Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hummus & Veg

Yesterday (Wednesday)  I made some vegetable juice for lunch and had a pasta stir fry with lots of vegetables and shrimp for dinner. It was great but I was so full.  Today that juice really worked on me to cleanse my system.  So today I made juice again but I reversed the order of meals and opted to have juice for dinner.  Instead of my usual and savoured coffee, I had several cups of green tea.

I had my regular lunch and tonight I had a green juice instead of the fennel I talked about yesterday. I made spinach juice with some cauliflower and a small amount of apple for sweetner. I also added some water and some green powder (full of spirulina and such like). It was good with the apple otherwise it would have tasted like alfalfa (I know what tastes like as mom used to make a health potion when I was a child and it had alfalfa powder in it).

My spinach - cauliflower and apple juice.

Yesterday I boiled up some chick peas to have on hand for when I want to make hummus.  So tonight I made hummus and had that with some veggies, whole wheat pita warmed up in the oven and of course my green juice.

I was feeling very tired today. It seems that almost everyone I speak with near or far has some kind of early cold bug. I got mine last week. My acupuncture doctor even told me today that her pup has a "doggy cold". I didn't know dogs get a cold but she says it is phlegm in his chest and she is treating him like she treats her human patients.  Giving him herbs to expel the mucus.

I suppose it is the change of weather and seasons that is making people sick. Hopefully the greens will help me keep my immune system strong. I noticed I got over the little cold I had last week and it hardly bothered me at all.

A sample of my dinner.

Hummus is a popular dish that originated in the Middle East. It is a spread, dip, or paste made of chickpeas and tahini that is usually eaten with pita or any other flat bread, often during breakfast. It has a texture and consistency similar with peanut butter. This Middle Eastern favorite is widely used in countries like Syria, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Lebanon. Its popularity is rooted not only from its delicious taste but also from its great nutritional value.

The nutritional benefits of hummus can be gleaned from each of its ingredients. The primary ingredient, chickpeas are very healthy because they do not contain any cholesterol or saturated fats. They are also rich in protein. This makes hummus a favorite among vegetarians. Chickpeas are also known to be effective in preventing build up of cholesterol in the blood vessels. Apart from that, it can maintain correct blood sugar levels. So chickpeas are a perfect food for my health issues.  Olive oil is a healthy fat and can help regulate cholesterol and protect the heart from various diseases. Garlic and lemon juice are great antioxidants and help strengthen the immune system and help fight bacteria and viruses. Tahini is full of fat and calories but you don't need much if you use it in your hummus.  I don't generally use tahini in my hummus because it is just one more ingredient I have to have on hand and I wouldn't use it very often.  My recipe for hummus is therefore, "tahini free".

Ingredients for hummus

- chick peas cooked
- liquid from the stored chick peas
- one small red pepper
- cloves of garlic to taste
- lemon juice to taste
- olive oil not too much, just enough to make it a bit smooth
- a bit of salt to taste

Whip all this up in a blender or food processor. I add the olive oil slowly at the end so I don't add too much and I add the salt at the end too.  Perhaps you don't even want or need any salt in your hummus. Taste it first and see.  I added the red pepper because I like red peppers and it adds a slightly deeper colour.

I boil up dried chick peas most of the time rather than buy them canned. After I cook them I store them in the refrigerator in a covered container with a bit of water.  I use some of that water in the hummus mixture when I process them.

My hummus was all right but I rushed to make it so I can have dinner before 8 p.m. and I need to work on getting the right balance of garlic and lemon juice.  The consistency was perfect and went well with my warmed up pita.

Try it and let me know how you like it :-)


_ said...

Inspiring :) I'll definitely be having hummus & pita after reading this...

Joyful said...

Hi Mic, I'm so glad I've inspired you ;-) I hope you enjoy it. Happy eating.

Brenda Green said...

Penny, the picture of the sample dinner and all the info on hummus is very interesting. thanks, have a blessed day! hugs, me

Joyful said...

Hi Brenda, I'm glad you could drop by and that you learned something about hummus. It really is quite tasty. Hugs xx

Lonicera said...

I adore humus, but must confess straight away that I'm too lazy to make it myself, since supermarkets sell all kinds. I like the original fine grain, creamy one, and enjoy it with toast, or Ritz biscuits, or toasted pittas. It does go off very quickly though - in a few days it's already gone a funny colour...
I liked the look of your dinner!!

Joyful said...

Hi Caroline, I understand what you mean. I never used to make hummus because it is readily available here in restaurants and shops. But the cost is outrageous for a couple of chick peas and olive oil. That is why I started making it myself. In order to get it so nice and creamy and full bodied they have to put in more olive oil than I'm using so that is another reason I make it at home ;-)

Jo said...

Hi Penny, I knew you'd have a recipe to motivate me to use my next meal to get me on the road to recovery. As you know, I've been very down and don't have energy for making huge meals. This will do me fine tomorrow night when the men have BBQ. I've bought a pressure cooker and use fresh chickpeas as well. It's also quick to cook lentils (called gram here in Kenya) beans and other legumes avaiable at the local village market. Bless you dearest friend for your love and thoughtful advice. Blessings. Jo

Joyful said...

Hi Jo, I'm so glad you found a recipe to use while the mean are eating their BBQ. I think you will enjoy the smooth, rich flavour of the chickpeas. I don't have a pressure cooker yet due to my small cupboards. Perhaps some day .... Get well soon my friend.

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