When I was younger, I didn’t realize how cooking could work alongside my creativity. I had thought cooking was simply something you did to feed your family and yourself in the morning, afternoon and evening. But when I made scrambled eggs for the first time, I realized that if I added salt, pepper, it gave it a different flavor, or if I chopped onions and peppers and cheese and placed them in the eggs, they would be rich to eat. I gave my mother of a taste of this and she complimented me on my cooking, but suggested to use less salt. I upgraded to other things, such as during the sports seasons when my father wanted steak, but didn’t feel up to cooking it so, I made him a steak with black pepper and some Italian seasoning. He hesitated at first, but when he cut into the medium well steak and took a bite his face lit up. “It’s good!” He said, cutting another piece and taking another bite. I was addicted ever since.
I tried another recipe with meat, but this time I used ground turkey meat to make burgers. I put a little bit of salt into the meat, black pepper and some Italian seasoning. Finally I added some organic peppercorns into the meat and mixed it in. After mixing it together, I attempted something new, and greased the pan with butter rather than using cooking oil. It’s a bit greaser, and not something the health conscious person would adore, but it’s nice for a delicious dinner to make while my friends awaited for the next new episode of Game of Thrones. My friends made a half circle around the television set, each of them, one by one taking a bite of the burger. It was nearly the same expression my father had the first time he tried my steak, but I wasn’t pleased. I worried that they didn’t like it or it was the “average burger.” That was until my friend Misha declared in his Russian accent. “This is better than sex.” And then inquired about my ingredients. My head swelled so big I was surprised I could fit through the door of my apartment. It’s a rather curious thing to say that after my twentieth birthday, I haven’t tasted these recipes, since I am a vegetarian. I’m twenty-two now, and for two years, I don’t know whether or not how delicious these recipes are, I can only tell by reading the faces of my audience. One might wonder why I do I cook meat if I am a vegetarian? It’s because I’m addicted to seeing the reaction on people’s faces as they try my cooking.
So then there was the daunting task of trying to find food that would still be good and yet filling for dinner. Salads are fine for a light dish with your meal or something to eat for dinner instead of gorging oneself on terrible fast food or sweet cakes from Starbucks. I settled to try and find recipes that would not only make dinnertime more appealing, but I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night starving and digging through the refrigerator for Chinese food left overs. It created a new challenge for myself.
I found a recipe from scrolling through the app Pinterest and found something called Hummus Wraps. I read through quickly and saved it, and completely forgot about it until a month later when I was staying at my best friend, Steve’s house for supper.
“What do you want to eat?” He asked, grabbing his keys and placing them in his pocket. There was nothing we wanted to eat in the fridge, and we were too broke to go out to eat, so we decided to pick something up at the grocery store that would be nutritious and filling, yet I something I could eat as well.
I shrugged my shoulders, and went to the car, thinking mostly to myself about what we could eat. I didn’t want to eat another vegetarian burger, I had it for about two weeks straight and eating macaroni and cheese was out of the question for him. I wanted to cook something.
And then I remembered the hummus wraps.
The meal preparation was simple. All we needed was some white (because I’m not a huge fan of wheat) tortilla wraps, a couple packages of hummus, onions, red and orange sweet peppers, some green peppers and tomatoes. I brought my own flavor to it rather than following the recipe verbatim. When we got back from the grocery store, we smoked a cigarette and talked about Dance with Dragons the current fantasy book from the A Song of Ice and Fire series of our obsession. Between talking and smoking, I wondered how I wanted to cook the vegetables. Was it best to butter the pan, or use oil? Was I gong to cook or boil the vegetables—well, cooking seems obvious, boiling sounds disgusting. Then there was the questioning of the seasonings. I decided to use pepper, a bit of salt, some of the spicy peppers, and a bit of hot sauce, only a little to give it flavor.
When we started working together, with me smothering the wraps in hummus and Steve cutting the vegetables and watching me cook, we were silent. The one good thing about our friendship is, he lets me work. He doesn’t bombard me with questions, or wanting to talk about the grievances of his job, or his failing roommate relationship, he stays silent, does as I ask, and allows me the chance to think without thinking while in the kitchen.
I was occupied with my own thoughts as I tossed the diced vegetables around the pan and waited for the tortillas to heat up. My thoughts went to writing, and then to school and then back to work. When I could’ve written a novel about my thoughts, the wraps were done. It took no more than twenty minutes to do, not including the time for preparation and cutting the vegetables. So about thirty minutes total time. It was an easy enough recipe, it’s healthy and above all, it was fun to make for those who like a challenge and to try something new without the use of meat. As I watched Steve eat the wrap, he smiled to me and congratulated me on another well-done recipe. I nudged his shoulder and said. “See, you can enjoy a meal without meat.”
The Hummus Wrap is one of the few dishes I can eat that still requires some level of creativity without using meat products. Although I do enjoy watching my friends devour my cooking with a light in their eyes, it’s nice to be able to watch someone enjoy my cooking and get to enjoy it myself.
1 red sweet pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
1 package of tortilla wraps
2 medium packages of humus
Optional: Black beans
Seasonings: spicy pepper, black pepper, salt, and some hot sauce.
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the vegetables to medium to small sized pieces, depending on your preference and place the vegetables aside for later.
- Open up the package of hummus and spread along the inside of the tortilla wrap.
- When finished, place the hummus wraps into the oven to toast them for about five minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the vegetables in a pan with cooking oil or butter and then put spices over it as it cooks, flipping them over every so often.
- Remove hummus wraps and leave them to cool, and placed heated vegetables into the wrap and close it.
- Continue process until the desired amount of wraps.