas cookies. When the mood strikes.
Our visits are less about food and more about enjoying each other’s company. We spend lots of time talking, shopping, dining out, even going for long walks. I always have a blast when I visit my mother, and I am always a little sad when it’s time for me to leave.
That’s why I felt she deserved her own place on this blog. So, rather than regale you with cooking stories about my mother, I decided to share a recipe for one of her favorite snacks: hummus. Whenever I call her in the evening, if it’s past 9 o’clock (That’s when she has her nighttime snack.), she’s noshing on crackers and hummus. Not this particular hummus, mind you. I have yet to introduce her to sweet potato hummus, although, you can be sure, I will make a batch the next time I visit her!
The addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to this hummus make it a perfect holiday snack or appetizer, I think. And roasting the sweet potatoes beforehand makes them much sweeter and more flavorful than either boiling or steaming them would. (All of the sweet potato hummus recipes I reviewed call for steaming or boiling the potatoes first.)
To me, this feels like the perfect recipe to dedicate to my mom. After all, what says, “love” better than creamy, roasted sweet potatoes (except, maybe, chocolate-covered peanut butter cookie dough balls)? Plus, this hummus is simple, healthy, easy to prepare, and delicious. It is so scrumptious, in fact, that it’s impossible not to share this recipe with the ones you love. Because love, like gratitude, is of little value when we keep it to ourselves.
Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus
Makes 3 to 4 servings
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup peeled, diced sweet potato
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 tbsp sesame tahini
1 tbsp olive oil + 2-3 tbsp water, as needed for thinning
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tsp coconut sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
salt and pepper
paprika (for serving)
cilantro sprigs (for serving)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a sheet pan, toss sweet potatoes with 1/2 tsp olive oil, salt, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, sugar, and nutmeg. Roast until tender, 20-25 min.
Combine sweet potatoes, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or high-powered blender. Puree until smooth, adding water or olive oil to thin, as necessary. To serve, sprinkle with paprika and fresh cilantro.