The Mediterranean Plate from the Yoga Girl® Kitchen

This dish has its roots in the Middle East and Mediterranean and thankfully has spread its deliciousness worldwide! It's one of those amazingly tasty meals that is surprisingly simple to make and good for you too!

One of the main stars in any Mediterranean plate is none other than the mighty hummus. Actually an Arabic word, "hummus" translates to "chickpeas" one of the main ingredients along with the ever important tahini paste, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice in the making of...hummus! A little funny when you consider that you're using "hummus" to make "hummus" but we'll just roll with it.

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When considering what to pair your hummus with, the combinations and possibilities are nearly endless! Some more common pairings for dipping are vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, and bell peppers, or some of your favorite crackers and pita slices. Don't stop there! Make your Mediterranean plate complete with fresh olives, almonds, vegan cheese, or even grapes!

The healthy fats in the olive oil/olives, almonds, and vegan cheeses, combined with the nutrient-dense carbohydrates in the vegetables, and protein in the chickpeas will keep you feeling full and energized, making this a perfect well-balanced meal for any time of day.

The Mediterranean Plate from the Yoga Girl® Kitchen

Makes about 1 serving

Ingredients for Mediterranean Plate:

  • 1/2 cup baby carrots (or about 2 large carrots cut in spears)
  • 1 celery stalk, cut in 3-inch spears
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup baby tomatoes, (or regular tomatoes, sliced)
  • 1/2 cup snap peas (handful)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • Pita bread, cut in triangles (or keep it simple by just tearing pieces)
  • 1/2 cup (handful) of your favorite almonds
  • 1/2 cup fresh olives (your favorite variety!)
  • 1/2 cup grapes
  • Hummus (see below for ingredients/recipe)

Other options for serving:

  • roasted asparagus
  • crackers
  • vegan feta cheese
  • grilled eggplant

Ingredients for Hummus (makes about 8 servings):

  • 2 cups of chickpeas, cooked and drained (save the liquid!)
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste) *see how-to note below to make your own!
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled (add more to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin (can substitute paprika)
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon (to taste)

Garnish for Hummus:

  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Paprika powder

Process:

  1. Start by making your hummus. Put the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, cumin (or paprika), and lime juice in a food processor and begin to process.
  2. Add chickpea liquid or water in as needed to create a smooth and creamy texture.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking (such as adding more lime/lemon juice).
  4. Add to serving dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add a sprinkle of paprika and parsley and then set aside while you wash and chop your veggies.
  5. With the hummus in the middle, arrange your veggies, pita, olives, almonds, grapes, etc. on your plate, turn on some good tunes, then dig in!

Hummus stays fresh in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

* To make your own tahini paste:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water (more if needed)

Process:

  1. In a non-stick pan, toast sesame seeds (no oil) over low-medium heat until they are golden brown (be careful not to burn them!).
  2. Remove from heat and let cool and place in food processor with a pinch of salt and 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and blend on high.
  3. Add more water only if needed to continue blending until you get a creamy liquid.
  4. Save in sealed glass jar and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Have another hummus flavor or have other vegetables you love to dip with? Share with the community in the comments below!