"I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect."
There’s a cute little cafe called New Boston Bakery in nearby Fall River that serves a creative offering of sandwiches, paninis, and wraps weekdays for lunch. Just 10 minutes away from my office, it’s a common lunch destination for my colleagues and me on those beautiful summer days when we’re all dying to get away from our air-conditioned offices to take in the warmth of the sunshine. New Boston Bakery has so many yummy offerings, but my favorite is their Vegetarian Wrap with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
Today was a particularly hot and humid day and I was looking for something to make for dinner that wouldn’t require me to turn on the stove or oven. I decided to try to make my own version of the New Boston Bakery Vegetarian Wrap that I love so much. I thought however that if in my version I omitted the actual tortilla wrap, I wouldn’t feel so guilty about slathering on a good amount of my own homemade hummus, which is not only delicious, but also a good source of protein. Homemade hummus couldn’t be easier to make, but if there’s one thing that has kept me from making my own in the past it’s the tahini. Tahini is a paste similar in texture to peanut butter, but instead of being made from peanuts, it’s made of roasted sesame seeds. Although it’s traditionally an essential ingredient in hummus, it’s quite high in calories and not typically a staple item in my kitchen. For my easy homemade hummus, I substitute the tahini with a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil which I always have on hand for a finishing touch to Asian inspired stir fries. The toasted sesame oil gives the hummus great sesame flavor, and using it instead of the tahini saves quite a few calories as a small amount imparts huge flavor.
If some of your family members are not concerned with calories, serve all the same ingredients below in a whole-wheat wrap or pita bread with a sprinkle of crumbled feta or goat cheese.
SIMPLE VEGGIE WRAPS with EASY TOASTED SESAME HUMMUS
Makes 4 meals
¼ red onion, sliced into thin strips
2 15-ounce cans of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
coarse sea salt
freshly cracked pepper
1 head of romaine, green leaf, or boston lettuce
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced into thin half rounds
2 tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin matchsticks
In a small bowl soak the red onion strips in ice water for at least 10 minutes. This will remove some of the harsh flavor from the onions.
After the onions have soaked, drain and pat them dry with paper towel.
HUMMUS: In a food processor puree the chickpeas, garlic, lemon zest and juice, toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper until smooth (just a friendly warning that if you are using table salt instead of course salt you will want to use much less than 1 teaspoon). Taste the hummus and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
To assemble the wraps: Spread a whole lettuce leaf with a couple tablespoons of hummus. Top with a small amount of each of the remaining vegetables, roll and enjoy.