Roll all your resolutions into one
The top three New Year’s resolutions for Londoners this year were typically no different to any other year. That is, eat better, exercise more and spend less. The problems are not with sticking to your resolutions, rather how can they become part of your daily routine? Routine, no doubt, is amazingly good at increasing production levels. Additionally, it saves us from mindlessly sifting through swathes of ‘YouTube’ clips. However, when you want to reshape and remould your personal goals, a shift in habits may be required. Obviously, a slow change has more chance of surviving into spring and summer. So, realistic aims are the way forward. Therefore, starting off with one day a week can be a sensible approach.
So, let’s start with making your own lunch. On Mondays, you have something to look forward to after the weekends. You don’t need to be able to cook to make a salad. Simply, we are talking about chopping and mixing, nothing fancy now. Add some hummus and avocado with toasted seeds and nuts and your lunches will become the envy of the office. We all know home cooked is healthier and saves money too. So, immediately, we have met two of our three New Year’s resolutions! We just need to make the kitchen experience a bit glamorous.
That’s where experimenting with all the varieties of different hummus recipes will keep your taste buds interested. Soon you will be hooked on the smooth creaminess and nuttiness of hummus. And, that’s not forgetting all the added ingredients of your choice! Not forgetting the addition of the simple toasted pitta, or if you want to go super healthy, rye bread. Capers and olives go well, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and carrots, it’s yours to call.
Two out of three New Year’s Resolutions ain’t bad but, we can do better! So, for the third (and often most difficult) resolution – more exercise. The exercise can begin in the kitchen once you have acquired a pestle and mortar. This apparatus will give you satisfaction on pulping chickpeas into your delightful lunch time snack. No doubt, you’ll be friends for life. As you mix the simple ingredients and reduce your daily stress, you will never be able to able to eat supermarket hummus again. One key piece of advice is after chopping the garlic, use that hand to squeeze the lemon juice. This neutralises the smell of the garlic! Also, keep some parsley handy for when you have finished, especially, if you have an important meeting in the afternoon.
All you need now is to increase your cardio, so if Monday lunch is already taken, then make Tuesday Lunchtime your 15 minute run (or brisk walk) around the nearest park. While you are moving, your mind can be free to wonder through all the exciting kinds of hummus that you could be making this coming weekend. So, you need to spend to save….. buy a quality pair of trainers and a quality pestle and mortar. You’ll see the investment pay off in no time!
Homemade Hummus Recipe
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water
- Dash ground paprika, for serving
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.
- Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended.
- Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.
- Most likely, the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.
- Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Finally, you can serve your fresh hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. Be sure you store your homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.
And so starts your delicious and efficient New Year’s Resolutions! From Rose of York Language School, we wish you all a very happy New Year!