When we first decided that we wanted to go to Africa this year, we sat down and re-did our budget to accommodate our big trip. It immediately became apparent that we were spending enough money on groceries to feed a family of ten. It was a sad day at Duke’s House. After scanning old grocery receipts for high cost items (Everyone’s mother instills in them an almost compulsive need to save old grocery receipts, right?) I selected a few places from which we could cut a huge percentage of the grocery budget.

In came the Suave shampoo, out went the Laughing Cow Cheeses. I swapped my breakfast of laughing cow wedges and organic whole grain crackers for Quaker Oats, sometimes even Great Value Oats. Chris made a fair amount of trade-downs as well, although I remember mine more because they affected me more.

With this exercise came the realization that hummus is expensive. We stopped buying it altogether for a few weeks, but that wasn’t a sustainable solution. I was craving mashed chickpeas like no other. I considered making hummus from canned chickpeas, but calculated that it would be even more expensive than pre-made hummus.

Finally, in desperation, I decided to buy dried chickpeas. To many, that doesn’t seem like such a crazy plan, but I had never soaked or boiled a bean in my life. This was new territory.  Luckily, it worked and the hummus turned out great. Surprisingly, my grocery store that doesn’t sell fresh parsley does sell tahini. Who would have guessed?


  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed (or about 4 tbsp of minced garlic)
  • 245 g dry chickpeas (or 2 x 15-oz cans of chickpeas, drained)
  • 2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Pine nuts (toasted) and parsley (chopped) for garnish – Optional – Not included in calorie count


  • If using dry beans, cook until tender following instructions on the package.
  • Drain beans (dry or canned).
  • Put all of the ingredients in a food processor.
  • Puree in food processor until smooth.

Servings ~ 33 (2 tbsp each)
Calories ~ 64, Fat ~ 4.5 g, Carbohydrates ~ 5 g, Protein ~ 2 g

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