Tortillas, hummus, refried beans. (Vegan)

A common lunch in our Meniere’s family is an (almost) sodium-free feast, drawing on Middle East and Mexican ideas. The guacamole, salsa, salad etc are all made from scratch and the only bought item is vegan ‘fake’ chicken.

The bread? Homemade tortillas (easy and quick). Protein comes from the “fake chicken” (has sodium), sodium-free hummus, and refried beans. People have also been known to slather sodium-free peanut butter and agave on the hot, fresh tortillas – and that’s more protein.


Soak a packet of chickpeas overnight. It’s not a trainwreck if you forget. Just pressure cook or boil them longer. I pressure cook them for about an hour or longer until really soft. Drain and put to one side.t pressure cook or boil them longer. I pressure cook them for about an hour or longer until really soft. Drain and put to one side.

Home-made hummus

Home-made hummus

Make your own tahini by putting one normal spice bottle of roasted sesame seeds in a blender with 1/3 cup light oil (grape, olive etc). Turn this into smooth liquid. [If you roast the seeds yourself in a dry pan, do it very slowly so that they don’t burn.]

Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the blender, and blend very well. Always begin hummus by blending lemon juice and tahini first.

Add garlic and non-salt spices as you like, with 1/2 cup of olive oil. Then add 2/3 cup of water. In a food processor, blend the mix from your blender with the chickpeas. You can pretty the top up with a swirl of olive oil and paprika. (You can freeze this too.)


I use a recipe from The Café Sucré Farine ( It’s foolproof and so quick. I double it up because the tortillas fly off the table. I omit the salt and use low-sodium baking powder.

Tortillas ready for cooking

Tortillas ready for cooking

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (leave this out)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (use low sodium baking powder)
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water

Simply mix together with a fork and knead. I don’t use a blender or dough hooks or anything. Form balls and roll each out flat. Lay each one on a dry skillet or flat pan, turn once and it is ready to eat.

You can store these between parchment paper if you want them ready early, or want a Meniere’s sufferer to take them home or freeze them. (But they are best made, cooked and eaten without waiting!)

Refried beans

Refried beans

Refried Beans

Blue Zones (where people live very long lives) are places where people eat a lot of beans. So get friendly with pinto beans if you’re a Meniere’s sufferer. They are really easy to work with and freeze well.

Soak a lot of them overnight, in lots of water. Discard the water as is draws a chemical out of the beans that causes flatulence. Boil the beans until soft in lots more water, and discard that water for the same reason.

I use about three cups of beans to make refried beans. Mash these roughly and set aside. The remainder of the cooked beans can be frozen to make burgers and other bean recipes.

Use a blender to liquidize two chopped medium onions + 1/3 cup olive oil + 1/2 cup water + non-sodium spices + chilli powder to taste. Cook this in a pan for 4 -5 minutes, then add the three cups of mashed beans. When the mix is bubbling hot, it is ready to serve.