Chickpea Monday

May 04, 2015

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but if it stunk, its name would probably be Monday. Yes, everyone loves to hate Monday, the most dreaded of all the days of the week; and dreaded it is, unapologetically and by people everywhere. Thing is, there isn’t much you can do about it: the weekend eventually comes to an end and Monday comes no matter how frantically much or lethargically little you try to do all weekend long. So you might as well wish your way into a good Monday. Yes, it’s possible.

You can start by making yourself the favour of having a good lunch break. If you’re at home, then this part is a bit easier. If you work out of the house , you can use a small fraction of Sunday evening to make yourself a nice lunch casserole. It will take you about 20 minutes and you’ll love yourself come next day noon, I promise.

I make this dish for myself at home pretty often. I sometimes make it for lunch and other times, for dinner, especially if I work out in the evening. I love it because while it’s vegetarian, it packs a lot of protein. I’m also a big lover of chickpeas, so I’ll pretty much use any excuse to use up my stash.

I like to use chickpeas that I buy in bulk and boil overnight and then freeze in 400gr/2 cups portions. Then, I just thaw them before using. I find that the flavour is better than that of the canned ones, but I think those work very nice as well.

Chickpea and Feta Salad

200g/1 cup chickpeas, boiled and drained or if using canned, drained

5 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

2 slices of day old bread/toast/dakos/Swedish knackebrod, optional

2 medium tomatoes, diced or 250gr/1cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small cucumber or 1/2 large one, sliced

1 large shallot or 1 small red onion, finely diced

1 Tblsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Parsley or basil, for garnishing

Heat 2 Tblsp of the olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and spices and cook for 10-15 minutes, until chickpeas become soft. Leave to cool a bit. Make the vinaigrette by mixing the 3 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil with 1 Tblsp red wine vinegar, add a little salt and pepper and mix well. In a medium bowl, mix the bread (if using), tomatoes, cucumbers and onions with the vinaigrette, then add the chickpeas and mix to combine. Add the feta or goat cheese, garnish with parsley or basil and serve, adding a little more olive oil if desired.

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