I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Not because I don’t believe in self-improvement – on the contrary, self improvement gives me a raging lady-boner – but I call bullshit on the idea that you have to wait until this most arbitrary of dates before putting it all into effect. Surely if you really want to do something, you can start any time, right?
In this curmudgeonly optimistic spirit, I recently resolved to Do Better at Lunch. I work in an office in the middle of city. There are no shortage of lunch options around; despite the legal precinct being sadly devoid of bubble tea, there are plenty of other things to be acquired and ingested come midday. So why is it that I keep finding myself apathetic when it’s time for my lunch break? Well, perhaps I should rephrase that: I am never apathetic about the prospect of lunch, just the prospect of lunch in the CBD. I am perpetually underwhelmed by sandwiches (unless they are open and freshly made, or toasted and filled with cheese). And when I eat something that is delicious but more-or-less devoid of nutrition, I always feel a bit dissatisfied, just because there are plenty of things that are both delicious and healthy. Throw in the fact that I get pissy when I have to fork out (hurrrrr) $8 for a salad with $2 worth of ingredients, and that’s an unacceptable quantity of lunchtime discontent. Lunch time should be a celebration of that precious break in the work day when you can read your book, listen to your music and generally prance around without a care.
So, in the interest of my health, my levels and contentment, and my budget, I resolved to bring my lunch more often. Not every day; after all, the food options in the city are great and it’s nice to treat myself sometimes. But more days than not. Lunches. Healthy, tasty lunches from home. Lunches fit to offer up to the lunch break gods without shame. *nods* This is a thing now.
To that end: hummus. It’s cheap, portable, nutritious and delicious. I actually have a History with home-made hummus. And by that I mean I have spent many a year feeling pissed off at the universe because, try as I might, I cannot make home-made hummus better than the stuff churned out so deliciously by this one particular stall at the market. I don’t know what black magic they’ve harnessed, but all my efforts, though commendable, just can’t compare. But it’s childish to sulk just because I can’t win at hummus. Once I stopped being so obsessed with competing, I realised that my own stuff is if not the best, at least the second best hummus I’ve had. And that’s not half bad, right?
Consolation Prize Hummus:
– 1 tin of chickpeas, cleansed of the noxious can goo (i.e. drained and rinsed)
– 2 cloves garlic
– 2 tablespoons tahini
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– ground cumin
– ground paprika
– handful each of fresh parsley and coriander (cilantro, to you cilantro sayers)
If inclined, peel your chickpeas. It should take you about 10 minutes for one tin. I do it because the internet tells me this is the way to blissfully smooth hummus, but I am fairly sure that the world won’t end if you skip this part. Dump the first five ingredients into a food processor/blender and process until you’ve got a paste. If the mixture is too thick to blend properly, add some water or a bit more lemon juice. Do this until you reach the desired consistency. Add spices to taste, and salt as desired. Rinse the herbs to remove any grit and then toss them in and process until they’re finely chopped and incorporated into the mixture.
Scoop out into your desired receptacle and eat right away, or top with whatever makes you feel fanciest. For me, this is usually a swirl of olive oil and either a sprinkling of paprika or a scattering of nuts and seeds.
Optional: lug to work and devour, garnished with the rich creamy smugness that comes with being well-organised and nutritiously conscientious.