Roasted Mediterranean Veggie 'Chicken' Wraps with Turmeric Hummus
Do you (or did you) like chicken?
I did. It was my favourite.
It's been about 3 years since I last had any. When I decided to adopt a plant-based lifestyle the meat alternatives I opted for were beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy products like tofu. These are easily still the staples for me. I never paid attention to the mock-meat products made from textured vegetable protein.
... that is, until I first visited Robin in the Netherlands.
Robin was a full-time meat eater when we met in Thailand. What I really respected was how open-minded he was to the fact that I wouldn't eat meat. He asked inquisitive questions and in the following days really showed an interest in trying to eat less meat. As much as I appreciated the attempt, I thought it was because he fancied me so he was just showing off. It was easy to be plant-based in Asia - tofu and tempeh were plentiful!
I was curious to see how it would play out for him once he returned to Europe...
Fast forward to the present and he's still plant-based. I couldn't be more proud. One of the reasons for this, I would say, is that he substituted meat products for mock-meats. The grocery stores offer many options: ground beef, chicken strips, meatballs, burger patties... impressive stuff.
Lately I've been playing around with them in recipes to see how they'd taste.
To make this short: it was eerie.
Eating the mock-chicken in this wrap felt so close to the real thing that I could barely bring myself to take another bite at times. But then again, I thought my tastebuds were so far removed from eating animal products that I wasn't a reliable person to be judging how closely it resembled real chicken.
... and then Robin tried it. He was confused. How could it not be chicken?
It tasted like it.
Was stringy like it.
Was chewy like it.
Was it a trick?
I've grown too accustomed to eating grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy products. I'll always prefer these whole food sources to plant-based mock-meats. Because to be honest: the mock stuff throws me off.
So then why write about it?
Why make a recipe on it?
Because this deserves a celebration.
One of the main reasons people don't adopt a plant-based lifestyle is the argument, "I like how it (meat, beef, chicken, etc.) tastes."
No arguing that.
Everyone is entitled to like what they like.
.. but now the argument seems less valid. You can make and enjoy a product that feels and tastes so much like chicken that there's no justification for needing to get it from an animal.
And the prices are comparable! Here in the Netherlands, anyway.
Even if the prices are a little more, depending on where you live, I think voting with your wallet is well worth it.
You're paying not only for the welfare of other living things, but also our planet and your health.
Kudos to the food engineers that make this stuff.
Now onto make these wraps!
Let's break it down into some simple steps:
Step 1: cut the veggies into thin strips - here I used red bell peppers, red onions, zucchini and eggplant.
Step 2: toss in oil and then add seasoning.
Step 3: roast in the oven.
Step 4: while the veggies roast, prepare the 'chicken' by cooking it on a pan with soy sauce and paprika powder.