Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Think outside the box

Flemish people are pretty particular about their food. They like their plate to look as so: boiled potatoes, a nice piece of meat, gravy and some vegetables. It's not always easy to convince them to try a different cuisine for that matter. They don't want to miss out on their potatoes and they are not happy if you skip the meat. Just don't overfeed them on the veggies, because that's the part they like the least.

Am I a real Flemish woman? I mean, I really don't like the traditional Flemish kitchen. I love a more exotic touch to my food and I don't mind to make sacrifices if it comes to meat or potatoes. I do like my greens though.

There are plenty of substitutes for meat, although that's not a word I would voluntarily use. I don't feel the need to substitute my meat. It's not that I'm a vegetarian. I'm more of a flexitarian, meaning I do eat meat, but only when I feel like it. I prefer legumes over meat. How about some lovely kidney beans or wax beans? Lentils and chickpeas? They have so much flavor and no fat. They are very nutritious and yes, they contain quite some calories, but they are healthy and filling. A favorite legume recipe of mine, is hummus. I like to make my own. It's not that difficult and it's so satisfying to make your own chickpea puree. Because that's exactly what it is.

What do we need:
  • a can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained (save the liquid though)
  • 80 ml tahini (sesame paste)
  • 60 ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 15 ml good olive oil
  • a pinch of paprika
  • parsley, freshly minced
What do we do:
  • Blend the chickpeas with the tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Add some of the juice until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl.
  • Drizzle the oil over the hummus. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.
  • Serve with (pita) bread and crudites.

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