May 20, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Sometimes when I’m just hanging around the house I come up with some great lunch ideas. Most of you already know I’m a creative thinker. To be honest, it’s really not rocket science. My favourite way to make a salad is to open the fridge and start hauling out ingredients from the vegetable drawer.

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I had some fresh organic kale, spinach and some leftover cantaloupe lurking around so it looked good enough to me!

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Oh and what about these kiwis? What about them? They were also just sitting there staring at me so I took my paring knife and made them pretty. Not as pretty as an avocado rose, but good enough. I also received a super cool melon baller from Zwilling Canada so I thought, hmmmmmmm ……….why not make a few cantaloupe balls to kick up the greens in this salad.

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Salads are really the easiest lunches to make. But like really. What does it take to throw some lettuce on a plate?

Not too much right?

The issue wasn’t so much the bed of lettuce, it was the topping for this creation. I wanted to make something nice, crunchy and with the addition of added protein. What’s better than chickpeas that are perfectly seasoned and roasted? I mean.

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These little babies are so addictive I found myself snacking on them all day. I’m talking about every hour on the hour, a handful here and a handful there. Hello “Chickpeas Anonymous”.

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And what about the dressing? Also something that adds a bit of boom to any salad. I mixed up some store bought hummus, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice/zest, seasonings and agave – an absolutely perfect vegan dressing. (you can whip up your own hummus but I happened to have a roasted garlic one in the fridge, so why not?).

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1, 2, 3 get ready to salad with me!

VEGAN SWEET CAESAR SALAD WITH ROASTED CHICKPEAS

Roasted Chickpeas
-1 can chickpeas (750g) rinsed, drained and dried well
-Olive oil
-Sea salt
-Pepper
-Garlic Powder
-Cayenne (optional)

Salad Ingredients
-Kale
-Spinach
-Cantaloupe
-Sliced Kiwi

Vegan Caesar Dressing
-½ cup hummus, fresh or store bought (I used roasted garlic)
-1 tsp mustard (I used sweet & spicy)
-2 cloves of fresh garlic, pressed – *omit if using garlic hummus
-2 tbs fresh lemon juice
-zest from ½ lemon
-pinch of pink sea salt
-pinch of freshly ground pepper
-2 – 3 tbs olive oil
-1 tbs agave, honey or maple syrup
-1 tbs vegan mayonnaise – optional but really makes this very creamy

1) Preheat oven to 450F. Line a large baking pan with parchment or non stick foil.
2) Rinse and drain chickpeas, then blot well with a clean towel or paper towel. Make sure you get every last drop of moisture off the chickpeas, otherwise you will end up with soggy ones.

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3) Toss chickpeas in olive oil and season with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne if you like them spicy.

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4) Spread chickpeas on baking pan, place in oven for 30 -40 minutes or until crispy.

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5) Wash and dry kale and spinach and place into large salad bowl. Add in about 1 cup of cantaloupe (balls or cubes is fine).
6) In a blender, combine all salad dressing ingredients. Blend until combined and adjust seasonings to your taste. I threw in some vegan mayonnaise to add some creaminess to the dressing. Totally optional but a really nice addition.
7) Place into a small mason jar with a tight fitting lid until ready to serve.

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8) When ready to serve, shake jar of dressing well, toss salad with a few tablespoons of dressing, top with chickpeas and garnish with kiwis. Any leftover dressing stores well in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.

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xx, Debi
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