Beet & Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Beet & Black-Eyed Pea Hummus from Eat Your Greens

Last week I was feeling low. I was tired, the weather alternated between gray and uncomfortably muggy and gray and frigid cold, and everybody in our house seemed off: the baby napping badly, Rob and I getting annoyed at each other about stupid things.

But the biggest blow came when I heard back from the director of the nutrition program at the only school in the New Orleans area with the classes I need to finish my coursework. After going through my transcripts, she determined that I would need to take 13 more classes. Thirteen. Four more semesters. At Cal State Northridge, I had four classes and two semesters to go. You can imagine how my heart sank.

Beet & Black-Eyed Pea Hummus from Eat Your Greens

I’m going to do it, of course. It helps that I went to the school to meet with the director in person, and she was warm, down to earth, and happy to welcome me into the program next fall. It’s been strange not being in school for the last year, so I am looking forward to getting back in the classroom and using my brain again.

I returned to school in 2010 to become a registered dietitian and — with my remaining schooling, dietetic internship and a masters degree still ahead — it’s looking like I won’t be a full-fledged RD, MPH until 2020, but these last five years have convinced me there is nothing else I’d rather do. As my wise friend and former classmate Jocelyn advised me, “Truly, at the end of the day — there is no rush. Especially if you enjoy the ride!”

Beet & Black-Eyed Pea Hummus from Eat Your Greens

Still, I needed a little pick-me-up last week. And luckily it came in the form of a casual Sunday dinner with some friends visiting from L.A. and a mutual friend who lives in New Orleans. There was some gossip, some movie talk, some mujadarah for dinner and Louisiana strawberries for dessert, and a bowl of this bright, creamy dip made with black eyed peas and roasted beets. It’s impossible to feel bad while sharing a bowl of hot pink hummus in your living room with friends.

This dip uses the basic formula I follow anytime I make homemade hummus: homemade beans, oil, lemon juice, tahini and salt. From-scratch beans and their cooking liquid are the key to light, flavorful hummus, I’ve found — although you can use canned beans, they just have a flatter taste that is hard to hide, even with lots of seasonings. I typically go classic with chickpeas, but this time I used a batch of black-eyed peas that I cooked in the slow cooker over the weekend. Roasted beets add sweetness, a little more body — black-eyed peas are less dense and more watery than chickpeas, so this combination works especially well — and of course that irresistible hue. I like the nuttiness of walnut oil with the sweetness of the beets, but extra virgin olive oil is just as good if you don’t have walnut oil on hand.

Beet & Black-Eyed Pea Hummus from Eat Your Greens

Bonus tip: this is the best & quickest way to warm up pita bread.

I served it with crudite and pita chips, but I’ve been finding all sorts of uses for the leftovers: slathered on a whole wheat pita stuffed with kale salad, spread on a grilled cheese sandwich, and even mixed with a little plain greek yogurt for a snack. Hummus, veggies and pita was one of my go-to, easy to pack lunches when I was in school full-time, so I’ll be remembering this recipe come August when it’s back to school for me.

Beet & Black-Eyed Pea Hummus from Eat Your Greens

Beet & Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Yield: About 2 1/2 cups

{ Ingredients }

2 cups (or one 15-ounce can) cooked black-eyed peas, drained, liquid reserved
1 cup roasted beets, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons walnut oil, plus more for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini

{ Directions }

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the black-eyed peas, beets, walnut oil, lemon juice, tahini and 2 tablespoons of the reserved bean cooking liquid until smooth. Taste and season with salt. Serve drizzled with a little additional walnut oil.

• You can substitute chickpeas in place of the black-eyed peas, but you may need to add additional bean liquid.

• You can use extra virgin olive oil in place of the walnut oil.

This recipe has instructions for roasting beets, if you need them.



  1. #
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health — March 10, 2015 at 5:58 am

    sorry about the extra classes but…it will go by so quickly!! i have been in graduate school for who knows how long but im enjoying the ride. we will all get there eventually 🙂 this hummus looks wonderful, esp with beets.

  2. #
    Michelle — March 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Good luck! I’m just starting out prereqs to get going on my path to RD and you’re an inspiration! You’ll get there 🙂

  3. #
    Marsha — March 10, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Ugh, this exact same thing happened to me last year when I transferred schools! I’m enjoying the journey along the way so it’s not that bad. I think the worst part is friends and family asking if you’re done with school yet and “why is it taking so long just to become a nutritionist?” Grr. Hang in there and just enjoy the day to day!

  4. #
    Thalia @ butter and brioche — March 11, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Sorry to hear about the tough times you are having! I completely understand how you feel – I’ve gone through a similar experience at law school. On a lighter note, this hummus looks super delicious!

  5. #
    Tessa | Natural Comfort Kitchen — March 11, 2015 at 7:55 am

    What a gorgeous dip! I just tried my first beet hummus at a restaurant last night, and I practically licked the bowl. This recipe couldn’t have come at a better time–fate! Can’t wait to try it.

  6. #
    Esther — June 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Sorry to hear about the extra classes. I’m at CSUN working on the DPD classes with grad classes and the internship ahead of me, so I understand how it must feel to suddenly have 2 extra semesters. Good luck. It will all be worth it in the end. And your blog is beautiful and amazing. Congrats.

  7. #
    Mikkel Magnuson — January 6, 2016 at 4:02 am

    Hello Anjali! Firstly I want to say Good luck for your classes and just enjoy this time . Time and tide never stops for anyone it always move with its speed but always changes the external circumstances w.r.t time for human being. So do your work with 100% effort in present,while your best time is waiting for you in the near future. Next you have shared best unique recipe. I am going to try this in the weekend . Thanks for sharing this and Good luck for the classes.

  8. #
    Malin Andersson — March 4, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Hello Anjali! Firstly good luck for your classes and just enjoy this time. Next you have shared best unique recipe. I am going to try this in this weekend. Thanks for sharing this and again good luck for the classes.

  9. #
    Floey — May 14, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Hi Anjali!

    I just found your blog! I was wondering – are you vegan? I am from southern cali as well and would love to ask you a few questions! I just recently decided to go vegan but am having a hard time.

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