I am constantly amazed day in and day out at the power of our words, and the capacity we have to lift each other up or down with them. I’m talking not just about the words we write (for those of you who share blogging as a thing we ‘do’) but also the words we speak.
As a child, I longed to leave the country surroundings I grew up in to live in the ‘big city’ – you know that place that was full of people and possibility? It’s crazy to think that 20 years later, after leaving a place where it seemed that nothing ever happened for a life of what I see today….people…and possibility. It’s hard to imagine I could ever feel like I don’t want to be around people — I sometimes say this but truthfully there is no where I’d rather be than surrounded by other folks, and lots of them.
Everyday we have possibility. A possibility of touching someone’s life, or of making a bad day into a good one. How often do we walk past people and look directly at them without taking a second to smile? Or pass strangers on a run or jog and avoid looking them in the eye? A simple smile or a twinkle of the eye can go a long way in this world. Better yet, telling someone how nice they look, or something positive you noticed are little things, but they can make all the difference to a day, and you just never know what might be going on behind those eyes opposite yours.
I recently received some lovely messages from readers who shared with me some of their thoughts. The written word is such a wonderful form of sharing, as we can edit and re-write without the pressure of our all too quickly passing moments in life. I want to thank all of you who take the time to drop a line, or to leave a comment. Sometimes I can see your smiles, and sense the twinkles in your eyes. I hope you can see mine too. Life passes quickly. I try to remember to seize the opportunities while I can, no matter how big or how small. After all, you never what’s possible when you bring people together to collectively let our lights shine.
This fantastic & sophisticated little riff on hummus came to me this month courtesy of Bon Appetit, my new monthly subscription courtesy of my ever-lovely mother in law (who is always a ray of positive light).
The minute I laid eyes on it I knew I would make it, as who can say no freshly cooked chickpeas and cumin in any form? Vegans can easily play with dairy-free yoghurt options here, and I for one love the lightness that comes from omitting the traditional tahini. I changed a few things here and there, but the premise is still the same: delicious.
Less store-bought packaged dips means fresher, better taste & nutrition. Less packaged foods means less waste, and cooking beans from scratch means better flavor, nutrition and texture too. Less cost on the basics means you can spend more on something else, so spreading the love becomes easy, delicious, and downright pretty.
More high protein chickpeas means more grounding starch & plant-based protein. More full fat dairy means you need less to stay satisfied. More foods you can make from scratch means more ways to stay inspired, so creating soul foods from very little becomes an art.
Chickpea Yoghurt Dip:
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- (3) cups cooked chickpeas
- (1/2) cup thick full fat plain yoghurt
- (1/2) of one raw shallot
- (3) tbsp olive oil
- (2) tsp red wine vinegar
- (1) tsp ground cumin
- (1-2) tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- olive oil, fresh mint leaves and pomegranate seeds to garnish
If you are cooking your chickpeas from scratch, put up 1.5 cups of dry garbanzos up to soak for 6-8 hours in cold water to cover. To cook the beans, drain and rinse the soaked beans under cold water well and place in a large pot. Cover the beans with 3-4 inches of fresh cold water and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of two of salt to the water as it heats up. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to medium-high and keep the water at a gently rolling boil for 1-1.5 hours, until the chickpeas are soft. Drain and rinse with plenty of fresh water before using.
Canned beans are a pantry staple and are indispensable for quick, convenient meals. However, with a little forethought, cooking beans from scratch saves pennies (lots of them) over time and the end result is a far superior product than the shelf stable canned stuff. Less salt, less waste, less cost. More taste and a creamy texture? Yes please. A win if you can for sure and easy as can be.
Combine all ingredients except for mint & pomegranate seeds and blend until smooth and creamy. You can use either a food processor or blender for this job, and both work well and require little in the way of help to create a tangy, smooth, and nutritious protein-rich dip.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with olive oil, pomegranate seeds & fresh mint leaves.Keep this little number tucked away in the fridge for a few days and it gets better with age. Enjoy it with fresh romaine hearts for dipping, or raw carrots, cucumbers or snap peas. You could even top a steamed veggie bowl or brown rice with this. Perfect, easy protein.