Friday, September 25, 2009

Some Peace and Quiet

One of my favorite luxuries as of lately is that sweet spot in the week where everyone is out and about and I am left alone with an empty house. As much as I love family, there is something magical about having peace and quiet in a big empty house. I tend to wander around from room to room, thinking out loud and talking to the cats. I run myself a bath and leave the bathroom doors open. I play MY music. There is no one here to distract or annoy and everything evolves entirely around me. Really, it's a treat! What really gets me though, is when I am home alone for dinner. I'm a simple girl really, and it doesn't take a lot to make me happy in terms of a satisfying meal. Hence why I often opt for something light and fresh. Something quick and easy with loads of flavour. Something like a chickpea salad...
I've had a lot of good chickpea salads, but this one is something else. This one is great. And not only that, it is incredibly versatile. You could put it on top of some fresh spinach and serve as a main course, with pita chips on the side. Or, you could stuff the salda into a wrap with some lettuce, and some sprouts. That would be good too! Or you could simply eat it plain, just as is. See, I could eat this twice a day! No one in my family would ever tolerate my borderline obsessive eating habits, which is exactly why home-alone days are so important; I get to eat whatever my little heart desires, how ever often I want.

Curried Chickpea Salad
Adapted from Whole Foods Market

When I first became a vegetarian I immediately gravitated towards legumes. Chickpeas in particular. I was making bean salads like crazy. That was 2 years ago and I'm still eating this salad on a bi-weekly basis. I suppose that it is generally my go-to home-alone dinner. Or lunch. Either! Or both!

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted (optional)
2 15-19 oz. cans cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper
½ cup cilantro or parsley, chopped (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, curry powder, maple syrup and salt. Add cranberries and cumin seeds and toss gently, Add chickpeas, bell pepper, and cilantro and toss again to coat.
You can eat this salad right away but I prefer to let it sit over night. The cranberries plump up and the chickpeas and peppers get a chance to soak up the delicious dressing.

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