The following recipe is just for readers of this newsletter, “In Step With Jonny” — it’s an advance preview of our forthcoming book, “The Healthiest 15-Minute Meals on Earth” by myself and my co-author, chef extraordinaire Jeannette Bessinger. Enjoy!
Orange Hummus-Stuffed Tomatoes
One of the big misconceptions about hummus is that it’s fattening. Yes, a cup of conventional prepared hummus is high in calories (435), but who eats a whole cup? Hummus is rich in protein, healthy fat, and fiber (from those wonderful chickpeas), plus it has a decent amount of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.
In this dish, Chef Jeannette uses a hint of orange to lighten up the classic hummus in this traditional salad. The recipe makes a terrific light, cooling meal, perfect for a summer afternoon or evening. Brimming with antioxidants from the heirloom tomatoes and the red onion, this dish is refreshing and satisfying without being heavy. — Dr. Jonny
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons roasted tahini (or raw)
1 teaspoon minced prepared garlic (or 2 cloves, minced)
½ cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons orange zest, optional
¼ teaspoon ground fennel
¼ teaspoon ground ginger (or ½ teaspoon prepared ginger juice)
½ teaspoon salt
4 large heirloom tomatoes
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds or pine nuts, optional
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, zest, fennel, ginger, cardamom, and salt, and process until smooth, scraping down the sides, as necessary. Set aside.
Slice off the tops of each tomato and, using a spoon, remove and discard (or eat!) the seeds, hollowing out the centers.
Spoon each tomato full of hummus and garnish with nuts, if using
Any extra hummus can be added to the suggested salad greens or refrigerated for later.
From Chef Jeannette: “To Complete The Meal…”
Nestle the tomatoes in a bed of tender lettuce, mild sprouts (such as clover or alfalfa), and sliced red onion. Drizzle olive oil over all, if desired.
Regarding various legumes like chickpeas, how critical is the issue of preparation methods and consideration of various toxins and “anti-nutrients” present in the them? Canned beans are great for convenience, but I am seeing more and more talk of the need to prepare them in a more traditional manner, which is intended to reduce or eliminate toxins such as lectins and tannins, greatly reduce anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and protease inhibitors, and improve vitamin content and amino acid profile (with fermentation being particularly effective in this regard).
Thank you for sharing all of these fantastic recipes!