Hello beautiful readers!
It’s been 13 days without wheat, dairy, sugar, meat, or alcohol! (ok I had a major cheat meal on Saturday because I was celebrating my 1 year anniversary of moving to LA and I also had some dark chocolate covered walnuts but dark chocolate and nuts are good for you so STOP JUDGING ME!)
I think the important thing is when I have little cheat moments I don’t beat myself up about it and I move on. Before if I went on some crazy strict diet or cleanse I would just abandon ship and eat a whole pizza if I had a minor screw up. The way I’m eating now is something I want to keep up, and something I can keep up because it’s real, filling, delicious food that’s full of variety. Did I mention I’ve been going to yoga almost every day too? I’ve been 7 times in the past 10 days which is 5 times more than I did all of 2017! I’m the least flexible person in the class, sweat buckets while the other women have a beautiful dewy glow and I have to rest in child pose a lot because sometimes 5 breaths in downward dog is just a bit too much! Back to the food…
I made a big batch of hummus and quinoa tabbouleh because I can’t think of 2 things that are as healthy as they are delicious. I got some really nice collard green leaves in my CSA basket and wanted to use them as a wraps instead of a flour tortilla. I also had tempeh (something I’ve actually never cooked before!) and thought it would go really nicely with all of these flavours. The end product is amazing.
Let’s start with the hummus, because you’re going to need to prep that the night before. And before you say “but that’s too much work!”, it’s really not. A bag of dried chickpeas is under 2 bucks. Tahini is about $5-$8 depending where you buy it but will last for so many batches. And lemons and garlic are practically free. It’s a cost effective and healthier way of indulging on this wonderful spread.
1 package dried chickpeas
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup chickpea water (or more if it’s too thick)
4 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tbsp tahini (approx. just toss 3 scoops in.)
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1-2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, cover your dried chickpeas with cold water, cover with a clean tea towel and soak overnight. Make sure there’s at least 2 inches of cold water above the chickpeas because they’ll expand and soak it up.
- Rinse chickpeas and cover with cold water once again. Toss a bay leaf in there and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let cook, uncovered for about 1.5 hours or so. You want to slightly overcook the chickpeas so they’re extra soft and make extra cream hummus.
- Drain chickpeas, saving the chickpea water and setting about a cup of beans aside for later. Add remainder of chickpeas to blender or food processor. Add your olive oil, salt, pepper, tahini, cumin, garlic and lemon juice. Add about 3/4 cup of chickpea water and blend until smooth. If the blade seems stuck, it’s because your hummus is too thick. Add more chickpea water to thin it out. Taste it. Does it need more salt and pepper? more lemon or oil? You decide!
- Transfer hummus into a few airtight containers. Add some whole chickpeas to the top for added texture and drizzle with olive oil.
- Freeze one if you don’t think you’ll eat all that hummus in 5 days (That’s how long it should last in the fridge) but don’t fill the container too full because it will expand and you don’t want the lid to pop off! When defrosting, put in the fridge and allow at least 24 hours.
Julia’s Quinoa Tabbouleh
1.5 cups of cooked quinoa
1 bunch parsley, hard stems removed, chopped
1/2 bunch mint, stems removed, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 green onions, chopped
Large handful cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of the ingredients together! Taste. Add more lemon or olive oil if you think it needs it. You can also experiment with adding more quinoa, if you’d like. I personally like a real herby tabbouleh. This will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Directions and Ingredients
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that is less processed than tofu. It has a more dense, crumbly texture and a more complex flavour. I sliced my tempeh into 1/4 inch thick pieces and fried in coconut oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side until nice and golden brown. If you want, you can toss it in a tahini dressing right before plating. I had a dressing with tahini, lemon, olive oil and garlic already made up so decided to add a few spoonfuls to the pan for added flavour.
Making your wrap
Ok, there are two options here. After you wash and dry your collard green leafs you can either cut out the hard stem;
OR, you can just shave part of the stem off with a sharp knife, and wrap it more like a burrito. Option B might be a little easier to eat. It makes more of a burrito shape than a pocket. Both are equally as scrumptious!
Option B: (roll the top down, and then the sides, leaving the stem part open)
Whichever one you choose, add the hummus first, tabbouleh and then tempeh. In the second option I made the tabbouleh slightly differently, omitting tomatoes and adding them in slices at the end. You can also add some chopped toasted hazelnuts instead of tempeh if you’re not eating soy!
I LOVED this so much. The texture of the tempeh combined with the hummus is reminiscent of falafel, but without all that deep fried nonsense. The collard green wrap is hearty and the zesty, herby tabbouleh adds so much freshness and flavour. I liked it so much I made a similar version a few days later. I highly recommend collard green leaves for all of your wrapping needs! Don’t be discouraged if it’s a bit messy at first. The more you use them, then more you’ll become an expert wrapper.