Kimchi Hummus Lettuce Wraps with Spring Pea Shoots, Radishes and Avocado

Kimchi Hummus Lettuce Wrap 01

Continuing with my clean eating plan (aka Valentine's Day Chocolate Fondue Hangover Detox), I give you this light lunch filled with good-for-you ingredients and a welcome sign of spring. There is a lot of crunch going on with the crisp Boston lettuce, fresh pea shoots, and peppery radishes.

To know me is to know that I love chickpeas. I mean LOVE. I'm sure my mom has fond memories of me eating chickpeas straight from the tin can as a kid. She always advised me to get a bowl so I wouldn't cut my hands on the jagged edges, this being the time before the invention of clean-cut can openers. She also likely had some serious concerns about my eventual leaving-the-nest with no manners, never appreciating the bowls stocked in the cupboard and utensils in the drawer to the left of our fridge.

The good news for her is that I no longer eat my chickpeas this way. Nor do I eat soup directly from the saucepan (at the table - oh the horror of Teenage Me!). Though, I might, occasionally, clean my plate in an unsavory manner. When no one is looking. I can't be the only one, though, right? RIGHT? 

Hummus purists, now would be the appropriate time to go and do something else. I know this isn't technically hummus, if you follow the rules of it being a chickpea spread made with hummus and lemon juice. I love the original concept, but I also have a fondness for chickpeas that extends beyond the conventional. I'm also not one to enjoy following the rules. That's why I had to see what happened when I mixed two of my favorite things. One that's been a constant source of sustenance and enjoyment over the past 35 or so years and one that's a relatively new obsession, spanning the last year. 

Chickpeas, meet kimchi. Kimchi, meet chickpeas. I'll leave you two to mingle.

Kimchi Hummus Lettuce Wrap 01

Lest you think I need help because I have my ingredients talking to each other, we'll move on, shall we?

These are very versatile. Enjoy one as a mid-afternoon snack. Eat two or three of these lettuce wraps alongside some fresh fruit or a cup of soup and it's a satisfying lunch that won't leave you dragging in a mid-day slump. Pack more of these on your plate and it's a dinner that won't weigh you down. I'm often wanting food that leaves me feeling light and energetic, rather than sluggish, and this is just that sort of meal. You could even tuck some rice or quinoa to the wrap if you want the addition of a grain or have some leftovers. See what I mean? Very flexible.

Okay, I'm off to devour this plateful!

Kimchi Hummus Lettuce Wrap 03


Kimchi Hummus Lettuce Wraps

vegan, gluten-free, nut-free

Serves 2-4, can be easily doubled

Kimchi Hummus

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved 
1 cup kimchi (either homemade or purchased)
1 tablespoons kimchi liquid
2 tablespoons reserved chickpea liquid
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Lettuce Wraps - Assembly
Kimchi Hummus (from above)
1 head of Boston Lettuce
4-5 radishes, julienned
1-2 handfuls of pea shoots
1/2 avocado
  1. Wash the lettuce and carefully tear the leaves from the head so that they stay whole. Gently dry the leaves and arrange them on a plate.
  2. Spoon a few tablespoons of kimchi hummus onto each lettuce leaf.
  3. Garnish with radishes, sliced or cubed avocado, and pea shoots. Serve alongside a peeled clementine for a refreshing meal.

Romesco Potato Chickpea Chard Abundance Bowl (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian)

Romesco Potato Chickpea Chard Bowl

How's your eating going so far this year? Have you stuck to your intentions for healthier eating or need a reboot due to being swept away by Valentine's Day goodies?

I know where I've been residing this week and I'm recommitting to healthy eating right now by making more of these abundance bowl meals. I call them abundance bowls because they celebrate with marked simplicity the abundance and variety of nutrient-dense and delicious foods available to most of us. Much of my eating is composed of these uncomplicated and wholesome whole-food/real-food meals. Maybe you've seen these called Buddha bowls. The name doesn't really matter... as long as the goodness is there.

Some people wouldn't think of these as meals needing recipes but that's just the kind of food that people need to reclaim again - and CELEBRATE - as satisfying and nourishing and doable. I'm a busy mom and bowls like this are often what I make for lunch for myself and they are so easy that you can too. Feel free to use leftovers from things you've cooked the night before. Here, I've assumed you're starting from scratch, but I know that's not always the case. I encourage you to use what you have. But please make the Romesco sauce and freeze them in small containers (1 cup or smaller if it's just you eating it). They will make future Romesco Abundance Bowls that much easier. 

Here's to not making things more complicated than they need to be. Here's to nourishing yourself from the inside out. Here's to always being one meal away from getting back on track.

Can I get a Halleluyah?!

Romesco Potato Chickpea Chard Bowl
Romesco Potato Chickpea Chard Bowl
Romesco Potato Chickpea Chard Bowl

Romesco Potato Chickpea Chard Bowl

Romesco Potato Chickpea Chard Abundance Bowl

gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian

Author: Lisa Cohen

Serves 4


1.5 lbs bag of small potatoes, each potato cut in half
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1-2 bunches of chard leaves (de-stemmed), washed and roughly chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, warmed in a pan or microwave, if desired
Smoked paprika, to taste
Fresh Parsley, for garnish
Romesco sauce (recipe follows)



Roast the potatoes - Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly black pepper. Mix to coat the potatoes with the oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned. While these are in the oven proceed to the next step.

Sauté the greens - Heat a large sauté pan or skillet on medium heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil and garlic and sauce for 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant. Add the torn chard leaves and a few pinches of coarse salt and sauté on low heat until chard begins to wilt, tossing frequently with tongs, about 5-10 minutes, making sure that the garlic doesn't burn. If you need to add some water to the pan because it's drying add, add it 1-2 tablespoons at a time. If you've freshly washed the chard leaves, you likely won't need to do this step. When finished, add freshly ground pepper, to taste.

Assemble abundance bowl - Place roasted potatoes, sautéed chard, and chickpeas in a bowl. Sprinkle the chickpeas with a little smoked paprika. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of Romesco sauce in the center of the bowl and sprinkle with parsley.



Romesco Potato Chickpea Chard Bowl

Classic Romesco Sauce

Adapted from World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey


2 medium onions, peeled but left whole
8 to 10 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 large very ripe tomatoes or a 28-ounce calf fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
3 dried ancho chilies
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 teaspoons salt


  1. Turn on the broiler (I used my toaster oven). Spread the onions garlic, and tomatoes on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil.
  2. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning the onions, garlic, and tomatoes as the outsides char. The garlic will get done first. Remove the garlic cloves and continue for another 10 minutes or so until the onions and tomatoes are also browned on all sides. Remove the tomatoes at this stage.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake the onions for 25 to 35 minutes, or until they have softened all the way to the inside. Meanwhile, remove the stems and seeds of the ancho chilies by cutting the tops off and shaking out as many seeds as possible. During the last 2-3 minutes, add the almonds to toast with the oven ingredients until golden brown. Set aside to cool, then grind the almonds to a fine powder in a clean spice grinder.
  4. Put the chilies in a small pot along with the vinegar and 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until all the chiles are soft. Turn the heat off. Let the ancho mixture sit, covered, for another 5 minutes, or until the peppers are very soft. Cool slightly in the liquid. If you don't have a high power blender you'll want to remove the skin. If you have a BlendTec or Vitamix then don't worry about it... all will be blitzed to smoothness in the magic machine. Remove any seeds that are still clinging to the flesh.
  5. When the onions are very tender, remove them from the oven and discard the charred outer layer. Chop them coarsely. Peel the garlic cloves.
  6. Put the ancho-tomato mixture, onions, garlic, ground almonds, oil, leftover vinegar, if any, and salt into a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

My Healthy Morning Routine

Morning Ritual Tea Choices

I was recently asked how I start my day to ensure good health and happiness so I thought I'd share my morning routine with you. 

I start each morning off right by constructing the night before in such a way that allows me the opportunity to get at least 8 hours of sleep. I’ve always needed more sleep than most and have found the sweet spot that works for me so that I can start my day with the best potential for success right out of the gate.
The part I look forward to the most is meeting up at the table for a family breakfast. Usually, my son and husband can be found gathered around the table with me, even if it's just for a few minutes of overlap. Sometimes, my teenage daughter is still getting ready for her day, sometimes she joins us. It's always nice getting to start the day spending time with some of the people I love most in this world.
Sourdough Avocado Toast with Dukkah
In the cold winter months, my breakfast consists of a cup of hot rooibos chai tea and a slice of my homemade sourdough bread, toasted and topped with sliced avocado and some dukkah or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper or a warming bowl of green soup. Think of green soup as a savory morning smoothie that I eat with a spoon that's always welcome on a day like today when we woke to 4 inches of snow on the ground. My morning tea ritual is a nice touchpoint in slowing down, taking some deep breaths, and savoring a few moments of stillness.
In the summer months, my breakfast is usually a green smoothie filled with either spinach, chard, or kale along with seasonal fruit, plant-based milk, and cinnamon maple vanilla almond butter for protein and great flavor.
Morning Ritural Green smoothie
Morning Ritural Green smoothie
After I get the kids off to school, I either teach a yoga class or head to my home gym for some exercise. My favorite yoga poses are triangle pose and exalted crescent lunge for opening up the hip flexor area that tends to get tight and also for expanding the chest, shoulders, and heart center area.
At the end of last month, I challenged myself to begin a daily meditation practice (again). Nothing big or time consuming, just sitting in stillness for at least 5 minutes a day. When I’m able to complete this in the morning, it sets a great tone for the rest of my day. 
Now it's your turn! I'd love to hear the things that make up your morning ritual so please share in the comments. 
For tips on how to make morning smoothies more a part of your morning routine visit my post Making Green Smoothies Go More Smoothly.
Morning Ritual Smoothie Planning