After all my talk about how our last cooking club failed because there were people who just weren’t committed, I was the jamtart at the last meeting. It was at my house and the last few weeks I have been in what I call crisis mode, when I’m so busy that I can just think about the next hour or so. I use detailed lists for my every move to make sure I get some regular tasks done in between dealing with the real crises at work. Sometimes when I really need some relief I begin my lists with “write list” as my number one task, so I have something I can cross off immediately as done. It provides some “Toad” perspective and helps me to me slow down and smile.
Anyway, crisis mode does make the work week fly by, but also tends to result in a house I’d be ashamed to let people in. Which reminds me of a true story. A good friend of mine came home one day to find her door kicked in. After checking the house, a police officer came out and told her that it was safe to enter, but unfortunately the crook had ransacked the place. He was very kind and sympathetic as they went in to the house together so she could tell him what had been stolen, and she was horrified to see that things looked just the same as they had when had left it that morning. In fact, since the thief had taken her husband’s electronics and games which had been strewn around the living room, it was marginally cleaner! When my house gets to the state it was in last week, I think of how humiliating it would be to have to admit to the police that it is not the result of a crime.
So that’s my excuse for why, instead of prepping for cooking club, I did a really good houseclean. It was a nice foodsafe kitchen we worked in, but my recipe choices were a little last minute and based on what I actually had on hand. Even so, they turned out to be pretty darned good, and when I combined Marg’s recipe with one of mine I got the bonus of another “double duty” recipe set.
Flax was our theme, and I had a hummus recipe with flax that I’d been meaning to try, but this was cooking club, after all. They’d be expecting a little more from me. (Reminded me of this cartoon by Gemma Correll)
Crafty me, I realized if I made my recipe first we could eat it throughout the rest of the meeting and, with faces full of hummus, nobody would think to question my paltry contribution. But I needed crackers to shovel the hummus in with, and I needed them fast. So, MacGyver– like, I came up with:
The Simplest Flax Crackers on the Planet.
- 2 cups whole flaxseeds
- 2 cups water
- Seasonings of choice. I used 1/8 cup tamari and garlic and onion powder. Anything will work- seasalt and parmesan, rosemary and pepper, cinnamon and sugar- whatever! Choose based on what you want to have them with.
1. Mix everything together and let sit for 1-2 hours while you clean your house (or whatever). You can speed this up by microwaving on low for a minute at a time and then stirring. You will end up with a gelled mass of seeds.
2. Spread parchment paper (or silicon sheet) over a cookie tray and mush the flax gel evenly over it. The thinner it is, the faster it will dry. You could also sprinkle it with some seasonings at this point if you like.
3. Put it in a low oven (200-350 F) until it is a dry sheet that you can break into crackers. If you are so inclined you could score it into squares before it is too dry, to make real crackers. You could also make these in a dehydrator if you have more time than I had. They stayed in for about 3/4 hour, but the middle was still a bit soft. It dried as they sat out though.
Then, on to the Hummus- I lifted this delicious hummus recipe directly from Susan Voisin’s site, Fat-Free Vegan.
Instead of sesame tahini, this hummus recipe uses walnuts and flax seed, which are rich in important Omega-3 fatty acids. The result is milder-tasting than traditional hummus, but equally delicious. An added bonus: People following the Eat to Live nutritional program can eat this without guilt!
1 16-ounce can (or 1 1/2 cups) cooked chickpeas, drained
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) walnuts
1 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup water or chickpea cooking liquid
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8-1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
dash cayenne or chipotle chili powder
Toss the garlic into a running food processor, and process until thoroughly chopped. Add the walnuts, and process until they are in tiny pieces. Add the chickpeas, flaxseed, and 1/4 cup of water (or cooking liquid). Begin blending and add the lemon juice. Continue blending until the mixture is smooth, adding a little more liquid if necessary. Add 1/8 tsp. of the cumin, the paprika, and dash cayenne, and blend for another minute, and taste to check the seasonings. If needed, add more cumin and lemon juice.
Serve as a dip for veggies, a filling for pita bread, or atop a salad.
Recipe by: Susan Voisin
I added a little more garlic than Susan said, but other than that, I would not change a single thing. It was superb. I can prove it because when I went to take a photo, this was all there was left to photograph! Due to popular demand in my home I promptly made a second batch, but we didn’t take the time to photograph it either.
Bonus- the DDD Game:
Between Marg’s lentil loaf and the second batch of hummus, and a test run for Cindi’s quinoa salad (to be posted soon), there was a lot of delicious food in the house. I ended up freezing Sarah’s burgers and playing the Double Duty Dinner game with the remaining foods. On day two, we had some quinoa salad and amazing wraps:
Amazing Hummus Lentil Loaf Wraps
- Lentil meatloaf
- vegan cheese
- fried onions
- sauce- I used hot ketchup with worcestershire.
1. Fry the onions. Cut up the lentil loaf and fill the centre with all the ingredients. Strategically place the hummus as “glue” for holding the folded wrap shut. It will not look pretty.
2. Fold the wrap over and “glue” shut. Tuck the ends in. Set it in the still-hot frying pan and brown all sides. At this point you can turn it down and leave it in the pan to make sure the vegan cheese gets all melty. You can also wrap an extra one for lunch the next day.
3. Cut up and serve with dip and salad.
DDD Game Points:
Day 1- Hot Loaf with Gravy, Hummus appy. 2 points
Day 2- Cold loaf on my FITR salad for lunch, Hummus with carrots. 2 points
– Hot wraps with lentil loaf and hummus for dinner. 2 points
Day 3- Cold wrap for one person’s lunch. 0 points (repeat)
– Lentil loaf sandwich for another person’s lunch. 2 points
Total: 8 points
Daughter loved the wraps, asked for seconds. Doubling bonus, for a total of 16 points!