Mushroom Hummus and Lunchtime Vibes

Chickpeas are one of my favourite ‘go to’ meals – especially for lunch, when you don’t have the chance – or time- to spend a lot of time preparing your meal.

I got into the habit of making my lunch either very early in the morning (not everyone is keen to plod around in the kitchen at 4.00 like I am!), or while making dinner – you’re in the kitchen anyway, why don’t you just multi-task while you’re at it.

I do believe that it is important to set time aside to prepare and plan your meals, especially if you’re trying to follow a healthy eating regime. If you don’t have a lot of discipline, like me, it is very easy to just get takeaways, or grab something at the shops during your lunchtime – and those options aren’t necessarily the healthier ones?

Another reason why I prefer to have my lunch ready-to-munch to moment lunchtime comes around is that it give you time to actually enjoy your meal. No rushing around, battling the lunchtime crowd at supermarket tills or drive-through franchises – you can just relax and enjoy every bite – while conversing and catching up will colleagues and friends at work, possibly even catching some rays and fresh air while taking a break from your desk.

Okay, that was a long story that actually didn’t have a lot to do with this recipe – just felt like chatting a bit 🙂

I love making my own hummus. Firstly, it is really not complicated at all, and I’ve learnt a few tricks and shortcuts along the way that makes it a little more affordable – and healthy – that the store-brought version. I also put my own spin on it, sometimes add some veggies to jazz it up a bit, adding veggies etc as well. Like this Roasted Butternut Hummus: https://tastehealthyum.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/roasted-butternut-hummus/ and the slight twist on it with the “Mexican” Butternut Hummus https://tastehealthyum.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/mexican-butternut-hummus/

I very seldom use the traditional tahini paste in my hummus – mainly because it is quite pricey.  When I was a group leader for well-known slimming club a while ago (yes, I was actually thin ONCE), I was on a mission to create meals and recipes that will be easy to prepare – and also wouldn’t break the bank.  Tahini paste retails at about R100 for 400g – it will take you quite far, but I can understand that not everyone is keen to spend it on a product, if they are not sure that they will use it often enough – or if they even will like the taste, for that matter.  So I replaced it with sesame oil.  Yes, granted, sesame oil is also quite pricey (we buy ours for a fraction of the normal retail price at China Town in Cyrildene), but the very concentrated flavour takes you quite far, so you don’t use a lot of it at all.

So, here goes:

2.5ml sesame oil

200g chopped brown mushrooms

1 clove of garlic

150g chickpeas (tinned – drained)

A pinch of salt and white pepper

Fry the mushrooms in the sesame oil – you can add a bit of stock or water if it sticks to be pan.  When soft, stir in the garlic and fry for a minute or two – making sure that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend with a stick blender.  I prefer my hummus a little chunky, so I don’t blend it too much.

And that is it!  I had mine on a few Provitas, with some fresh vine tomatoes on the side – delicious and healthy 🙂

WL Breakdown – 2 Prot, 1/2 Fat, veggies

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Buddha Bowl with Roasted Butternut, Chickpeas and Curry Yogurt

Oh my goodness! I am setting a dangerous precedent here! Three recipes in three days? 😉 I guess I am just really feeling inspired – and especially because we’re having quite a few dinners out this week, I MUST make an effort to make sure that the rest of my meals are relatively healthy. And it actually feels good to spend some time in the kitchen – lately it has become my Hubby’s territory! Not that I complain too much 🙂

To throw this dish together requires almost no cooking – except the bulgar wheat of course. I made a large batch (read – enough to feed an army), so I will freeze it in individual portions, so that it is easy to whip out and defrost when needed. I usually do the same with most grains and pulses. A true lifesaver on most days!  Oh yes, and I oven-roasted the butternut!  Nearly forgot about that!  But it is really relatively effortless.  Pre-heat the oven to 180C, arrange butternut chunks on a prepared baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and roast until golden brown and soft (but not mushy!).

So it feels weird to post a recipe for a salad bowl, or Buddha Bowl, as it is often called. I found this interesting post on Yuppiechef’s website – about mindful eating, etc.  I think you will enjoy it!  https://www.yuppiechef.com/spatula/what-is-a-buddha-bowl-and-how-to-truly-appreciate-your-food/

Quite cool huh?  Often I just quickly finish my meal while either sitting at my desk or in front of the TV.  Definitely not mindful!  But I am working on it 🙂

So, I get distracted – as usual!  I am actually supposed to focus on sharing what I had for lunch yesterday.  Focus Roelia!

So, it is really just a few ingredients thrown together.

I started by layering the bowl with some chopped cos lettuce.  So you will start ‘packing’ the bowl by visualizing it being divided in quarters, or fifths, or however many ingredients you’ve got to add.

The various sections consisted of:

  • Roasted butternut
  • Chickpeas, mixed with some freshly chopped spring onion
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Bulgar Wheat (you can mix it with some fresh coriander)
  • Cucumber strips (I have a nifty ‘zoodle maker’ that I got from Clicks a good couple of years ago – works great, and it always looks quite pretty and impressive)

The quantity used depends on the size of your bowl, as well as your portion allocations, if you are following a more structured eating plan.

Dress with curry yogurt dressing – 1/2 cup of yogurt, with 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder stirred in, a small pinch of salt, as well as a good sprinkling of turmeric, to give it the beautiful yellow colour!  I make this dressing fresh every time I use it, and leave it to stand for a few hours, so that the colour and flavours can infuse a bit.

And that is it! Looks pretty hey?  🙂   Let me know what you think!

For WL portions:  90g cooked bulgar wheat (1 CC), 75g chickpeas (1 Prot), 125ml yogurt (1/2 – 1 portion Milk), the rest- just veggies 🙂

Couscous Chickpea Salad with Herby Yogurt Dressing

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Serves 1

 

90g couscous (prepared)

1/2 tin chickpeas (drained)

50g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Lettuce to serve

Dressing:  120g plain, fatfree yogurt.  1/2 handful chopped fresh mint and coriander

 

Mix the couscous, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and apple together and season.  Serve on lettuce leaves and drizzle with dressing!

 

How easy is that?? 🙂

#MeatlessMonday

 

Moroccan Apricot Couscous Salad

I really love Moroccan-style flavours – cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon!   And the best is – there is a fabulous ‘short-cut’ available – Woolies’ Moroccan Rub!  I use it so often, that I always buy 2 containers at a time!  Very versatile and convenient 🙂 And it works great with lamb, chicken and veggies.

Here’s a quick and healthy salad to make the most of those flavours:

 

Serves 1

 

80g cooked couscous

75g chickpeas (tinned/cooked)

A big handful of fresh rocket

30g soft dried apricots, chopped

10g toasted almond slivers

 

Dressing

100g plain fatfree yogurt

1/2 tsp Woolworths Moroccan Rub (if you don’t have this – you can make up your own morrocan blend -this recipe is great http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/moroccan-spice-blend-109356)

 

Mix couscous and chickpeas and place on bed of rocket, lightly stir through yogurt dressing.  Season to taste. Sprinkle chopped apricot bits and toasted almonds over it.

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2 CC, 1 Prot, 1 Fat, 1 Fruit, 1/2 Veg, 1/2 Milk

Inspired by Buzzfeed Recipe

Thai Chickpea Curry

If it is Thursday night it must be ‘vegetarian’ night!  🙂  Super healthy, quick and easy – curry for 1 coming up!

 

50g finely chopped onion

5ml peanut oil

1/2 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste

100g chopped red pepper

5ml Thai 7 Spice (Cape Herb & Spice)

a generous sprinkling of Robertsons Exotic Thai Season

75g chickpeas (tinned/cooked)

200ml fat free milk + a few drops coconut essence (saving calories, instead of using coconut milk)

Salt to taste

 

Fry onions in peanut oil until soft, add ginger and garlic paste.  Fry for another minute or two.  Add red pepper, spices and chickpeas.  Add some water if needed – simmer for a few minutes until red pepper is soft.  Add ‘coconut’ milk, season to taste and simmer for about 5 minutes.

And done!

Serve with some basmati or brown rice.  And fresh coriander (that I forgot this time around!)

(Not the best pic, I know!)

Thai Chickpea Curry

1 Prot, 1.5 Veg, 1 Fat

20 Minute Chickpea Curry (with Pumpkin Tagliatelle – and I can’t take credit for ALL that!)

Okay, I can’t take credit for the Pumpkin Tagliatelle – all the thanks go to Woolies!  But you can make your own using a veggie peeler 🙂  I’ve got a small spiraliser, but I found it works best for veggies like cucumber, baby marrow and carrots – nothing too ‘chunky’….

Anyway – Meatless Thursday – again!  Time sure flies…  😉

 

20-minute (cheat’s!) Chickpea Curry

1 tin chickpeas, drained

1/2 onion, finely chopped

5ml olive oil

1/2 tin tomato and onion mix

1 teaspoon curry powder (I used Woolies’ Korma mix)

1/2 teaspoon garlic and chili paste

1/2 tin lite coconut milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

To serve

Pumpkin “Pasta” – microwave in bag as per instructions for 3 minutes

100g cooked angelhair pasta

Fresh Coriander

 

Fry onions in olive oil for about 2 minutes – top up with a little veggie stock if needed.  Stir in garlic and chili paste, fry for another minute.  Add chickpeas, curry powder, tomato and onion mix.  Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.  Stir in coconut milk.  And it’s ready to serve!

Mix cooked pumpkin Tagliatelle carefully with cooked pasta. Top with chickpea curry and fresh coriander 🙂

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Serves 2

Carrot and Chickpea Falafel

A lovely vegetarian option!  🙂

 

200g carrots, cooked and mashed (or you can add it raw, finely grated)

75g chickpeas, tinned/cooked

20g fresh Italian Parsley

1/3 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 chopped red onion

10ml olive oil (I used jalapeno infused olive oil)

1/3 tsp Woolies Moroccan Rub (or you can just add a bit of cumin, cayenne pepper and coriander)

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Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend together.

Form little balls (I just used my hands!)

Put on baking sheet covered with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray

Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for about 15 minutes

Be careful when handling it, because there’s no binding agent (like eggs) it can break quite quickly.

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Serve with mint and yogurt dip!  (100ml plain fat free yogurt and a handful of chopped mint leaves)  I had it with a serve of toasted rye bread – very yummy if you mush everything together with the yogurt dip!

 

Mushroom and Chickpea Ragoût on Toast

Adapted from recipe seen on The First Mess

 

150g sliced mushrooms

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

50g leeks, chopped

5ml olive oil

1/2 tsp Worchestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp tomato paste

250ml chicken (or veggie) stock

75g chickpeas (cooked/tinned)

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Fry leeks in olive oil until soft, add a bit of chicken stock if needed.  Add mushrooms, fry for another few minutes and add rest of ingredients.  Simmer until most of the liquid has cooked away.  Serve with with warm rye bread toast.

 

Roasted Butternut Hummus

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200 g oven roasted butternut cubes (I only used non-stick oven spray when roasting it)

75g chickpeas cooked/tinned

5ml sesame oil

10ml lemon juice

1/4 tsp chopped garlic (to taste)

1/4 tsp groud cumin

Sprinkling of smoked paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Blend it all together, add a few drops of water if needed.

Serves 1 – 2 Veg, 1 Protein, I fat

 

Serve with crudites, or on melba toast/Ryvita, etc