Making every bite count

06 January 2008


Fred rose early for a trip to Springfield with Jon, so I headed home via Pike Street, and Pike Street Press. A soy cappuccino to go, with one of Jean-Francois Flechet's fabulous Li├Ęge waffles. Healthful? Not one bit. But worth every bite.
Today's dinner, I think, is going to be a Tunisian chickpea and lentil soup from a vegetarian cookbook that I got from Mary a few months ago. It's the perfect recipe for those Dark Days of Winter, but I just realized that my pantry is almost pitch black: I have no canned tomatoes! How can this be?! I'm going to walk to the Kroger on Madison later today and pick up a couple of cans. They do carry organic canned goods, even if the organic produce selection ends with baby carrots and baby spinach.
It's time for a trip to Trader Joe's to restock the pantry.
Back to the recipe. I'll post again after I actually make it. The recipe calls for turmeric, cinnamon and cumin -- a perfectly warm and spicy combo for a gray afternoon.
I've also made up a batch of roasted red pepper hummus, which I've been using in place of cheese on quesadillas and sandwiches and as a fabulous dipper for air-popped popcorn. I also love it in omelets, with carrots and in place of dips at parties. Plain hummus is divine, but the red peppers add endless flavor and nutrition. Peppers have more Vitamin C than citrus fruit by weight, along with Vitamin A (with carotenoids lycopene and beta-carotene).
Here's a recipe for quick and easy roasted red pepper hummus:
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, plus their juices (40 calories; 3 g fiber)
1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed (286 calories; 3 grams fat; 10.6 g fiber)
2 cloves garlic, peeled (10 calories)
3 T olive oil (360 calories; 41 g fat)
salt and red pepper flakes to taste
(696 calories/87 calories per serving; 1.7 g fiber; 5.5 g fat)
Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until well-blended. Season to taste. I love to eat this with air-popped popcorn.
Red peppers -- during summer -- are on my top 10 list. I didn't plan ahead as well as I should have last year. Next year, I'll freeze peppers and can tomatoes. I've got one container of sauce made with green zebras in the freezer. With whole-wheat pasta and a handful of spinach it will make a fast and delicious meal on a cold night.


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