Red Lentil Chickpea Hummus

I’ve been in a hummus slump, if such a thing exists. I love Sabre hummus but for some reason it hasn’t been appealing to me lately. We’ve been buying it for the past year but recently it’s largely getting left in the fridge until it’s so old that I feel obligated to throw it out. Hating to waste food I’ve stopped buying it.

The other day while reading Health Magazine I saw a recipe for homemade red lentil hummus and it got the wheels turning. Before store-bought hummus, I used to make my own. Why did I ever stop?

Off I went to the kitchen. I had red lentils and some of the other ingredients from the magazine’s recipe but not all of them. I also had a tupperware filled with chickpeas that needed to be used up. I decided to mix the lentils and beans with whatever else I had on hand to see if it tasted any good.

Verdict? I licked the bowl clean.

The lentils add creaminess and bulk that you don’t get from chickpeas alone. I ate it for lunch with veggies and crackers and felt full through my afternoon workout and long wait at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, blech.

This recipe is so versatile. Feel free to add whatever herbs and spices you have lying around. Varieties with parsley, green onions, turmeric, curry powder, etc would be fabulous. It also only took about 20 minutes start to finish including the cooking of the lentils. I may start making big batch on Sundays for quick use throughout the week.

red lentils

Oh, and if you’re wondering how vegetarians get their protein wonder no more. Red lentils! 40 grams of protein for 1 cup. Just to put that in perspective, a cup of milk has 10 grams. These are some powerful little legumes. Enough nutrition, time for the recipe.

Red Lentil Chickpea Hummus (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free)

1 cup red lentils, cooked

1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

juice of half a lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tahini

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil, start with 1/2 and if the hummus seems too thick add the other 1/2

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon water

handful of cilantro

————

Rinse lentils and sort through for any twigs or rocks.

Bring lentils to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until tender. I didn’t measure how much water I added but I’d guess it was a 2:1 ratio and the water was completely evaporated by the time the lentils were done.

In a food process, add all ingredients.

red lentil chickpea hummus

Run processor until mixture is almost smooth. You will probably need to scrap down the sides once or twice. I like my hummus a little chunkier but keep processing until it’s at your desired consistency.

red lentil chickpea hummus

Taste to make sure seasoning is right. Adjust accordingly. I needed more salt and cayenne while making mine.

Serve with your favorite crackers and raw vegetables. This would also be great on a wrap or sandwich. hummusred lentil chickpea hummus

Enjoy!

Squash, Bean and Pepper Salad

Welcome to the weekend or pretty darn close to it.

I am feeling sort of bummed out today. I don’t have a particularly good reason, maybe it’s the cold, gray day or maybe it’s because today I officially retired my San Francisco jacket and bought a heavy Boston parka.

My new Boston winter coat

Whatever the reason, I wanted something bright and colorful for lunch. Something to remind me of sunshine and summer and San Francisco. I didn’t have the fixings for a margarita so this salad was the next best thing.

Squash, Bean and Pepper Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

1/2 kabocha squash, deseeded

1 bell pepper, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 green chili pepper, diced. I honestly can’t remember the name of the pepper I used and couldn’t find it online. I bought it at Whole Foods and it was very mild.

1 can pinto beans, drained

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 green onion

juice of one lime

salt to taste

————

Preheat oven to 375.

kabocha squash

Cut kabocha squash in half, deseed and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Kabocha squash can be eaten with the skin on so if you’re substituting butternut or another type of squash you should peel and chop it before baking. Bake for 25 minutes or until you can run a knife through it.

While squash is cooking, dice peppers and avocado and add to a serving bowl.

pepper

Place pinto beans in a pot over medium heat. Add garlic salt, chili powder and cumin. Warm beans on the stove then add to peppers and avocado.

pinto beans

Let squash cool then chop into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.

Chop green onion over the mixture and add lime juice and salt to taste.

Squash, Bean and Pepper Salad

The lime adds a wonderful brightness to the salad and works well with the slightly sweet kabocha and crunchy peppers.

This salad would also be perfect with a margarita…and some warmer weather.

I’m teaching a double header tomorrow. 9am at Crossfit Back Bay and 10:30 at All One Yoga, come see me.

Happy weekend all, enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I alluded to this recipe when recapping my trip to NYC. These quinoa stuffed peppers are one of my very favorite meals and the first thing I recommend to people looking for vegetarian recipes that will satisfy meat eaters. It’s so filling you won’t think twice about the missing meat, perfect for a Meatless Monday dinner.

Although this recipe is a little time-consuming, it’s not hard. It’s a one pot meal and unbelievable delicious. However, I can’t take credit as the creator, the recipe comes from here. If you’re looking for better pictures you should also visit Christie’s site, mine were taken late last night and I am still trying to figure out how to take photos that don’t look so yellow in the evening darkness.

The thing I love most about this recipe is its versatility. I stuffed peppers with the mixture last night but when my sister and I made it, we stuffed kabocha squash and it was equally as amazing. I’ve also used this as filling for tacos in corn tortillas or eaten it on its own simply topped with salsa and avocado. The flavors only get better overnight so it’s great for lunch the next day as well.

Here is the recipe and the slight changes I made:

1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 10-ounce box of cooked spinach, thawed in a bowl, reserve the liquid from the thawed spinach, you’ll use it later

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, I don’t drain the can as Christie does, I just add less water at the end, no need to toss all that extra flavor

2 cups cannellini beans, I used dried but canned will work here as well

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 ears fresh corn, I boiled the corn for a few minutes before removing the kernels and then reserved 1/2 cup of the liquid for use at the end

1 grated carrot

1 grated zucchini

salt to taste

2 bell peppers, halved

———–

Find your biggest pot, you’ll need it. Chop onion and celery. Saute in olive oil for 5 minutes until soft.

Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and garlic, saute for another 2 minutes.

Add spinach, although frozen kale or collard greens would be really nice here as well.

Add tomatoes, beans, quinoa, corn, carrot, zucchini.

Then include 1 cup of reserved liquid from the spinach and the corn.

Simmer on the stove for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Halve the bell peppers.

Once the liquid has evaporated fill the bell peppers with the quinoa mixture. Cover with tin foil and cook for 30 minutes or until the peppers are soft but still have a slight crunch.

I added cheese to Michael’s peppers at the very end and cooked for a few minutes uncovered until golden brown.

The original recipe will fill two bell peppers and two zucchini. But, as I mentioned above, we use our extra filling in a bunch of different ways, like for lunch, now 🙂

If you have spare time, make these quinoa stuffed peppers this weekend, you won’t regret it.

Enjoy!

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

I love veggie burgers, they are a staple when I go out to eat.  But I never eat them at home. Most pre-made, frozen burgers contain gluten and for some reason I’ve never gotten around to making one of my own, until last night.

I searched a ton of recipes online before realizing that they all follow the same basic formula. Veggies, grain, binder.  So why not create one from what I had on hand instead of going out to buy new ingredients?  After all, there were football games to watch and fantasy matches to win (or lose)!

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 carrot, grated

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup rolled oats (mine were certified gluten-free)

1/2 cup of cashews

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

juice of half a lime

salt to taste

The easiest way to make these is to use a food processor.  Ours was still packed away somewhere so I improvised by using the chopping attachment on my immersion blender.

Pre-heat the oven to 375.

Chop and grate veggies.

Saute chopped bell pepper and celery in olive oil over medium heat for 6-7 minutes until soft but still crunchy.  Add minced garlic for the last minute.

While veggies are cooking, put oats and half the can of beans in the food processor.  Grind for 30 second to a minute, you want some texture to remain.  Place mixture in a big bowl.  Add second half of beans, unground, to bowl with oats/beans.

Add half the sautéed veggie mixture to processor for 30 second.  Add all veggies and grated carrot to the oat/bean mixture.

Place cashews in the food processor with a tablespoon of water.  Process until it starts to becomes paste-like but still grainy, a minute or so will do.  Add to bowl with oats/beans/veggies.

Add cumin, chili powder, salt and lime juice.

Mix.  I used a potato masher which helped smooth out the mixture a bit.  Avoid over mashing, you want some texture.

Shape into patties.  And place on non stick cookie sheet.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  They should be firm on the outside but still soft in the middle.  My patties were fairly large, so I only got 5 out of this recipe but I’m sure you could get 6 if you pared back a bit.

Michael had his on a gluten-free bun.

I had mine plain with bbq sauce and honey mustard and a side salad with miso dressing.

The beauty of veggie burgers is you can substitute for whatever you have on hand.  This recipe would work well with any kind of bean, nut or veggie mixture.  Just get creative.

Enjoy!

Side note: I found my digital camera today, so hopefully the quality of my photos will improve. Thanks for your patience while my food continues to look like the photos you see on bad Chinese take out menus.

Boston here we come

Tomorrow is moving day!

We’ve been living in corporate housing while we wait for our stuff to travel across the country.  Although it’s better than being in a hotel, mostly because it has a functioning kitchen, it is still corporate housing.  I’ve been without my stuff, more specifically, my kitchen stuff, for two weeks now.  I’ve forgotten how nice it is to have good, sharp knives and vegetable peelers that will actually peel.

Regardless, we couldn’t eat out every night so we had to make do. Our meals have been simple and in an attempt to avoid re-buying spices and oils we already have in route we bought only the essentials:

Rice wine vinegar, garlic infused olive oil, tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), salt and cumin.

For the most part coupling this with some lemon and herbs has been enough to create some very flavorful dishes.  Although, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t beyond excited to stock our new kitchen this weekend.

It rained most of the morning yesterday so I caught up on emails waiting for it to stop.  By the time I looked up it was after noon and I knew a quick meal was needed before heading to the gym.

Looking through our “pantry” (aka 2 boxes of granola bars and 2 cans of beans) I grabbed some chickpeas and got to work.

Simple Chickpea Salad:

1/2 can of chickpeas

5 leaves of kale, torn in pieces

1/2 head of broccoli

Handful of grape tomatoes, halved

cilantro to taste

green onions to taste

2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil

1/2 tablespoon tamari

Juice of half a lemon

Salt to taste

Serves 1

Add chickpeas, kale, broccoli and tomatoes to a salad bowl.  Chop cilantro and green onions directly on top, to simplify things I usually just use a pair of kitchen scissors and snip directly it into my salads.  Mix vinegar, tamari, lemon and salt.  Add dressing over beans and veggies.

Side note: I personally like the taste of steamed kale and broccoli better than raw so I steamed both for 4-5 minutes before adding to the salad but feel free to use raw if that’s more to your taste.

Side side note: I should mention this now, before we get too far along, I am not a fan of pepper and rarely add it to my meals.  If you like the taste, feel free to add to your dishes.

Enjoy!