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: and the slight twist on it with the “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

Mini Mushroom “Pizzas”

I’ve been craving pizza – so I decided to make a healthier option ūüôā¬† Lovely tomato, cheese garlic and herb goodness – the ‘legal’ way ūüėČ


3 large ‘braai’/brown mushrooms

100g tomato and onion mix/Weigh-Less Chili Tomato Pasta Sauce (I added a bit of garlic and herb paste to jazz it up a bit)

30g cheddar cheese Рgrated finely, it goes further!

1.5 slice Albany Ultima, grated to make breadcrumbs

10g olives, deseeded and finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

A sprinkling of Mixed Herbs


Remove the stems of the mushrooms

Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray

Stuff mushrooms with tomato mix (tomato base, herbs, breadcrumbs, olives and seasoning mixed together)

Top with cheese and sprinkle with Mixed Herbs

Pop into a pre-heated oven and 180C for about 20 minutes.


Serves 1 – 1 Veg (mushrooms = free), 1 Fat, 1 Protein, 1 CC

Mushroom and Chickpea Rago√Ľt 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)


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.


Greek Marinated Mushrooms Kebabs

Always looking for a yummy veggie side dish ūüôā¬† This is super easy and quite tasty!


250g button mushrooms (whole)

25oml plain fat free yogurt

50g  each chopped parsley and chopped coriander

1 heaped teaspoon chopped garlic (or a little less to taste)

Salt and Pepper to taste
Place mushrooms in a Ziplock bag or marinating bowl.  Add rest of ingredients, close bag and shake bag to mix Рleave to marinate for about 4 hours.  Thread mushrooms on skewers and grill until soft.



Barley, Mushroom and Green Bean Salad

Yesterday’s lunch! The last of my pre-cooked batch of pearl barley used! Managed to get 3 full meals out of it, so planning does save you lots of time and effort! ūüôā


Adapted from “Closet Cooking”

100g cooked pearl barley

100g green fresh green beans (I just poured some boiling water on it, and left it to stand for about 10 minutes – no cooking needed)

150g mushrooms (I marinated a batch of mushrooms – ovenroasted it for about 30 minutes, put it in a glass bottle and poured some white vinegar (about 150ml) over it, leaving it to stand in the fridge for a couple of hours)

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

A sprinkling of thyme and rosemary (I used dried herbs)

30g low fat feta

Salt and Pepper to taste

10ml white vinegar

5ml olive oil (lemon infused, but you can use normal olive oil with maybe a dash of lemon juice instead)

Lettuce to serve


This salad is very tasty if made in advance Рto give the flavours of the olive oil, vinegar and marinated mushrooms to develop a bit.  So try to make it the night before.

Mix all the ingredients except the feta and lettuce together.  Once ready to serve, stir in the feta and serve on a bed of lettuce.



Mushroom and Brown Rice Salad

250g brown mushrooms, sliced
5ml olive oil
140g cooked brown & wild rice
75g cooked (tinned) chickpeas
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Sprinkling of garlic salt
30ml red wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

Brown mushrooms in olive oil. Leave to cool.
Mix rest of ingredients plus mushrooms and leave in fridge for a few hours to “marinate”.


I served it on a bed of lettuce, with cucumber ribbons ūüôā

Serves 1  (big portion!!)  Р2 CC, 1 Protein, 1 Fat, 3 Veg (or count mushrooms as free veg!) 

Curry Pasta Salad and a Bonus!

Serves 2

200g cooked pasta rice (4 CC)

50g finely chopped spring onion (1/2 Veg)

5ml mild curry powder

120g drained WL tinned peaches, chopped (1 Fruit)

100g red and yellow peppers, chopped (1 Veg)

30ml chutney

90ml reduced oil/low fat mayo (2 Fat)

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate – best made a day in advance, to give the flavours time to develop!


As an additional extra Рthe other salad on the pic is a marinated mushroom salad!  Serves 2 as well:

200g mushrooms, chopped/sliced (free veg)

100g thinly sliced red onion (1 Veg)

100g cucumber (grated or spirals)

10ml lite soy sauce

50ml white vinegar (or to taste)

Leave to marinate overnight