Brenda Stanley
Belle's Sun-dried Tomato Hummus is a delightful appetizer that will leave holiday guests wanting more.

When the holidays roll around, one thing's for sure at my house: There will be lots of food. Holiday meals are large and lengthy with lots of conversation — and calories. It seems we can’t do a meal during this time of year without dessert and even appetizers.

One of my favorite treats before dinner is something that is actually good for you — sun-dried tomato hummus. Before you turn your nose up at something new with a weird name think of it as bean dip with a twist. That is actually what hummus is — garbanzo beans. They are also called chickpeas and they are full of protein and fiber.

When they are pureed with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and spices, they turn into a fresh and flavorful dip that is perfect for guests during the hefty holiday season.

Belle’s Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

1 15-ounce can chickpeas (drained but reserve the juice)

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add some of the chickpea juice to get the right consistency.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of

twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author and novelist. Her website is at