I love the concept of Meatless Mondays but don’t adhere to it religiously. Instead, I make an effort to incorporate more lean, plant-based proteins into my diet regularly. It’s become pretty easy to do with practice and never do I feel that meat is ‘missing’.
Tofu and beans are some of my favourite proteins (full disclosure: I’m not vegetarian; I just really enjoy these foods). Hummus–the crowd pleaser of legumes that even meatophiles adore–is one of the tastiest ways to enjoy chickpeas and is my favourite kind of dip, hands down. Chickpeas are of course great roasted or in salads, but hummus is where it’s at!
Using hummus as the main ingredient in sandwiches and wraps is an easy, tasty way to get the filling protein you need without using animal ingredients. The texture of grilled vegetables also adds a meaty, smoky element that evokes barbecued meats. Mmm, char marks…
The icing on the cake in this dish? Alfalfa sprouts! I’m currently participating in a fun grow-your-own sprouts challenge using the bioSnacky sprouter from A. Vogel. It’s the coolest thing – all you have to do is set up the sprouter (which takes two minutes flat), sprinkle with seeds and then water it. I watered mine once in the morning and once at night and after just 4 days I had a full harvest of three kinds of sprouts: mung bean, alfalfa and radish.
Recipe: Vegetarian grilled vegetable & hummus pitas with alfalfa sprouts
If you’re not a fan of eggplant, this recipe will change your mind. I used small Italian eggplants that charred up nicely like the other vegetables – no mushy or squishy pieces in sight!
Makes 4 pita pockets.
- 2 medium-sized whole grain pita pockets, halved
- 1 small green zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch planks
- 1 small yellow zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch planks
- 1 small Italian eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch planks
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into wide strips
- 1 cup store-bought hummus
- 1 cup alfalfa sprouts (I grew my own using the bioSnacky sprouter by A. Vogel)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pre-heat a grill pan or barbecue to medium-high heat. Toss the sliced vegetables with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until vegetables are softened and grill marks form on either side, about 3 minutes per side (the peppers will take longer). Transfer cooked vegetables to a plate. Divide the hummus evenly among the pitas and top with the grilled vegetables and alfalfa sprouts. Serve immediately.