Saturday, March 31, 2012

Breakfast Wrap – Hummus – Great Start to the day

Years ago I learned that it is critical to start the day with a powerful energy filled breakfast.  The saying that I was taught is: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.  Basically, what this means is to start the day with the best meal and end with a lighter fare.  Yes, this is contrary to the American way of eating.  Start the day with a donut or bagel, grab something from the snack machine for lunch, then gorge in the evening and wonder why sleep doesn’t visit. :X

One of my favorite breakfast meals is a breakfast wrap – today’s version is made with homemade hummus (recipe later), fresh bean sprouts, goat cheese, on a whole grain tortilla (wrap).

I like to use very thin pita or tortilla for my wraps.  There are many great flat bread type varieties too.  Sammy’s makes a great millet version as well as millet and flax.  Every so often I find a good version at Costco for a very fair price and no ‘junk’ in it.  (One day I will find a good recipe and make my own :D )

The filling – Hummus –

The hummus I make is unlike most found in the store although I see that Costco is carrying a very similar version.  I like to make mine with roasted red peppers, hot peppers, and a wide variety of other spices.  I make mine in a manner that is conducive to being in public.  Basically, it is sans garlic.  I love the taste of roasted garlic but if you are in public, it doesn’t like others or should I say, most often others don’t like it.

Roasted Red Pepper, Jalapeño, Chili Pepper, Hummus

  • 1 cup organic garbanzo beans – I use organic but you can substitute non organic to reduce the cost.  Use either one can or cook your own to reduce the cost.  Buying garbanzo beans in bulk reduces the overall cost of the hummus. 
  • I drain all of the fluid from the garbanzo beans when I use the canned organic version.  I know that other recipes state to keep some of it but I find the liquids added makes the hummus the perfect consistency.
  •  ¼ roasted red pepper -  Large jars can be found at Costco or the local grocer. 
  • Lemon juice -  enough to cover the top of the beans. I squirt/juice enough to cover the top of the beans.  (Nothing scientific here but this seems to work best for my families taste buds.)
  • ½ Jalapeño and ½ Chili Pepper  -  I add the seeds too.  The seeds have life (another article) and flavor. Experiment with this combination.  You might like the entire pepper.  I find that this combination gives some heat but not overpowering as it goes down.
  • Tahini – This is a personal preference and some folks don’t like its taste.  I use a fork full – Yes, a fork and not spoon. It seems to slide off the fork into the blentec, blender, vita-mix, etc without any issues. Too much and it can overpower the hummus but if you do not use enough, the hummus could lack the distinct taste.
  • Organic Virgin Olive Oil -  I buy the Kirkland brand from Costco
  • Various spices -  Red Pepper (to taste) and it gives some extra heat to the other peppers, sea salt or other very coarse salt.  I use a sprinkle on the top but add enough for a slight change in flavor and not overpowering.   Use a spice combo if you want to alter the flavor such as the kind that includes celery, onion, (yes garlic), and other flavorful spices.
I add the ingredients in the order indicated into my Blendtec – I use the new container – Twister Jar and like how it cleans up very easy.  If you use this device, do not overfill.  :D It does overflow easy.   You can use a Vita-Mix, Blendtec, or other similar devices found on the market.  I have only used the Vita-Mix and Blendtec so I cannot comment on the others but I am sure that this recipe can be made with ease in other devices.

Using the Blendtec – I select the up arrow until it hits 7 – 10 and run it until the hummus is the consistency that I like.  When it’s the perfect consistency, I select the pulse button to turn it off.
Now back to the breakfast wrap.  A few spoonfuls of this hummus is added to the wrap, then I top it with fresh bean sprouts, a handful of spinach or other greens, and at times I add a spoonful of corn, black beans, or other similar textured bean.  Add a spoon full of your favorite homemade salsa if you want more heat and this wrap will send your taste buds into shouts of joy.  I have found some great tasting goat cheese at Giant Eagle but due to its cost, I don’t add it often.

The only downside to this wrap – the taste.  It is full of flavor and I want to eat two.  This is very filling and full of flavor, nutrients, and gives great energy to start the day.  Make enough hummus for a few days and this breakfast wrap takes only a few minutes to prepare and it is a great meal even for the time challenged family.

If you add the extra ingredients, I do not recommend eating this while trying to drive (not that eating and driving is a good thing).  If you try to eat this while trying to drive, anticipate wearing a bib or something similar since either your overflowing taste buds cause the juices to flow everywhere.
Experiment with making breakfast wraps to add tremendous nutrition to start your day and avoid the fast food places or boxed cereal section that too often is filled with chemicals and sugar.
In a future post, I will give a few suggestions for the traveler.  I have tremendous experience in the world of traveling and will cover a few pre made organic versions (Amy’s and others) plus some other alternate quick, healthy solutions.

Experiment with this low cost solution to boring breakfast meals.  Breakfast should be used to vitalize the body, mind, and spirit.  Till next time – get out and enjoy life!  Remember this statement – life is all a matter of perspective!

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