Whoever you are, reading this, you deserve a tasty, healthy, homemade lunch! This one is easy, inexpensive, and low in environmental impact, so there’s no need to feel guilty about it. Perhaps you’re not struggling with that and would like me to get on with telling you the recipe. Well, first I’m going to show you a photo of my lunch, as is the custom nowadays.
This quick and easy meal makes use of whatever vegetables you happen to have, hummus that you either made at an earlier time or purchased, and affordable flour tortillas.
I know, tortillas come from a different culture than hummus; it would really be more authentic to use pita bread. But pita is more expensive and less versatile, and recently we’ve learned that flour tortillas have a whole different flavor and texture when they are toasted than when they’re simply warmed in the microwave before adding hot food. They’re a great substitute for naan bread with Indian food, too!
Hummus and Vegetable Flatbread Sandwich
This can be made in a toaster-oven (or full-size oven) plus a small skillet, or in a large skillet. For each sandwich, you will need:
- 3-4 Tbsp. hummus
- 1 cup assorted raw vegetables–I used onion, carrot, and spinach this time.
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 flour tortillas
Clean and chop the vegetables. Cook them in the olive oil in the skillet. (Vegetables that take longer to cook or that you want more browned, such as onion, should start cooking first; after a few minutes, add more delicate vegetables like spinach.)
Meanwhile, place 1 tortilla on a large plate and spread hummus on it about 1/4″ thick.
To cook in the toaster-oven: Place the second tortilla on top of the first. Put them directly on the oven rack and run a toasting cycle, or bake at 400F for about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get more browned than you’d like. When it’s ready, remove with tongs. Carefully peel up the top tortilla and put it on another plate. Spread vegetables over hummus, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Replace top tortilla, cut into wedges, and serve.
To cook in a large skillet: Spread vegetables over hummus, season to taste with salt and pepper, and top with the second tortilla. Add just a little more oil to the skillet, spread it around, then carefully lift your sandwich with a spatula and place it in the skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute, then lift the edge; if it is getting browned, flip it over and cook the other side. Remove to plate, cut into wedges, and serve.
Serving tip: If the flavor of the sandwich isn’t interesting enough for you, try dipping it in balsamic vinegar. Yum!
Nutrition: The recipe analyzer at happyforks.com says this sandwich has 525 calories, 12g of protein with a good range of amino acids, a full day’s supply of Vitamins A and K, 28% of the Daily Value of fiber, 73% of folate, 63% of manganese, 53% of Vitamin B-1, 23% of Vitamin C, 23% of Vitamin E, and 20% of calcium. It also has 24g of fat to help you absorb the vitamins from the vegetables.
I deserve a good lunch, and so do you!
I’m having a difficult time lately. I’m still looking for a job, so I have all the worries and fear of failure associated with that, and I’m constantly feeling that I don’t get enough done in the time I have available. We hoped to get going with some home renovations during this time, so I keep researching contractors and calling them–and not getting any response. Meanwhile, I’m in a stage of more frequent headaches than usual: I’ve had some level of headache for at least part of the day in 10 of the past 12 days.
Last Wednesday was the worst point. The pain that increased rapidly all morning was accompanied by sensory sensitivity and the kind of hunger that grips the back of my head growling, “This is not just about calories. Feed me the right food, now, or else.”
I wanted the hummus and grilled vegetable sandwich that I used to get at Kiva Han . . . when I had a job . . . not the last job but the previous job, and not even the final years of that job after Kiva Han became a Bagel Factory and then I ate at Bagel Factory all the time and enjoyed it but, oh, Kiva Han is gone, long gone now, along with that job, and I just want my job and my life and my sandwich . . . so, c’mon, get a grip, at least I can have the sandwich, or one a lot like it, with ingredients I happened to have in the house.
When I started chopping the onion, I could barely tolerate the noise of the knife hitting the cutting board, but I forced myself to keep on proving that I could in fact survive this ordeal that only feels like it could kill me at any moment; it never has, so it won’t, right? I am stronger than the beast in my head wants me to believe I am. . . .
Then I realized that my partner Daniel (who is responsible for cleaning the cast-iron skillets in our home) had not cleaned either skillet after the previous night’s dinner; they both were too gooey to use. I started to cry. But then, you know what I did? I asked for what I needed! He cleaned the skillets (while I lay down in another room). He asked if I needed him to cook me something. But he’s got an erratic record with sautéing vegetables the way I like them vs. making them come out weird somehow, and I really needed them cooked just right without my having to explain what that means . . . so I said I’d rather do it myself.
I went back to the kitchen and chopped up the dried-up baby carrots left over from coffee hour and put them into the pan with the onions while I cleaned the spinach. I added the spinach to the pan, turned off the heat, and let the cast iron’s residual heat cook the spinach while I set up the tortillas and hummus. All this felt so difficult . . . but it was easier when I told myself, I am cooking for someone I love, someone who needs a good sandwich, who might feel better after eating. . . .
The first 1/4 of the sandwich did help me to feel a little better, enough to feel grateful for the sandwich and notice how nice it looked and convince myself to take a photo before I resumed eating. It was a bad day, but at least I had a good sandwich. Everything will be all right. It will. It will. It will.
Speaking of the future, when I searched to see if Kiva Han still has any restaurants in locations other than the one I used to go to, I learned that after several years of being only in the coffee-roasting business, Kiva Han bought Crazy Mocha earlier this year. There is a Crazy Mocha just 3 blocks from my house, and there are more in the two neighborhoods where I’m most likely to find a job! Crazy Mocha might start serving the hummus-and-veggie sandwiches and other foods Kiva Han’s restaurants used to have, in convenient locations for workday lunches! The future looks a little brighter now.