Do you know that smug’ish, kind of cat-that-got-to-the-cream feeling lighting a little fire in your tummy when things that are usually out of your/anyones control magically go your way after you’ve vented your woes out loud? Like… asking the ghost residing in your steering wheel “What’s the <insert profanities here> problem, why isn’t this avalanche of cars moving?” and the jam loosens up without much further ado (or signs of any reasons for a traffic jam even being there in the first place…).
Or growling at your screen “Why is this not working” and all of a sudden it does without you doing anything differently than the gazillion times before. Or perhaps… snapping at the clouds that haven’t visibly moved an inch for 4 disgustingly dark and soggy months straight to kindly f-iretr-uck off and Spring battering down your door the next day! True, a couple of rays don’t make the world a better place per se, but they sure had the power to drag my mood out of the dumpster. For the last handful of days, we had the perfect wintery mix of – for the first time this winter, actually – below 0 temperatures and bright, glorious sunshine. Of course we pounced on that opportunity to grab our hiking boots, a thermos with hot tea and a little something to enjoy at a convenient vista overlooking a serene river bend in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but a whole bunch of snowdrops and unseen songbirds for company. What a rush – and energy surge! While I can’t share that experience itself with you guys, I can share what was in our packs that day~! Here’s what you need for 4 easily prepared, safely portable, healthy, delicious and in many more ways perfect mid-hike snacks~! Just for the record: These are perfect for dinner during Summer too, when it’s too hot to think about plate composition and all that jazz – the herby pea hummus makes them really… refreshing for lack of a better word. And on that note: I started with the pea hummus since it’s one of those things that get better with a little bit of time passing between prep and use – a night in the fridge work wonders on this one, it’s perfectly fine eaten immediately after the prep too, though.
The Herby Pea Hummus
½ Bunch of Coriander, about 20-25g stems and all
½ Bunch of Mint, about 20-25g stems and all
2 Spring Onions, gnarly green bits and bottoms snipped off
½ Bunch of Flatleaf Parsley, about 20-25g stems and all
2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Fresh Jalapeños, topped
300g Peas, blanched for 4 min and dumped into ice water
Alt: 300g Frozen Peas, speed-thawed with a few glugs of hot water
2 heaped Tsp Lemon Zest – I usually go with 2 large lemons for the whole shebang and use the remaining zest for the lamb
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Cashew Butter – readily available in whole foods/organic food stores. Use Almond Butter if you can’t get Cashew Butter
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp Ras el Hanout
a very generous Pinch or two of Salt
Remember I said this was easy?
1) Place everything in a blender or food processor.
2) Whizz the lot into creamy smoothness.
3) Transfer everything into a sealable container and place said container in the fridge until your’re assembling the wraps. Ta~dah!
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Sprig of Rosemary
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
A generous Pinch each of Salt and Pepper
Zest of ½ Lemon
4 Lamb Fillets
4 Pinches of your favorite Herbs de Provence blend – mine has lavender blossoms it it, just enough to make the lamb shiiiiine extra bright~!
About the “easy” thing…
1) Mix the herbs, spices, zest and garlic into the oil and rub the fillets with the resulting marinade.
2) Wrap them up tightly for later use or fire up the pan immediately.
3) 2-3 mins on medium-high heat per side should be enough to turn out slightly pink-centered fillets. Adjust this asessement depending on their thickness and your personal taste.
4) Once they’re done, place them on a sheet of tinfoil and allow them to cool down to room temperature (if wrapping the, up to go – no need to wait of you’re tucking in right away~)
4 Large Wholegrain Wraps
The Herby Pea Hummus
The Lamb Fillets
4 Grilled & Marinated Zucchini-Ribbons – about ½ the time I’ll use homemade ones (grill, olive oil, salt, pepper, italian herbs). The other ½ it’ll be ribbons skillfully marinated by our favorite antipasti vendor on the farmer’s market. Your pick, sometimes the trip to the market equals more of a fuss, though!
8 Dried and/or Marinated Tomatoes
4 Tbsp Fresh Pomegranate Seeds – if you’re opting for ready-to-use seeds that have no chance of scaring your spouse half to death when they enter the kitchen unannounced while you’re butchering the pomegranate, make sure they’re not sweetened! Especially the frozen options have a tendency to be buried in a mountain of sugar for no apparent reason – the fresh ones in the fruit section should be a pretty safe choice, but check just in case.
1) Spread out the wraps and divvy up the pea hummus between them – arrange it in 4 neat’ish lines down the center of each wrap – thing “Stop” sign and leave some space on top and at the bottom to make sealing the ends easier.
2) Place 1 fillet, 1 zucchini and 2 tomatoes on each hummus line and sprinkle each heap with 1 tbsp of pomegranate seeds. If these look too “empty” for your liking, feel free to add some lettuce for more cushioning, but don’t overdo it since… now you’ve got to roll them up.
3) If you’re not new to this kind of thing… roll it up!
If you are… please excuse my crampy attempts to describe, in word and detail, something I do on zero-thought autopilot…
4) Turn the wraps until the hummus line faces you horizontally. Flip the top/bottom-of.the-line sides of the wrap inward, slightly covering the ends of the line.
5) Slide your thumbs beneath the wrap wing on your side and flip it, covering the fillings almost up to the other side while keeping the end bits tucked in.
6) Lightly press the “cover” wing down with your unoccupied fingers and press/wriggle/pull the fillings into a snug fit with the help of the wrap-top-layer.
7) Once you’re satisfied, keep the top wing pressed onto the lower one and roll the whole thing up to the opposite side.
8) Let the wraps sit on their seam for a couple of minutes once you’re through with all of them, allowing everything to set – then dig in or wrap it up in baking parchment, tinfoil or a combination thereof for extra backpack protection~