I recently realized that I prefer snacks over traditional entrees for lunch. It’s been a pretty delicious discovery that has totally increased my satisfaction with lunchtime meals.
Credit for the discovery is owed to slowing down and eating more mindfully, something that I’ve been trying to give more focus to lately.
It’s so easy to lose sight of internal hunger, satisfaction, and satiety cues when we’re distracted and/or just not paying attention.
(Anyone else ever had lunch in front of the computer without taking a second to taste and enjoy it?)
Well, once I slowed down to really consider what I actually felt like eating around lunch time, I realized it wasn’t really leftovers or traditional entrees at all.
I was reaching for simple, tapas-style “grazing meals” with small portions of a combination of foods, including crackers/toast/corn chips with hummus, kalamata olives, cucumber salad, guacamole, salsa, baked tofu, and/or smoked salmon.
It’s been a nice reminder that meals don’t need to be formal or traditional to be nutritious and satisfying. Either way, I’m getting all of the nutrients that my body needs (complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats) to power through the rest of the day.
This kalamata olive lentil hummus has been a recent (super delicious) addition to my lunch rotation. It combines so many of the flavors that I love (olives, garlic, tahini, cumin, basil, lemon) and works well as both a dip and sandwich spread. (Also great for a party!)
Along with eating more intuitively, I’ve also been on a mission to eat more lentils, so this hummus came to me at the perfect time.
I try my best to include a plant-based protein source with each meal, but I just seem to always leave out the poor lentil. When I do have them, I always wonder how I could have neglected them – they’re way too good to be forgotten.
Thanks to Pinterest, I came to the realization that lentils can be used interchangeably with chickpeas in a recipe that I make all the time – hummus.
Using lentils in one of my staple recipes makes eating more of them so much easier. Kalamata olives just sweeten the deal.
(Are you also looking for more ways to eat more lentils? Try this lentil green smoothie.)
- 2¼ cups cooked lentils (I used Trader Joes pre-steamed but you could also cook dry lentils)
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives (I also included about ½ tbsp olive juice from jar)
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Optional toppings: chopped kalamata olives, capers, chopped fresh basil, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast
- Combine all ingredients except toppings in food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and top with optional toppings as desired.
- Serve with crackers, pita, flatbread, and/or fresh vegetables for dipping or use as a sandwich spread.
How do you eat lentils?