For The Veg-Heads: Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wraps

January 21, 2015

I live in health-obsessed Boulder County, land of the lean, mean, green-smoothie chugging, mountain-bike pedaling, gluten-free folk.  Seriously, it’s kind of nuts. I think I’m the only person in my neighborhood who consumes any and all of the following: gluten, meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, carbs. I consume those things with relish. And…shhh, don’t tell anyone: I don’t even own a Vitamix.

It’s shameful, I know.

I do pay attention to my diet, and I try to eat fairly healthfully, but it’s not a religion. You can’t throw a container of hummus in this county without hitting a vegan. When did food become the enemy?

It didn’t used to be this way.

Growing up, I didn’t really know any vegetarians. The first vegetarian I encountered was after our move from North Dakota to Colorado. Her name was Jan, and she was our next door neighbor. Her daughter was in my fourth grade class and Jan and Mama soon became thick as thieves. I still remember listening to them whisper and laugh in our living room, glasses of iced tea sweating in the afternoon heat. One summer afternoon, the ladies were particularly rowdy and full of mirth, and when I entered the room, they quickly shushed and became slyly secretive. A few days later, I opened a drawer in a living room cabinet and discovered the source of all that giggling: A dog-eared copy of the book The Sensuous Woman.

Even at the tender age of ten, I could tell that The Sensuous Woman was one of those books you read cloak-and-dagger fashion; naturally, I did just that. Armed with my trusty flashlight, I fled to the basement to see what that tempting, well-read tome had in store. Hoo-Boy!! Seriously, ladies? Those women in the late 1970’s had it going on. I came whizzing out of that basement a while later, eyes a-buggin.’

I thought Jan was quite glamorous; she had luxurious red, thick hair and green eyes and was always tanned. She also had the slowest, most God-awful metabolism on the planet. I never saw Jan eat more than a few bites of food. Two bites of a tuna sandwich, a nibble of an apple slice. It boggled my mind–how could she survive on those rations?

One summer she abandoned meat entirely, subsisting on leaden, cardboard-colored pita pockets stuffed with avocado and wild, sprouty stuff that looked like hair. I watched her chew those concoctions slowly, amazed that she could gag them down.

Luckily for the Veggie Vixens of today, we no longer have to eat Bedrock Bread and shit that looks like hair. There are some lovely options out there now for the meat-averse. It’s a wonderful thing. Even I, a card-carrying carnivore, sometimes opt for a plant-based meal, just to lighten things up.

When I do eat a vegetarian meal, I usually turn to beans or chickpeas for my source of protein, because I’ve never really warmed up to tofu or tempeh. And you’ll never get me to try something called Soyrizo. Fake sausage? Whaaa?

But hummus is lovely. Tucked into a wrap with some fresh, grilled vegetables, hummus makes a lovely little lunch.

I’ve been eating a few more meatless meals than usual, because I have a sunny, 3-day getaway planned for mid-February, and the prospect of getting into a swimsuit is a little daunting right now. It’s time to put down the steak knife, at least a few days a week.

This wrap is so tasty and satisfying, though, that I don’t really feel that deprived when I eat it. If you’re looking to lighten things up or if you’re a fan of all things veg, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Bring on the sun and the swimsuit!





Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap
serves 4
from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave

2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick-slices
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup store-bought hummus*
4 pieces whole-wheat wrap bread, about 9 inches in diameter, such as Flatout
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained, rinsed and sliced
2 ounces baby spinach leaves or romaine lettuce leaves (2 cups lightly packed)
1/2 cup red onion, thinly slices into half-moons
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush both sides of the zucchini slices with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Grill until tender and slightly browned, about 4 minutes per side.

Spread 1/4 cup of the hummus over each piece of bread. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the pine nuts on top. Top with zucchini slices, red peppers, 1/2 cup spinach or romaine, a few onion slices and 1 tablespoon of mint. Roll each of them up and slice on the diagonal.

* You can use any kind of Hummus you like. Personally, I think the Sabra brand hummus kicks everyone else’s ass.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @ The Meaning of Me January 21, 2015 at 8:48 am

I’m with you here – when and WHY did food become the enemy? I do not begrudge anyone their personal choices or beliefs. But honestly, I hate all these diets, eating plans, whatever you want to call them, that make some kind of food the thing that will make your life miserable and kill you one day. Breathing will do that for crying out loud.
Anyway, I’m a true believer in the all things in moderation approach. Honestly, we do eat meatless pretty often here, but not because we think meat is bad. Meat is good. Very very good. :D We try to spread the love around so everybody is happy.
I do happen to love a good hummus sandwich or wrap, though. So does the Hub. Just this morning I had a great one I found via another blogger – pita, hummus, baby arugula, carrot, cucumber, tomato, and pomegranate arils with a tiny bit of salt and some lemon pepper. Oh my goodness was it delicious! And so colorful. Now that’s what I like – food that looks as good as it tastes.
I usually do my own hummus but I completely agree that if you’re buying, Sabra is the way to go. Unless you have a great Mediterranean place in town with somebody’s mom behind the counter making the good stuff…then go there. We have a couple of those. I am a lucky girl. We also have a wicked good butcher. ;)


Annie January 21, 2015 at 10:11 am

I love a good veg and hummus wrap. So satisfying and you still feel virtuous afterwards! You’ve made a lot from this cookbook if I recall. Would you recommend it for people looking to do more veg?


elizabeth January 21, 2015 at 10:14 am

I’m convinced that some hummus would make an old shoe taste good. If you’re looking for some lighter, veg-heavy recipes (in addition to some interesting meat dishes), I would strongly urge you to check out Jerusalem. The hummus recipe alone is worth it and the only things that require much though are soaking the beans overnight and then cooking them the next day. Then everything just gets tossed into the blender.


Shannon January 21, 2015 at 12:52 pm

I have one (semi)vegetarian daughter (she only eats grass fed meat that we have gotten directly from the farmer) so this would be right up her alley. I think it looks pretty yummy myself.


Biz January 21, 2015 at 3:31 pm

I puffy heart hummus – do you have Trader Joe’s out there? They have a cilantro and jalapeno hummus that’s amazeballs. :D


Dana Talusani January 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm


We have a Trader Joe’s in Boulder–I will have to try the spicy hummus! Sounds like something I need in my life.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri January 21, 2015 at 4:51 pm


You know this vegetarian is on board. This recipe looks great. I am always struggling to find vegetarian recipes – there is only so much that I can do with pasta or lentils. Thanks for trying to help expand my repertoire. xo


Dana Talusani January 22, 2015 at 7:00 pm


You know how much I love lentils, but even I get sick of them. This is a good, quick alternative!


Alison January 22, 2015 at 1:18 am

I was vegetarian for all of 2 years. Heh.
This looks delicious, as always.


Dana Talusani January 22, 2015 at 5:53 pm


I think 2 years is pretty darn long!


Pamela January 22, 2015 at 4:39 am

I love this story. Thank you for your amazing time travel ability. I am so nostalgic for the 70s… And this wrap looks delish.


Barbara January 27, 2015 at 5:59 am

Looks good…and I like the hummus/pine nut combo. I eat protein with every meal in the form of chicken, mostly. Rarely do I go meatless. When I need to lose weight, I go high protein, no carbs at all.
Definitely NOT a vegan, or even a vegetarian.


Velva January 27, 2015 at 7:08 pm

I could easily dig into this wrap and enjoy it. I amno vegetarian but I enjoy meatless meals too.

I think the diet crazes are simply because we have too many choices.



Tiffany February 25, 2015 at 6:22 am

When DID food become the enemy? I’m going to ponder that for a while today. I’m going to make this the next time my vegetarian BFF comes over!


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