When I started following a plant-based diet, I quickly learned that I needed a fall-back food. Something I could always “fall back on” if there was nothing else in the fridge, or I really didn’t feel like cooking. I have been eating hummus for as long as I can remember, but now it’s pretty much a daily staple for me. Hummus is one of those foods that has a long history, and disputed origin; while the word “hummus” is Arabic in origin, many different regions around the world have their own versions of the tasty dip, from North Africa, to the Middle East, along with Greece and Turkey.
Hummus is not only a great choice because of how healthy it is, (just go easy on the oil) but it’s also incredibly versatile so I don’t really get bored eating it every day. It’s a great base to add all sorts of additional flavours to spice things up. Some of my favourites include: roasted red peppers, roasted eggplant, beets, za’atar spices, and caramelized onions.
I have been experimenting with different recipes for years, but I have been using this one for a while now, and I seem to get pretty consistently good results.
Brad’s Famous Hummus
1 can of chickpeas
Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
3 tbsp tahini
1 large clove of garlic
1 pinch of kosher salt
Drain water from chickpeas into a bowl and set aside. In a food processor, combine lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, and 3 tbsp of chickpea water. Run on high until everything is well blended, and no chunks of garlic are visible. Dump in chickpeas and run the food processor, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Keep running until everything is well combined, and is a smooth consistency. If you want to add in any other flavours (i.e. roasted red peppers) do that now.
I’ve discovered that the key to getting a smooth texture is to combine all the ingredients before adding in the chickpeas… I don’t know why it works better, I just know that it does.
Please comment below if you have any great hummus recipes.
People who find out that I am following a vegan lifestyle will often ask me what I miss most about giving up animal products, and what my biggest challenges are. Arguably my biggest challenge is keeping it secret from my mother-in-law who thinks vegans are part of a cult, but in reality what I miss most is the convenience of being able to eat out… which is what I also miss the most!
I am not a planner, nor am I a morning person.. this has made things especially difficult. I used to roll out of bed, hop in the shower, get dressed, and hit the road. This pretty much meant a stop at one of the many Tim Hortons “drive-thru’s” for a breakfast sandwich, and a run to the coffee truck at lunch most days. Since my change to a plant-based diet, breakfast has become challenging. It’s hard to get a take-out breakfast that doesn’t involve eggs, bacon, or cheese, so I eat oatmeal. I’ll admit, oatmeal can be pretty boring and tasteless on its own, but I like to look at oatmeal as a blank canvas. There isn’t much (within the confines of my own diet) that I haven’t tried adding to it. Some have been great, other have been a complete disaster.
My morning oatmeal was working well for me until the summer heatwave hit… the last thing I wanted was a steaming bowl of anything when it was 30 C outside… so I decided to, as a friend of mine says: “shake the internet, and see what falls out.” What I ended up with was a staple for the summer, cold Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats. It may sound strange, and require some forethought; it does need to be prepared the night before, but I promise, it’s actually is good!
If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. Recipe credit goes to http://domesticate-me.com/ with some minor tweaks by yours truly.
1 large ripe banana, cut into slices
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Throw everything into your favourite container with a lid. Stir it until the peanut butter is evenly mixed in. Put the lid on and pop it in the fridge until morning.
If you’re reading Tim Hortons executives… there is room for this on the menu!
I’m 33 years old; a husband, father, and a born-again vegan… and this is my story.
Just after Christmas of 2014, I was sitting in my living room at night looking for something to watch on TV. Everyone had gone to bed, and having ditched cable a few months earlier, I was left with Netflix. I don’t exactly remember how or why, but I cam across the documentary Forks Over Knives. Having no other interesting options, I thought I would give it a go. This is the first time that I have truly be moved my something. Usually I am quite skeptic of these kind of documentaries, but this one really drew me in. It was like the film was taking about my family members when it discussed heart disease and diabetes. From that point on I decided it was time to ditch meat and processed foods!