I decided the other day I would make hummus, so yesterday I soaked 16oz bag of chickpeas to get started. I read that if you add a little baking soda to your soaking water, it helps remove some of the gassiness of the beans. Soaked overnight, then rinsed. I then heated them in fresh water until they were softened, about 30 minutes. During heating, I skimmed off the foam, to further reduce the gassy properties of the beans. I ladled the beans out, so I could reserve the liquid to use during the grinding..don't use all of it, just add a little as needed. Ground the chickpeas, placed in the fridge to cool. Later in the day, I added about 1 cup tahini, about 4-6 T. minced garlic, 1t kosher salt, 4-6 T lemon juice, and 1/4-1/2 t. cumin. When I serve it, I'll add fresh parsley, and drizzle with olive oil. I will check the blend first before serving, we like lots of garlic and lemon, and may need to add a bit more.
I will serve the hummus with pita, of course, and I am making my own for the first time. ever.
This Pita Bread recipe is similar to the one I am using, except I used honey instead of sugar.
When I decided to make hummus, I thought I could probably throw together some tabouli as well. My family makes the Tabouli mixes/packages you can buy at most grocery stores. I'm not really sure how that got started, the cousin that makes the packages isn't Lebanese, Mediterranean, or MiddleEastern..it's a mystery! For my version of tabouli, I soak a pkg of bulghur wheat in 1.5 c lemon juice and 0.5-1 cup oil. Then, I dice 3 or 4 tomatoes, and 2-3 bunches of green onion, and a few sprigs of fresh parsley. Stir all that together and place in the fridge. Stir a few times during the day. Don't serve until the next day. I usually add a bit of salt & pepper, and my hubby likes lots of parsley and lots of lemon, so I add more to his portions!
The theme continued...I got excited about the hummus, tabouli, and pita, and decided I'd make cabbage rolls. I usually just layer it all like a casserole because the cabbage never cooperates, but I tried something new today, which worked surprisingly well! I washed the cabbage head, and cut off the bottom/cored straight across. I put the whole head in the microwave for 2 minutes. Then, a few layers were easily removed without breaking, plus they were wilted enough to roll, but not too wilted that they fell to shreds. I had to microwave several times, since the inner layers were not as heated, but it wasn't a big deal to heat a few times to be able to peel the layers off so easily. When I got 12-15 layers peeled, and I was getting down to the core, I cut the core out, and chopped the rest of the cabbage, and I will save the chopped cabbage for a dish I have been craving...I'll make Egg Fu Young in a few days with it!
While I was prepping the cabbage, I mixed together 1 lb uncooked ground beef(or use turkey, lamb, whatever), 1 cup uncooked rice, 1 egg, chopped onion, 8oz tomato juice(or sauce) and 1-2 t ground cinnamon. I poured a layer of tomato juice into my slow-cooker, and stared to fill the cabbage leaves. I placed a spoonful of the filling in the leaf, then rolled it closed, and set in the slow-cooker. When all the leaves & mix were used up. I poured the remainder of my tomato juice over the rolls. I used an entire 64 oz bottle of juice, but you could use less in the slow cooker, because the rolls will steam, but I like them very saucy, so I used the whole bottle! I had a few cabbage leaves that had ripped, and with those I just placed a 2nd ripped leaved stacked underneath before filling and rolling...they will be just fine, and have extra cabbage to enjoy! Cook on low for 6-8 hours. I can hardly wait! I will try to remember to snap a pic of our meal before we sit down to dinner!
Breakfast: cereal, fruit
Lunch: packed Vince a lunch, the boys & I had grilled cheese, green salad, & chips