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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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

Pea and Herb Spread for Meatless Monday!

Here’s another #MeatlessMonday recipe!¬† I am always looking for vegetarian options (no, I am not a vegetarian, but really enjoy veggie meals).¬† And to find some that doesn’t have spinach and aubergine and celery in (bleh!) can be challenging.¬† But we manage quite well on most days!¬† I really try to make an effort on Meatless Monday, for health reasons and purely out of habit!

So, here goes:

280g peas (I used frozen peas, and just poured some boiling water on, and leave to stand for a bit – then it retains the beautiful, fresh green colour!)

2 tbs plain fat free yogurt

A big handful of fresh herbs – used basil, thyme, rosemary and sage

75g chopped cucumber

A bit of fresh garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Mixed everything together with a handblender (or food processor)

Served on crackers (RyVita), topped with 60g of fat free feta.

Quick and easy!

20-february-2017-pea-and-herb-spread

Sweet Potato Salad #MeatlessMonday

Although I really love Sweet Potato, I seldom managed to cook it without it being mushy.¬† And mushy is absolutely fine – but not in a salad!¬† Also, I’m so used to it being served with lots of sugar/honey/butter, etc.¬† So I was keen to try a ‘healthier’ option. So with this one I actually didn’t do too bad!

So here is a lovely Meatless Monday salad!  It is based on a recipe I saw in the Ideas Magazine a while ago, but I did tweak the quantities and ingredients a bit.

 

160g cooked sweet potato cubes (soft but not mushy!), kept aside to cool

50g grated carrots

2 – 3 sundried tomatoes, cut into strips

30g low fat feta, crumbed

1/4 red onion, chopped

Mix all these ingredients together

 

Dressing – mix 30ml low fat mayonaise, 30ml white wine vinegar, about 1 ml Worcestershire Sauce

 

To serve – lettuce and chopped fresh parsley

 

Putting it all together for serving:

Place sweet potato mix on a bed of lettuce, drizzle dressing over and top with some freshly chopped parsley

 

2016-11-14-sweet-potato-salad-2 2016-11-14-sweet-potato-salad

WL breakdown:  2 CC, 1 fat, 1 Prot, 1 Veg