Monday, February 28, 2011

Mindfully Meatless Mondays: Healthy and Inexpensive Hummus Wraps with Homemade Everything

It's Monday and that means I have a simple dish that's free of meat to share with you.  This week, I made something that's almost entirely free of animal products and is made of homemade components.
In this post I'll teach yo how to make your own tahini, hummus, and wheat tortillas.

We make hummus often because it's high in protein, inexpensive to make, lasts forever, and is delicious.  It's nearly impossible to give a specific recipe for hummus because it's really about achieving the right balance of flavors, which varies from day to day.  Every recipe calls for these ingredients:
  • chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • lemon juice
  • salt & pepper
  • tahini

Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds.  It's my least favorite part of making hummus because it's very expensive, and because it's so high in oil it usually becomes rancid before I am able to use the entire jar.  For years I have purchased it in bulk or at Middle Eastern grocery stores, but I'm happy to have discovered that it's easy to make high quality tahini at home without much effort. 

Note that you'll find a much better price on both sesame seeds and oil at almost any ethnic grocery store than at a supermarket, so explore your city or consider ordering online. 

Homemade Tahini
makes just over a cup of paste
1 c. sesame seeds
1/3 c. toasted sesame oil

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan just until you can smell them.  Don't let them brown.
DSC00892Let them cool and throw them into a food processor.
DSC00894Add the sesame oil.
DSC00896Process until it's smooth, periodically scraping down the sides.
We used about a third of the tahini to 2-3 cups of beans that we boiled from dry.  The hubs was in charge of the hummus, so I can't be sure about any details other than it tasted fantastic.  Creamy and well balanced.  He did use some warm water to help smooth everything out, which is normal when using dried beans.
The final product:
While he was working on that, I rolled out the tortilla dough I'd made earlier in the day.  I mostly used this recipe from Kitchen Stewardship. 

Homemade Wheat Tortillas
Makes 10-12 medium tortillas

2 c. white whole wheat flour (I only ever find this by King Arthur.)
1 tbsp. salt
1/3 c. butter  (you could sub olive oil to make it vegan)
1/2-2/3 c. warm water

Mix your dry ingredients.
Add cold cubed butter.
Work it with your fingers until the pieces of cold butter are small and the mix looks like cornmeal.
Add enough water to bring it together and knead for a couple minutes.  The recipe above says to knead until it's smooth, but that didn't happen for me, as you can see, and they still rolled out fine.  Rips like this indicate that there isn't quite enough liquid worked in, so I sprayed the dough with water while it rested.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for an hour or two, or 12 hours in the fridge.
Divide into as many pieces as you want.  I did 10 because we wanted larger tortillas.
Roll the pieces out into thin circles.  They should be rolled thinly but not so thin that they'll become crispy like crackers when cooked. 
Heat up a dry cast iron pan or griddle to low heat.  The dough will bubble, so be prepared to pop each of those bubbles and move it around the pan.  Cook just until each side browns, around one minute each.
Easy, cheap, and good for you.
Hummus Wraps
Layer down a piece of lettuce close in size to the tortilla.  This allows you to pack everything the night before and avoid letting the hummus and veggies make the tortilla soggy.
DSC00910Big blob of hummus.
DSC00911Layer on the veggies.  We used peppers and carrots because they're our favorite to eat with hummus.  Sprouts are also delicious on this wrap.
DSC00913Use aluminum foil to wrap everything up.  Use the foil to keep the wrap together, and leave the top open until the end so it's easy to eat come lunch time.  (You can easily save the piece of foil and reuse it later, too.)

DSC00914After lots of heavy winter food, this wrap satisfied my craving for crunchy light food with bright colors.  You can't beat the price for a work lunch, and it's pretty darn tasty, too.
I hope you enjoy it!  Happy Monday!

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