I don’t believe in luck or any other fanciful, fingers-crossed kind of malarkey, but for a lot of my life, I’m certain I had bad luck. In fact, it was so bad, it got to the point where my family has since banned me from doing anything that would risk my life, such as parachuting or bungee jumping.
A couple of years ago, I went into cruise control, put on some blinders and focused on my career. My luck seemed to change, bit by bit, for the better. And then April 2016 happened, and I felt almost too lucky. I published my first cookbook, which gave me the most tremendous sense of accomplishment and community. And then I was hired for a few wonderful writing, recipe development and photography projects.
In my personal life, I spent a fun-filled day with my niece, taking her out for lunch and to a children’s concert starring a couple of her favourite “celebrities” (and as a 28 year-old woman, I received an embarassing amount of enjoyment out of). I also learned the birthday of the person who I’ve been dating for several months, because I simply gave up and queried after being past the point where that was even appropriate to ask (“I should know this by now!”); however, they were pleased because they didn’t know my birthday – it was a true breakthrough, a lesson in open communication.
And then I saw this adorable house for sale. A historical cottage, recently renovated with a gorgeous kitchen, bathroom, deck, with all of the 1800s-era historical charm still intact. And it was the perfect size for me, in a city where I just started living (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) less than a year ago. I went to an open house and immediately fell in love. Somehow, thanks to some Good Luck Goddesses (two fabulous real estate agents), I got the house. My first home.
I can say with confidence, April was busy and May is shaping up to be a mirror image.
Evidently, I’m moving in a couple of weeks. And with moving, comes packing, and what’s more important than getting your kitchen gear, cookbooks and dishes into your new home without a backache, headache or plate break? Nothing that’s what. But before I give my food processor, one of the hardest working appliances in my kitchen, a rest and revert to store-bought hummus in the interim, I thought I’d give it one last spin.
Here, an easy Friday night recipe of mine, chana masala, is transformed into a hummus flatbread pizza. Chickpeas with garam masala work beautifully not only in the classic Indian stew, but also when blended with tahini and a whack of lemon. Instead of whole wheat pita, employ naan, soft flatbread or pre-cooked pizza dough, if that’s more to your liking or in your kitchen. As this is merely an open-faced sandwich recipe, you could fold the flatbread in half to eat, or stuff the hummus and friends inside the actual pita pocket before taking a bite. Alone, this hummus recipe can live completely outside of the flatbread pizza realm, used as a snacky dip for vegetables, plain pita or crackers – all of which, make for pretty perfect packing food.
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon tahini
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon garam masala (a spice blend available at bulk food stores, the international aisle of your grocery store, online or at Indian grocers)
- ⅓ cup water, plus more to thin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups cooked)
- 4 large whole wheat pitas or flatbreads or naan breads
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or parsley
- ½ cup plain tomato purée (from fresh or jarred) or fresh chopped tomatoes
- Red wine vinegar, to taste
- 4 fried eggs (optional)
- Salt, to taste
- Make the Chana Masala Hummus Recipe: Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add tahini, lemon juice, garam masala, ⅓ cup water, salt and pepper. Puree until silky smooth and whipped. Add chickpeas and puree until smooth. Scrape down sides and blend again. For a thinner hummus, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. Set aside or store airtight in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make the Flatbread Pizza Recipe: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Add pitas to a large rimmed baking sheet, brush with oil and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until warm and beginning to crisp. Transfer to plates.
- On each flatbread, spread ⅓ to ½ cup hummus. Top hummus with cucumbers, rosemary or parsley, tomato puree (2 tablespoons per flatbread) or chopped tomatoes and a few dots of red wine vinegar. Top with a fried egg, if using and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately with a knife and fork.