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Tina

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Tina

01Indian Chickpea Salad

Indian Chickpea Salad

I finally watched the movie, Frozen, and I love it!  Don’t worry, I won’t talk about it in detail to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t seen it yet.  Olaf is seriously the coolest snowman ever.  (I want one!)  It’s a great movie with several good songs in it, but the song “Let It Go” stands out as being the one that is stuck in my head.  You know a song is stuck in your head when you find yourself singing it in the shower and in the car even over the radio playing a different song.  Even if you haven’t seen the movie, I’m sure you’ve heard it on the radio.

The lyrics inspire me to be true to myself.  It helps me to realize that I don’t need to look like a supermodel to be beautiful and healthy.  How does this topic relate to a salad?  Well obviously it’s because feeling healthy tends to come from tasty salads.  Duh.     ;)

This healthy salad is is loaded with chickpeas and lots of veggies, tossed in a homemade dressing of traditional Indian spices.

06Indian Chickpea Salad

Indian Chickpea Salad Recipe
(About 6 servings)

Ingredients For Salad:

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups miniature tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots (equivalent to about 2 carrots), shredded
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and quartered
  • 1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced

Ingredients For Dressing:

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (equivalent to about 1 small lemon)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions for Salad:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, and red onion.
  2. Pour the dressing (see directions below) over the mixture.

Directions For Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, curry powder, salt and pepper.

 

“Do you want to build a snowman?”  Hehe.  There are so many great lines in the movie.  It’s finally getting warmer out so I’m good with building a salad today instead.     ;)

02Indian Chickpea Salad

I love chickpeas.  Who’s with me?  You can do so much with them and they’re a great source of protein and fiber.  Pile them up with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions and you’ve got a really awesome combination.  Raw onions?  Don’t worry, the red ones tend to be mild and on the sweeter side.  They add great flavor to the salad, but the best part about building your own salad is that you can put as much as or as little as you like.

04Indian Chickpea Salad

Truth be told, though, it’s the dressing that makes this salad super awesome.  Isn’t that always the way?  It’s an oil and lemon based dressing complete with delicious spices.

Are you loving that this “salad” doesn’t involve any leafy greens?  I am.  I love leafy greens too, but sometimes a break is just what you need to keep from getting sick of salads altogether and going back to cheeseburgers.     :)

03Indian Chickpea Salad

Every day I hope to be true to myself or in other words to “Be Tina” (a phrase that I picked up from the book, The Happiness Project).     :)

 

Rating:

4 Hats

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

 

Here are some other great salads.

Vegetarian Taco Salad

02Vegetarian Taco Salad

White Beans And Couscous With Fresh Tomato Salad

05White Beans Couscous Tomato Salad

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Tina

05Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons

Eggplant And Asparagus Stacks

Is everyone in detox mode after overeating over the holidays?  After all, bathing suit season is right around the corner.  It’s been on my mind too and I thought you might feel the same.  I’m kicking the healthy lifestyle into high gear, including some healthy eats, like these eggplant and asparagus stacks.

These roasted veggies are stacked with layers of a lemony ricotta cheese and topped with mozzarella cheese.

06Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons

Eggplant And Asparagus Stacks Recipe
(About 4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 16 asparagus spears (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 container (15 ounce) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 3 to 4 small tomatoes, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with tin foil, grease them, and set them aside.
  3. Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  4. Trim the asparagus to about 5 inches in length.
  5. Drizzle the eggplant and asparagus with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Lay the eggplant and asparagus onto the prepared baking sheets and bake them in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes each.  (I baked each tray separately.)
  7. While the veggies are baking, prepare the filling.  In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, fresh basil, grated Romano cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Set the filling aside.
  8. Set the oven to broil.
  9. Once the veggies have cooled enough to work with them, assemble them each as follows:
    1. Place an eggplant slice on your work surface.
    2. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the filling on top of the eggplant.
    3. Line 4 pieces of asparagus on top of the filling.
    4. Place an eggplant slice on top of the asparagus.
    5. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the filling on top of the eggplant.
    6. Place a piece of mozzarella cheese on top of the filling.
    7. Place a slice of tomato on top.
  10. Place the assembled eggplant stacks onto a baking sheet and back into the oven, this time on the top shelf (to broil) and cook for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

 

Spring time = veggie time!  It feels like forever since I cooked with fresh asparagus and I love that it’s back in season.  I love to roast vegetables because it’s a great way to enhance their flavor.  In fact I could eat a simple plate of roasted asparagus or eggplant all by itself.  My asparagus took about 10 minutes in the oven.  I like them roasty and toasty looking on the outside but where they are still a little al dente on the inside.  These asparagus were a medium thickness.  You may need to adjust your timing depending on the thickness of yours.  (To avoid confusion, they are raw on the tray below.)

01Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons

Mmm, eggplant.  I usually coat these bad boys with bread crumbs or panko crumbs but they are going au naturel today (well, they do have a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on them so only mostly naturel).

I had fun building these stacks.  The asparagus are nicely roasted but still have their fabulous green color.  It’s like delicious edible Lincoln Logs.

03Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons

I almost didn’t post about this recipe.  I simply don’t like my photos.  I couldn’t make these veggie stacks look as pretty as cookies.  I asked my husband what he thought of the photos and he said they are fine.  Fine?  That’s not exactly a glowing review.  He defended his stance of “fine” by saying they look exactly like the subject and that there is only so much you can do with a camera.  Then I asked myself, “What’s more important, sharing pretty food or sharing delicious food?”  I answered, “I want both.”  (Okay, what’s worse, the fact that I’m having a conversation with myself or reiterating it to you?)  I chose to share these veggie stacks with you because I really love them.  I have put my photographic insecurities aside for the sake of delicious this time.

08Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons

Back to food at hand… Roasted veggies of course taste delicious on their own, but let’s add some cheese to the Jenga party.

The ricotta cheese is seasoned with lemon, Romano cheese, and fresh basil.  It’s super refreshing and light.  I think anything that has a touch of lemony goodness in it is automatically a perfect Spring time meal.  I added some mozzarella cheese on top because cheese with more cheese and some extra cheese is always a good thing.

09Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons

Vegetarian meals sometimes can be boring, not this one.

07Eggplant and Asparagus Napoleons

Are you trying to get ready for shorts and bathing suit season?  If so, what are you doing?  I’m trying to eat healthier foods.  I love going to my local kickboxing class but I’ve been adding additional workouts into my routine too.  Now that it’s warmer out I’m finally able to start running again.     :)

Rating:

4 Hats

Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

 

Here are some other healthy vegetarian meals.

White Beans And Couscous With Fresh Tomato Salad

05White Beans Couscous Tomato Salad

Chickpea Cakes

09Chickpea Cakes

Quinoa And Black Beans

03Quinoa & Black Beans

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