Lunchtime Lettuce Wraps and a Hummus Obsession

These days, I get home from working my current (soon to be over) job around 10 AM, and then have approximately four hours until I head back to work a few more hours. Suffice it to say, I will not miss the pre-dawn wake ups or the double commute. With that, however, I usually get up to some lunchtime experimenting. Weeks ago (oops, blogging is hard…) I had just made hummus and I wanted to eat it! And not just by the spoonful, although no shame in that regard. We didn’t have any bread, or anything to make sandwiches, but a whole bag of romaine lettuce awaited me… YUM.

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The lettuce wraps came together with what was in the fridge. In this case: cucumber, avocado, capers, tofu, cilantro, and some soy sauce to finish. And that is the beauty of lettuce wraps (or any wrap!), whatever works. The cucumbers and avocado made me want capers, and the tofu made me want soy sauce. I just chopped up the veggies, pan fried the tofu with some coconut oil to add some extra flavor and texture. It was indeed a beautiful harmony. Each wrap was crunchy, soft with the hummus and tofu, and amazingly flavorful, a great balance of salty, bitter, and tangy.

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Speaking of tangy, let’s move on to homemade hummus… Infinitely better than the store bought stuff.

Here are some things I love about making my hummus:

  • I actually use my arm muscles to pull Sam’s food processor down from a top shelf (one of the many perks of moving in with someone else quite obsessed with food, so many appliances!), those weaklings I don’t use every day.
  • It’s exactly the kind of hummus I like, lots of lemon, spicy with garlic, and a healthy dose of tahini. Oh, and nice and thick and fluffy.
  • I feel very accomplished afterwards, having made something that always seemed a bit overpriced to me at the grocery store (also feeling silly for not having made it before)!

And here’s the easiest recipe!

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • the juice of one lemon (and more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, depending on taste and size
  • 1 ½ cups chickpeas, or one can rinsed and drained
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon salt, to taste

To key to making it extra fluffy (according to http://www.inspiredtaste.net/15938/easy-and-smooth-hummus-recipe/) is to whip the tahini and lemon juice first, so that it becomes less like a paste and more like a light, fluffy substance .You can make this in a blender or food processor. Whizz the tahini and hummus for a minute or so, and make sure to scrape the sides and bottom, to get everything nice and fluffy! The color of the tahini will lighten and the texture will change too.

Then, add in the garlic, olive oil, and salt, and half the chickpeas. Let the food processor go to work on that, and then add the rest of the ‘banzos. Let it run again until you have achieved desired consistency! Yeah! That’s some beautiful homemade hummus! Feel free to drizzle with olive oil and spring some paprika on top if you’re serving for looks. Or, just because extra olive oil is usually quite delicious.

As I said, I like mine on the lemony (and salty) side, but the beauty of homemade hummus is that it’s your very own! I actually first got into making hummus when I made it with my cooking class at work. And man, did those kids go to work on squeezing those lemons! So, we ended up with really lemony hummus, but it was still awesome! Hummus is a very forgiving substance it seems, willing to work with ME and YOU! So have at it.

More to come soon! As soon as I remember to take pictures of my food, that is.

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