I ate hummus with every meal for a week: this is what happened

It wasn’t as easy as you might think

When I was challenged to eat hummus with every meal for a week, I was up for it. Who wouldn't want to eat hummus for every meal? I love hummus, so didn't see how eating it all the time would be an issue. However, I soon realised that it was a huge undertaking, so I had to make some form of meal plan and strategically buy hummus so that I wouldn't just be eating the same flavour all week.

I bought plain, Moroccan and sweet chilli hummus for variety, and looked online for some meal inspiration, as well as calling on some of my usual meals to get through the week.

To prove that this challenge was not as easy as it seemed, I documented my week's meals so you can see what happened.

Day 1

Breakfast: Hummus on toast with cucumber

Lunch: Falafel, hummus and salad pitta

Dinner: Roasted vegetables and hummus

Day one wasn't that difficult. Breakfast was standard for me, and falafels and hummus are always a winning combination. Roasted veg and hummus is always a good shout, even if I had to pad it out with another pitta. This hummus lark isn't that hard, right?

Image may contain: Vegetable, Produce, Plant, Food, Flora, Cucumber

Hummus on toast topped with cucumber is always a good shout

Day 2

Breakfast: Hummus and pitta with cucumber

Lunch: Moroccan hummus, falafel and salad wraps

Dinner: Halloumi salad with hummus on the side

Today was more challenging, just because I became more aware that hummus limits you on what you can eat and my feeble attempts at meal planning hadn't prepared me for that. Breakfast was a bit of a letdown, but I was in a rush so it was all I could throw together before leaving the house.

I dropped the falafel out of my wrap at lunch which resulted in a small meltdown before my afternoon's tutorials. When a girl loves falafels as much as I do, any loss is of huge impact. At dinner I discovered that Co-op Moroccan hummus in fact tastes like fajita mix which was not what I was anticipating. Nevertheless, I enjoyed dinner, and I can firmly recommend my go-to dish of halloumi with hummus (even if it tasted different to what I had anticipated).

Image may contain: Plate, Meal, Dish, Salad, Food

Absolute winner apart from the Mexican tasting hummus

Day 3

Breakfast: Hummus on toast (again)

Lunch: Pea and ham soup with hummus on toast

Dinner: Baked sea bass topped with hummus and salad

Day three was not easy. Hummus on toast for breakfast is great until you've eaten it for several days in a row. Sure, I could've pushed the boat out and made eggs or something, but a) my breakfast culinary skills are not great and b) I would rather have a lie in than get up early to try and new recipe that would probably end in disaster like the time I tried to make banana pancakes.

Lunch was not enjoyable, but that was mainly due to my poor choice in soup. I normally like pea and ham soup, but took more enjoyment from my second helping of hummus on toast of the day than I did from the slimy offering that had been advertised as soup. Dinner wasn't my best culinary masterpiece. Hummus on sea bass is not the best thing I've ever made, and although I ate it, I'm not inclined to make it again. At this point, I was beginning to see why hummus is marketed as a dip above anything else: it doesn't go with everything.

Image may contain: Creme, Cream, Food, Dessert, Cake

Bad, bad decisions

Day 4

Breakfast: Hummus on toast (when will this fresh hell end?)

Lunch: Cheese and hummus sandwich

Dinner: Cous cous, tuna, hummus concoction

Day four was slightly better than day three although hummus on toast had completely lost its appeal. Lunch wasn't actually that bad: cheese and hummus are an unlikely pairing but they work pretty well and it satisfied my constant cravings for cheese that were nagging away for four days.

Dinner wasn't all that bad either, even if I got bored of eating the claggy mix halfway through. I probably would've enjoyed dinner more if I had stuck to my meal plan and gone and bought a tuna steak, but I was short on time so canned tuna was my only option. My mouth felt a bit numb afterwards from the texture, but it was still edible.

Day 5

Breakfast: Hummus on toast topped with tomatoes (really pushing the boat out with this one)

Lunch: Cheese, hummus and salad wrap

Dinner: Sausages with hummus mash, broccoli and gravy

I powered through with another breakfast of hummus on toast, but decided to liven things up with tomatoes in order to avoid another hummus related breakdown. Having discovered that hummus and cheese are actually pretty good together, I had the combination once again, taking full advantage of the fact that I could eat one of my favourite things within the challenge that I had been set.

I actually stuck to my meal plan for dinner, and my pathetic attempts at planning ahead really paid off. I love sausage and mash, and this really hit the ticket. Hummus mash was nice, although a little claggy, so the gravy was needed (even though my gravy resembled something closer to dishwater than gravy). Despite all that, it was one of the nicest things I have had for dinner this week, and made a welcome change to some of the disasters that I had produced throughout the week.

Image may contain: Bowl, Vegetable, Produce, Plant, Food, Flora, Broccoli

One of my more triumphant meals despite the very thin gravy

Day 6

Breakfast: Bacon sandwich with hummus instead of my condiment of choice

Lunch: Sweet chilli hummus, feta and salad sandwich thins

Dinner: Pasta with hummus and tomato sauce

So, day six was not a good day. Hummus does not replace ketchup on a bacon sandwich. It's not awful, but it's not the same. There's something about ketchup on a crispy bacon sandwich that hummus will never be able to replace. Lunch was enjoyable, and the flavoured hummus I bought actually tasted like what it was advertised as. Dinner was somewhat of a disaster.

I found a recipe for the hummus tomato sauce thing online that had rave reviews but it was not a success. I will not be trying this again. Whether it was just me not properly following the recipe properly or that the recipe was in fact disgusting, my dinner resulted in my third hummus related breakdown of the week followed by my flatmates consoling me by letting me have control of the TV remote.

Image may contain: Tire, Toast, French Toast, Food, Bread

Hummus is no match for ketchup

Day 7

Breakfast: Sausage sandwich with hummus

Lunch: Cheese and hummus sandwich thins

Dinner: Chilli hummus and coriander crusted lamb steak with cous cous and broccoli

I begrudgingly put hummus on my sausage sandwich this morning as my need for a sausage sandwich outweighed having to put hummus on it. At this point, I was so sick of hummus I was looking forward to being able to eat whatever I wanted, including other condiments like mayonnaise and hot sauce. I had my new favourite sandwich filling for lunch with some cucumber on the side to try and trick myself into believing that I had eaten something reasonably healthy that day.

Dinner, what can I say about dinner? Cooked hummus is grim. DO NOT TRY IT. I found the recipe for the hummus crust on the internet but honestly, I couldn't eat it. Luckily I put one steak in the oven without the hummus crust, so I could actually eat something with my cous cous and broccoli. I had been dubious about this recipe when I came across it, but, again, there were rave reviews, so I figured I would chance it. This chance wasn't worth it. I will never cook hummus again. If anything, this final disaster made me appreciate being able to eat whatever I want.

Image may contain: Vegetable, Produce, Plant, Food, Flora, Broccoli


What did I take away from this week?

Hummus is great and all but eating it for a week was hard work. Some of my meals were disastrous, and I can safely say that I won't be eating hummus for a while. Hummus should be enjoyed in moderation, and absolutely should never be cooked. Yes, I had several hummus-related breakdowns, but so would you if you had made the same mistakes that I had.

In hindsight, I probably should have meal planned a bit better, and bought ingredients ahead of time, but improvisation isn't always a bad thing, and, honestly, I don't meal plan in my day-to-day life so is it really that surprising that I didn't meal plan for this? This challenge was just that: a challenge. I still like hummus, but I won't be reenacting this experiment any time soon, with hummus or any other food.

University of Edinburgh