Hummus Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

Hummus easy delicious healthy cancer cooking recipes

Chef Ryan Callahan’s Hummus Recipe is a delicious and healthy option when cooking for cancer patients during and after treatment.


Hummus Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

Ease of Preparation: Advanced Recipe

Dish Description:
Ten years ago, people would have looked at you as if you had five heads when you talked about hummus. Now, it is in every grocery store across America. It is a bean paste made from the chickpea aka the garbanzo bean. Hummus is actually the Egyptian word for chickpea. Due to its high protein content, the chickpea is a main food staple in the Mediterranean and Middle East. This recipe is fairly authentic. It is simple to make yet difficult to master. I highly recommend using canned chickpeas over dried ones as it can make quite a mess. The key here is to balance the lemon and the olive oil as explained further in the recipe. Hummus can be used as a sandwich spread, eaten alone, and has many other uses. You can infuse the hummus with garlic, roasted red peppers, olives, ground pistachios, or whatever you really feel like. It is exceptionally versatile, and its limitations are only that up to our imagination.

Tasting Guidelines:
This recipe should taste lightly savory and a little spicy.
The weight of this recipe is light but can be balanced with lemon juice and olive oil.
The texture of this recipe is creamy.
This recipe is good for people with low to severe treatment side effects.
This recipe gives an emotional response of healthy goodness.
This recipe is best categorized as classic Mediterranean.

Food Ingredients:
1 large can chick peas aka garbanzo beans
1/2 c. tahini (sesame paste)
olive oil as needed

Flavor Balancers:
kosher salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon

Aromatics:
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cumin (preferably roasted cumin)
fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

Garnish:
pita bread, cut into wedges, or savory cracker or crusty bread
olive oil (Regular cooking olive oil is fine or extra virgin olive oil if you are feeling fancy)

Recipe Directions:
Empty chickpeas into a pot and heat until warm, then drain. If feeling old school, mash chickpeas into mixing bowl by hand. If not, use your handy-dandy food processor to reduce chickpeas into a puree or a mash. I personally like to add the cumin and garlic at this point so it has a chance to cook into the hot chickpeas, mellowing the flavor. After thoroughly mashed, mix in this order tahini, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil.

What you are doing in this recipe is add the thickening ingredients first then adding olive oil to thin hummus to desired consistency. Check for thickness and flavor. Should taste warm and feel medium bodied at this point. If paste is very thin and watery, mix in more lemon juice because the lemon juice acts as a thickener. If paste is very thick, add more olive oil.

At this point, you have two choices: put the paste on the stove at a low heat, cover, and allow flavors to work together. Afterward, chill and serve with a healthy portion of olive oil floated on top. Or if you are happy with it, proceed to serve as is with a healthy dose of olive oil floated on top.

Serve with your favorite crusty bread, freshly made pitas, or crunchy snack.

Chef Recipe Tips:
If you are a purest and you have the time, you can use dried chickpeas that you properly prepared, taking care to remove the skins that float off. I personally don’t have time so I shortcut as do most people who make hummus at home. Typically, in American grocery stores, garbanzo beans are found in the Mexican or ethnic food aisle of a major chain. This style of bean-based spread, or tapenade, can be made out of any fatty, bean like fava, cannellini, great northern, lima, butter beans, etc. It’s fun to experiment and try different ones. Also, hummus can always be made with fun flavors like olives, roasted red peppers, and so on. I personally love to put hummus as a substitute for mayonnaise on turkey and Swiss cheese sandwiches.


Cooking for Chemo focuses on teaching you how to make your food taste good again during cancer and chemotherapy treatments. The flavor and cooking techniques contained within our easy to make recipes will help improve your quality of life as you go through cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Our cooking and flavor techniques can be integrated with any diet regimine. All of our recipes can be made with organic ingredients if you choose. Our holistic approach to cooking will help you not only be able to eat but to also enjoy the taste of your food again during and after cancer and chemotherapy treatments. We have many healthy recipes, crockpot recipes, chicken recipes, dinner recipes, shrimp recipes, pasta recipes, soup recipes, vegan recipes, salad recipes, vegetarian recipes, breakfast recipes, and even a great chili recipe. Talk with your oncologist and dietitian to come up with a quality nutrition plan. This site is not to be taken as or used instead of professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor, oncologist, and dietitian before starting any new diet.

This recipe is taken from Cooking for Chemo …and After! By Chef Ryan Callahan -The Cancer Chef. For more cooking for chemotherapy recipes like this, you can pick up a copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Have specific questions? Email us at cookingforchemo@gmail.com

About the Author:

Chef Ryan Callahan is a classically trained chef with fifteen years of culinary experience. He is also the author of "Cooking for Chemo ...and After!" Chef Ryan acted as his mother's primary caregiver while she herself went through chemotherapy treatments.