September 13, 2010

Chickpea Salad with Orange & Cinnamon Dressing

Last weekend I took my partner and his parents to the Healthy Chef Cafe in Avalon. The menu was bursting with whole foods, organic produce and delicious choices! I don't think I've ever had such a difficult time deciding which dish to order as I did there. I finally settled for a roasted beetroot salad and had an antioxidant smoothie to go with it. The food was absolutely delicious and I felt so good, happy and energetic afterwards!

It is exactly those feelings that I'm after when I cook in my home kitchen too. I opt for balance in flavours, but it is also important for me to use the best ingredients I can get and afford. I choose organic or free range products whenever I can, and I would love to buy even more local produce.

This fabulous chickpea salad is a recipe from the Healthy Chef's cookbook (The 80/20 Diet by Teresa Cutter). The book is full of delicious whole food recipes so I'm sure I'll be trying quite a few of them in the near future!

Chickpea Salad with Orange & Cinnamon Dressing
(Recipe adapted from the 80/20 Diet by Teresa Cutter)

400g raw chickpeas, soaked in plenty of water overnight
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small handful mint, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
50g low-fat Danish feta cheese
6 dried, plump apricots, sliced
20g flaked almonds, lightly toasted

Orange & Cinnamon Dressing

juice from 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
zest from 1 organic orange
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
lemon extra virgin olive oil

Drain the chickpeas, fill the saucepan of chickpeas with water and bring to boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine the chickpeas, tomato, mint, onion and apricots in a bowl. Top with crumbled feta and lightly toasted almonds. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss well and serve.