We have had so many snow days this year that today is both the first and last day of our supposed “spring break”. And, after a beautifully sunny near-sixty-degree weekend, this morning it was a lowly 26 degrees. I went from biking sixty miles and cleaning out my closet with a smile while whistling, to not wanting to get out of bed this morning because the floor was too cold and the covers too warm.
Only in March does this happen over the course of one week.
Ouch. Spring break. Sure! I guess you could call it that.
So, as winter hangs on, kicking and screaming with its snowy tantrums, we all know this cold won’t last forever.
Time to lighten up the meals. This is tangy, fresh, light and very filling. It feeds anyone you can imagine with a special diet; vegans, dairy free, gluten-free, vegetarian and the rest.
In just a short eight weeks, I will be basking in the sultry warmth,
chasing our boys with the water balloon launcher, err… lounging at the pool in the near tropical sun while chilling my manicured toes under the gently flowing waterfall.
One can hope.
Chickpea Salad with Citrus and Herbs
Toss with prepared vegetables and server over rice or quinoa to make a complete meal. Serves a large crowd, about 7-10 people. You may freeze leftovers or halve the recipe, if desired. Time: 2-3 day soak (inactive). 1 hour for cooking beans. 15 minutes to prepare & finish.
- 16 oz. dried chickpeas (1 pound bag)
- 3-4 vegetarian vegetable bullion cubes
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil: LouAna*
- 1/2 a large onion, diced: Your favorite kind as long as it’s the size of a softball, otherwise use more than half.
- 3/4 cup diced, drained roasted bell peppers
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup white wine
- the zest of one lemon
- the juice of two lemons
- the juice of one large naval orange
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt, plus more to taste if desired
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and basil
- 1 cup prepared vegetables or baby spinach (optional)
- drizzle of organic honey, plus more to taste
*A sample of LouAna coconut oil was used to create this recipe. I was pleased with the results.
- Sift through dried chickpeas removing odd bits; rinse chickpeas; place chickpeas into large air tight container. Cover chickpeas with cold water. Cover and place in refrigerator for 2-3 days. Note: Any shorter soak time will require a longer cook time.
- In a large stockpot, add drained soaked chickpeas. Add fresh water 2 cups at a time until water covers chickpeas. Add one bullion cube per 2 cups of water added to pot (about 3-4 cubes).
- Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and allow to cook until chickpeas are tender but not mushy (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
- Drain chickpeas reserving 1 cup simmering liquid with chickpeas and set aside. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.
- In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add coconut oil and diced onion. Simmer until translucent and fragrant. Add diced roasted peppers, crushed red pepper flakes, turmeric, white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice black pepper and sea salt. Simmer gently together until wine is reduced, about fifteen minutes.
- Add chickpeas and toss together.
- In an extra-large salad or pasta sized serving bowl, pour in chickpea salad. Toss with fresh herbs and prepared vegetables or baby spinach if desired. Drizzle with honey and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Serve with rice or quinoa for a complete meal.
Notes on serving: This makes a large (dinner party sized) portion. If making for a smaller crowd, you may either halve the recipe or make the entire recipe and store leftovers in individual air tight containers in the freezer. Keeps for up to three months in the freezer, depending on how much air and moisture is removed from freezer container.
Notes on brands: I use knorr vegetarian vegetable bullion cubes almost all the time and am always pleased with the results. You may use any brand of bullion cubes that require two cups of water per cube to make stock/broth, vary salt levels if you change the brand to taste. I used Mezzetta jarred roasted peppers this time, if you prefer a different brand, you may use what you prefer. I used yellowtail pinot grigio for the wine.