I like to travel simply.  When going to the Holy Land I prefer to spend my time in Jerusalem without agenda or itinerary.  I want a day of simplicity.  I want to follow the sights, smells, and sounds of the old city and just see where the path leads.  I like not having to worry about timelines or appointments.  I like finding the place I haven't eaten before or praying in a church I never noticed in the past.  Every time I go there's something new to discover.

Simple is not boring.  Simple is proceeding without fear or agenda.  Simplicity is not just something I try to weave into my travel but how I think we can grow spiritually.  Simple is trusting that God is leading you on the right path - whether on a pilgrimage or just wandering around a new city.  Being spiritually simple is to abandon fear and  trust in providence.    

In my time in the old city of Jerusalem I've come across two dishes that I absolutely love.  They are simple, fresh, give contrasting flavors, and both go great with warm pita bread.   I invite you to give these a shot this Friday (or some Friday of Lent) and take some time over dinner to discuss how you can live a more simple life and be spiritually simple.

Mediterranean Hummus

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The best part about hummus is that it's simple to make.  Toss the ingredients in a blender and puree till smooth. 

  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Now, remember I said simple isn't boring.  The great part about hummus is you can manipulate the recipe in so many ways.  Use lime juice instead of lemon and toss in half an avocado for a more southwest flavor.  Add more cayenne if you like it spicy.  Toss in some sun-dried tomatoes for an Italian flair.  Have fun with it!

 

Israeli Tomato & Cucumber Salad

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For the salad, chop up the veggies and herbs and then toss them in a bowl with the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

  • 4 English cucumbers diced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 purple onion diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Again, have fun with the recipe!  If you don't like mint, you can switch that out with another traditional herb used in Israeli cooking, parsley.  The most important part is to just give it a try and enjoy a simple Middle Eastern meal on Friday during Lent.

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