Colorful Hummus Pita Pockets

4 whole-wheat pita breads, cut in halves
hummus* flavored with garlic, pepper, etc.
lettuce and tomato, chopped
1 avocado, mashed
8 black olives, sliced
1 tsp. olive oil
½ lemon
cilantro or parsley to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Mix avocado, hummus, oil, salt and pepper. Spoon into bottom of half of pita pocket. Add a layer of lettuce and tomato. Sprinkle sandwiches with olives and cilantro or parsley. Squeeze lemon on top.

Serving suggestion: Serve with tabouli, veggies and dip, or fruit salad.

Preparation hints: Olives, lettuce, tomato, and cilantro or parsley can be prepared in advance and stored in a chilled container. *Hummus is a Middle Eastern protein made from garbanzo beans. It can be found in Middle Eastern markets, health food stores, and many grocery stories. It can also be made at home by boiling and mashing garbanzos, then adding spices and olive oil to taste.

Many-Textured Tabouli Salad

2 cups cooked bulgar wheat (1 cup uncooked)
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
¼ cup chopped parsley salt and pepper to taste

Chill the cooked bulgar wheat. Add other ingredients, mix and serve.

Serving suggestion: Serve with hummus and pita pocket sandwiches, veggies and dip, or fruit salad.

Preparation hints: Bulgar wheat is a whole grain that is common to Middle Eastern and African cooking. It can be found in ethnic markets, health food stores, and some grocery stores. Pre-cook the wheat according to package instructions, or by adding 2 cups boiling water to 1 cup bulgar and allowing to sit in covered pan for an hour. Oil and lemon can be added to bulgar prior to the trip. Vegetables can be pre-cut and kept in a chilled container.

Author’s bio: Lynda Smith Hoggan is a Professor of Public Health in the Biological Sciences Department at Mount San Antonio College, Walnut, California.