Olive Oil Matters + A Hummus RecipeMar 27th

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pompeian.

For the past few months, cooking has been a real challenge for me. I blame it entirely upon my pregnancy. First there was the morning sickness, then the exhaustion, and finally the only-wanting-an-In-n-Out-Burger phase which I am finally beginning to vacate.

Ok, that’s not really true. I still want an In ‘n’ Out burger every. single. day. BUT I am also craving real food. I especially want items listed in the Mediterranean diet: olives, cheese, tomatoes, basil, hummus, pita bread, grilled meat, Greek yogurt–you name it, it sounds good to me.

I was thinking about it and realized that this pregnancy I haven’t bothered with restrictions as far as calories or food groups go. I pretty much only eat what I want–what sounds good. Unlike my previous pregnancies, I don’t crave sweets with this one. By and large, the items I desire have been high in protein, high in calcium, and high in folic acid. Hah. There I go only craving what I need. I’m SUCH a health nut!

{OK, I would REALLY like a good donut, too.}

These cravings have caused me to whip up a Caprese salad at 9:00 am. Yes, Caprese salad for breakfast. I have also attempted to make my own gyros with homemade tzatziki sauce.  Needless to say, I’ve gone through pounds of hummus and veggies ever since I hit the second trimester.

What’s wonderful is that I don’t feel guilty about these cravings. They are wholesome, healthy foods that actually benefit me and my little baby boy.

If you find yourself craving a Mediterranean diet you will quickly discover the importance of olive oil. Olive oil is in every. single. recipe. You can’t just grab a bottle and assume it will taste right. No, I’ve learned this the hard way. Olive oil can range from bitter to buttery and the difference will completely change the result of your meal.

I had the privilege of trying Pompeian Varietals in three different cravings recipes.

The first test: Caprese salad. Jiminey Christmas, I love me a caprese salad. Fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes, fluffy mozzarella, crisp basil, and buttery olive oil—Mmmm! Hard to beat.

I put Pompeian Varietals to the test, and let me just say, this was a big test.

pompei

The salad turned out quite lovely. I actually had a fork fight with my husband over this one. He is suddenly craving caprese as well. In fact, he asks for it at random (I’ve learned that husbands also have pregnancy cravings).

Next on the agenda was a Margherita pizza. Basically this is just a caprese salad on pizza crust. I told you my cravings were strong. Now, I’ll admit that pizza dough might not be the most challenging medium to try an ingredient like olive oil. It can easily be masked behind the flavors of the sauce, cheese, and toppings. However, our pizza crust was divine.

pizza

My kids each ate two pieces and my husband vowed to never order delivery again. Like THAT’S ever going to happen!

Finally, I tried Pompeian Varietals in a hummus recipe. My son and I love hummus. We are two people who can just eat it by the spoonful. We do not require dipping vehicles. Nosiree.

Pompeian

 

If you’ve ever made hummus before you’ll know that the olive oil plays a key role in the outcome of the dish. Hummus has a peculiar flavor–it hangs precariously in a balance of tahini and chickpeas. The olive oil has to compliment both ingredients. Further, the olive oil has to make up for whatever is lacking in the composition of the hummus. It’s sort of the filler–the correct-all if something is wrong with your chickpeas.

I put Pompeian Varietals to the test with some canned chickpeas. Praise the Lord–it worked! I offered Chaucer a pita chip with some hummus. He looked at it skeptically, dug into a drawer, and then produced a giant spoon. He proceeded to gobble the hummus like porridge. True story.

Olive oil matters, folks.

I had fun trying out my Pompeian Varietals Olive oil in three different dishes. While I craved each recipe, Pompeian Varietals sort of spurred me forward. What’s fun for me is that their brand covers a whole line of cooking supplies, from oils, to vinegars, to cooking wines, AND it’s affordable. If I trust a brand in one product, I’ll trust them else where.

I used the Koroneiki blend which is a full-bodied  and a bit peppery. They recommend this blend for soups and salads. There is also the Arbequina blend–known to be extremely mild and delicate tasting. The Picholene blend has a balance of bitter and fruity. I’ll be trying these two later.

Pompeian Varietals has inspired me to continue to develop my foundation for Mediterranean cooking. How about you? Are you obsessed with a certain type of food these days? What recipe would you try Pompeian Varietals out on?

Check out the Pompeian Website to see the different types of olive oil as well as yummy recipes.  

Here’s my hummus recipe! Let me know if you try it :)

Homemade Hummus Recipe pic

Easy Hummus

Ingredients

  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans--this small detail confused me!
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (reserve 1/2 tablespoon for later)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (for sprinkling)
  • Read more: http://www.inspiredtaste.net/15938/easy-and-smooth-hummus-recipe/#ixzz2xBG50DfR

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse the tahini and lemon juice until smooth. You want this stuff whipped up really well (it should look like organic peanut butter when done right). Add the garlic, olive oil, cumin, and salt. Remember to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to get the best possible blend.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Add half to the processor and blend for about a minute. Add a tablespoon of water and the remaining chickpeas. Continue to blend and add water until it has a smooth consistency.
  3. Pour the 1/2 tablespoon of oil on top, and then sprinkle with paprika, and serve with fresh vegetables, pita bread, or chips.
http://thehilljean.com/2014/03/hummus-recipe.html

Tracking Pixel*This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pompeian. All thoughts and opinions are my own :)

12 Responses to Olive Oil Matters + A Hummus RecipeMar 27th

  1. Kathy at kissing the frog March 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Look yummy!! I am totally pinning this to try later. Thanks!!

    • hillary March 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Gracias :)

  2. wendy March 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    I want that pizza in my face, like now. The hummus looks good too. Pinned!

    • hillary March 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Thanks, lady!

  3. Chris Carter March 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    I’m with Wendy- I want that pizza in MY face STAT. I will fight her for it!!! LOL

    • hillary March 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      It was SOOOOOO good! I need to get a pizza stone though–I think that would make for crispier crust :)

  4. Emma March 28, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    Wait–you’re having a boy?!?

    • hillary March 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      Yes, ma’am!

      • Emma March 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

        Awesome!! I bet Chaucer is happy:)

  5. Kellie March 28, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    Yum!! I LOVE me some Mediterranean food. Gyros, hummus, tzatziki, spanakopita, baklava…. Will give your hummus recipe a try for sure. Although, I have yet to be able to make a hummus at home that didn’t come out gritty, maybe I’m not blending it long enough? Thanks for sharing!

    • hillary March 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      Oooh I forgot about baklava! Now I want that too. It took a lot of blending to get the smooth consistency. Also you can add more water and olive oil to get it right.

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