Another reason to eat a salad…

by Khushboo on May 30, 2012

I have officially heard it all!  A 2010 study suggested that just like clothing and accessories, we women pick meals to enhance our desirability to the opposite sex.  In other words, we order low-calorie foods when dining in mixed gender groups.  Apparently meals like salads give off the impression that we are ‘healthy’ and ‘take care of ourselves’.  If that’s the case, I should have a number of guys lining up at my front door given my recent salad consumption!

With the weather in Mumbai becoming brutally hot, salads are just about the only thing I want to eat for lunch. Thanks to the endless topping options, I can’t imagine this ‘phase’ dying anytime soon.  As for ‘dressing’ my salads up, I prefer drizzling balsamic vinegar and then topping them with blobs of guacamole & hummus.  I want to say that my use of the latter is to get my healthy fats in but really, it’s more to do with the fact that they both just taste so good.  If anything, they MAKE the salad.

Over the weekend, I made a killer batch of hummus: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.  It was so killer that even though I expected it to yield 4 servings, my mom & I killed it in one sitting alone…whoops!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons reserved chickpea liquid (either from cooking or draining the can)
  • ½ cup roasted red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced (or 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste


  • Place all ingredients into a blender and process until the hummus has reached your preferred consistency
  • Scoop into a bowl and serve with your choice of dippers
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days…if it even lasts that long 😉

What’s your take on this study?  Is the food you eat affected by the company you are in?

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara K May 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

While I adore salads (and hummus) I find I’m actually the opposite! When I’m around guys I tend to eat less dainty out of fear of being stereotyped as a dainty eater. I think the recovery process I went through with anorexia permanently made me paranoid as being perceived as ‘too healthy’ or an undereater. If I’m eating one on one with someone who’s an acquaintance and we’re not sharing food then I’m more likely to get a salad- but most of my foreign friends will insist on sharing (which I’m not complaining about).


Khushboo Thadani May 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I avoid ordering a salad to spare myself from those irritating “all you eat is salad” or “you’re always so good” comments! And I’m with you about sharing- I love ordering family style especially when there are too many tempting options on the menu!


Honey What's Cooking May 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Khushboo, your recipe does look killer. I’ll try making this soon, I wanna make homemade hummus , it’s so easy and I buy this crap from the stores which I may or may not like. I just need to buy tahini.. sometimes I wonder what does tahini even do? Is there a substitute? I’m married, but I still find myself eating salads lunch time, well, to maintain my figure cuz all my fat goes to my tummy and we know that isn’t desirable to anyone. I mainly do it for myself.. and so my clothes fit better. 🙂 How do you stand Mumbai weather? I’m terrified of India during the summer season. My family in Delhi mentioned it is 45 degrees Celsius.


Khushboo Thadani May 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I only use tahini in hummus but apparently it’s great in salad dressings and even in sweet dishes! I was so hesitant to buy it initially because I wasn’t sure I’d use it but it has worked out great! And trust me- stay away from India during April & May- it’s HOT!


Krystal@Ms.Random May 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I made a greek salad yesterday, mmmm it was good. I dunno, I just can’t eat salad for a meal, I don’t get full….yes I am a weirdo LOL That hummus looks so good no wonder you guys demolished it lol I think I will have to try to.


Khushboo Thadani May 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Love Greek salads- more feta the better!


ritika May 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm

oh yeah i remember eating tiny portions during our looking-into-each-others-eyes days, but now i wolf down monstrous amounts of food. no shame. nada.
and while on salads, i love them, with innovative healthy dressings 🙂 my only gripe, why isn’t mayo healthy? 🙁


Khushboo Thadani May 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Hahahah love that- once he put a ring on it, then the real appetite came out? ;)!


JoJo May 31, 2012 at 3:51 am

I do agree that we eat differently around different group of people.
I end up eating more processed foods “not so healthy foods” when I’m with someone who eats that way regularly, it’s difficult to say “well, I don’t want to eat at a place you just suggested because it’s not healthy” you know?
I notice people making comments like “come on, order some ‘real’ food” when girls order salads, I wish there were no pressure on eating a certain way from people around! In the end, I eat what I want though! 😉


Khushboo Thadani May 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I definitely agree with what you’re saying- sometimes it’s easier to go with the flow rather than come across as the difficult one.


Charissa (@ColourfulPalate) May 31, 2012 at 8:37 am

Oh my word. Our posts are like identical. Wow.


Khushboo Thadani May 31, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Great minds is all I’m sayin’!


akila May 31, 2012 at 6:38 pm

wow this really looks awesome… when u find time, do visit mine….


Khushboo Thadani June 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

Thanks for stopping by!


forgottenbeast May 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Maybe this explains why I’m single ;D I love chomping down on an entire giant veggie burger, eating a plate of fajitas, and topping it all off with a good dessert–I eat healthy at home, but if I’m at a restaurant, you can bet I’m going for big, filling and tasty!


Khushboo Thadani June 1, 2012 at 8:21 am

Haha you and me both my friend 🙂


Nada May 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Oh Khushboo – if only that were true! If it were I have a sneaking suspicion prince charming would have shown up ages ago 😀 this hummus however sounds spectacular – I love adding roasted garlic and paprika for a super smoky taste! As for ordering food based on company, I have no problem pigging out in front of members of the opposite sex – but unless I’m at a vegan/veggie restaurant I’m usually the one munching on a salad (I do of course always ask for extra avocado and hummus 🙂


Khushboo Thadani June 1, 2012 at 8:22 am

Ohh good call on adding paprika…the more spice the better!


sprint2thetable June 1, 2012 at 12:45 am

As if I needed anther reason to eat salads. 🙂

Love that hummus – I alwyas add cumin to mine. Love the stuff!


Khushboo Thadani June 1, 2012 at 8:23 am

Same here, I’m tempted to even refer to cumin as my favorite spice!


ko0ty June 1, 2012 at 4:49 am

My work makes this killer red pepper hummus at our salad bars too. I need to try make it at home! Do you buy those roasted red peppers in a jar?

I always order what I want no matter where I am… even when eating all guys. I’m usually the one that eats the most. 😛 I hate ordering salads at a restaurant because it’s such a waste of money.


Khushboo Thadani June 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

Nope I just roasted it at home! I love ordering salads at restaurant as long as they are generous with toppings…and that too toppings which I don’t buy at home!


Tessa Merrick (@Tessa8m) June 1, 2012 at 4:54 am

This is a salad I would certainly enjoy, but my mom would LOVE it.. .roasted red pepper is a favorite of hers, I will have to share it with her! I find that when I am with guys, I eat more which is a good thing if you ask me! However with women, especially those conscious or watching their weight, well I start to eat light too becasue I don’t want to be the “huge one” with all of the food


Khushboo Thadani June 1, 2012 at 8:27 am

Lemme know if you make it for your mom- i hope she enjoys it :)! As for women and eating, I find I instantly click with those who have a good appetite.


Maria Braganza June 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Omigod! Khushboo, salads are a thang with me now! Remember how I hated them….And your killer Hummus is something I’m going to try out this weekend…it looks a lot like Indigo Deli’s Chef Clyde’s salmon Mousse…. really to die for, you know!!


Khushboo Thadani June 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Hahah noooo way, Maria- that makes me happy to hear! Lemme know how you like the hummus! 🙂


Gayatri June 7, 2012 at 8:59 am

Ohhhh I’m definitely going to try your recipe. I love hummus – on anything, with everything. In fact I’m craving hummus right about now. And reg salads, I love them too. But I can’t eat them too often or I start craving real bad fats and then binge. I’m a bad person, I know!


Khushboo Thadani June 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

Hahah not a bad person…more like a realistic person :)! Hummus is amazing on a spoon alone!


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