It's Monday again and time to link up to two great blog linkies: MUMenTUM for the getting healthy and back into shape support, and Meal Planning Monday to make sure your week doesn't flow past in a river of fish-fingers and oven chips.
Last week I posted my weekly menu plan for a meat-free kitchen and a family of two (one who has her main meals at nursery and one who needs to lose weight). I'm not going to change this menu for a few weeks although, obvioulsy, there are days when we do something different. However, I've had requests for recipes so I'm going to write some of them up here. And when they're done I'll change the menu. How's that for a plan?
First a note about shop humus. Humus (chickpea and tehina spread) is a staple in Israel. You can buy fresh humus from take-home shops at a fair price. Tubs of superior processed humus at the supermarket for about 2pounds50 for 400g. Quite a steep price but all processed food is expensive here, which is one of the reasons I make my own. The other reason, apart from having humus at 1/10 of the price, is that you never know exactly what's in the processed stuff. The very cheapest humus costs about 1pound50 for a 1kg tub at the supermarket and it lasts for a month in the fridge - nuff said. A friend of mine once described it as whipped margerine with sugar, salt, lemon juice and garlic to diguise the taste. I noticed a few E-poisons on the label too.
Disclaimer: I love cooking and have often thought about writing a cookery book. Unfortunately I'm not very good at quantities - I tend to go by taste and texture (which is why I hated chemistry in school :-) ). So if you can cope with 'a bit of this' and 'a sprinkle of that', read on.
I buy packets of frozen chickpeas. You can get them in cans which is also fine, or soak and cook your own. I'm all for going back to basics but I don't make my own paper when I want to write someting down so frozen chickpeas works for me. I put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to defrost and soften them, and let them sit for three minutes - about the time it takes me to get everything else into the food processor.
Put a cup of chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of tehina paste, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1/2tsp ground kumin into the food processor and pulse it until you have a lumpy paste. Add water to thin it to the consistency of runny cake mix as it will thicken up in the fridge over the next few hours (did I mention that it's best made in advance?). It's all a matter of taste, some like it more lemony and some like more garlic. You can also throw in some parsley for a green humus.
Serve spread in a flattish dish. You can pour more olive oil over the top and sprinkle with za'ata (ground hyssop) or cayenne pepper, or pine nuts, lemon wedges, or parsley. You can eat it with bread or crackers or as a dressing for salad. A Middle Eastern delicacy involves a serving of fried mincemeat and onions on the humus. My favourite? Humus on toast topped with leftover ratatouile.
So what about this week's MUMenTUM. Well, following my menu plan and not noshing in the evening has led to a 0.6kg loss this week. This is 2.6kg (5.7lbs) in two weeks. Smug? You bet!