So I have been delinquent with my posting for quite awhile. I own it. During my absence, I have been doing a number of things–many of them incredibly time-consuming. For example, on May 22, I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. It was my first half and it was an amazing journey (especially since the journey ended with a bag o’ cotton candy from my fiance–mmmm feathery, spun sugar). I have also been deeply involved with wedding plans and have accepted a new job that will take me far from New York, so moving and career-change arrangements are afoot as well.
In the mean time, I have been cooking up a storm whenever I can fit it in.
That is until this hot, sultry weather kicked in. I don’t mean sultry in a fun pin-up girl kind of way, either. I mean the kind of weather that gets this northern gal dangerously close to a complete meltdown. I never want to cook when the weather is much above 80 degrees. I rarely want to eat anything when it’s too warm, either. Unfortunately, the biggest problem is that I don’t want to eat or cook anything all day, then when the temps come down to reasonable levels in the evening, I am starving! Also, I am usually too tired to cook and end up bingeing on freeze pops, animal crackers and Nutella. Not the best life choice, it turns out, as woman cannot live on Nutella alone (much to my chagrin!).
Today I got home after a very long weekend hesitant to get back to the reality of every day life and looked around my kitchen for something delish to make that would not take a lot of effort and as little heat as possible.
I had a few staple ingredients on hand that are easy enough to come by:
…and a few others that I had on-hand that are easy to substitute in case they are hard to find in your area. Time to get down to business!
Chickie Summer Salad
What You’ll Need:
1 14 oz can of garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar (regular is fine if that’s all you have, but it will slightly alter the color of the final product)
1/2 lemon, juiced (or 1 tsp lemon juice)
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp ground coriander (you can use whole coriander seeds and grind them in a clean coffee mill)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp parsley flakes (fresh or dried–optional)
What to Do:
In a medium bowl, combine diced onion, oil, vinegar, lemon and spices; mix thoroughly. Add drained chickpeas and allow to sit for a few minutes to marinade like so:
While these little beanies steep, it would be a good time to cut up the other veggies. When everyone is ready, toss all of the ingredients together and you get this eye and tummy-pleasing little number:
This is great because the total time it takes to make this is about 30 minutes start to finish. You can make it ahead and it will keep fairly well. If you would like to make it a full day in advance, I would suggest holding out the tomatoes until you are ready to serve and tossing them in before you’re ready to dig in.
As is, this dish is vegan and fairly low-calorie, though I have not done the math yet on the calories. It can be a good meal for two, a decent side for four and it can easily be doubled (hint hint–healthy take-along for summer parties!). In terms of variations, I could see adding a few toasted pine nuts for extra flavor and crunch, add a little more pop with fresh mint, or throw in fresh mozzarella pearls or shredded parmesan for some cheesy goodness. We ate it as a side with some veggie burgers and fruit, but on its own I could definitely see it served over fresh greens or tossed with whole wheat pasta for a little more bulk.
Hope you like this easy to make salad!
2 June 2010 UPDATE: I looked up the calorie counts for each component of the salad and the total for the entire recipe is about 497 calories. Because my math is often a little fuzzy, I would just figure that eating the whole bowl would cost about 500 calories so eating half is 250 and a quarter is 125. Not a bad deal at all! Also, based on empirical research, I think it might be better the next day!