Monday, February 17, 2014

Meatless Monday - Chickpea Cherry Salad

Welcome to the 38th installment of Meatless Monday with Mindy!

I've been on hiatus for awhile, visiting with friends and family out of state, and doing some sewing at a lodge in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. All fun and enjoyable, but it doesn't allow for much computer time. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad. I can tell you that it's nice to not have to come up with something to eat every day, and let others cook for you. On the other hand, wow do I feel heavy!  I was so appreciative of every ones good cooking and it was all good stuff, but I'm glad I don't eat like that all the time.

It's still winter here in NE Ohio. We have about a foot of snow on the ground and currently we are beginning to get what is supposed to be another good snow storm. This snow will last throughout the night adding another 3-6 inches to what we have already. (sigh)

We've been eating cold-weather comfort food all winter, and I LOVE that. All that "stick-to-your-ribs" type food, Mmmmm, what's not to love?  I've noticed though, just recently, that each day, the sun stays in the sky a few minutes longer. OK, technically the sun is above the horizon longer, but here in the Cleveland area we have to imagine REAL hard that it's shining on us most days during winter. But I digress.

I think my body is gearing up for longer, warmer days because I had an odd craving this evening. I wanted a salad. I know what you're thinking...weirdo.....right?  Who wants salad in the winter time?  Well, I had just bought some Napa Cabbage at the store this weekend, but was low on the traditional salad fixings we typically use during warmer weather. However, I had an email recently that had a recipe with an unusual list of ingredients, and I thought.... why not throw some of those together, mix it with my cabbage and see what we get.

I'm so glad I did.


Chickpea Cherry Salad

2 15.5 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 11oz can mandarin oranges, drained 
4-5 green onion, sliced going into the green
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup dried tart cherries
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
4-6 leaves of Napa cabbage, chiffinade 
(or bok choy would work too, or kale, or....)
1 TB candied or fresh ginger, minced (I used candied tonight)
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional, but recommended, yum!)
*******
3 TB apple-cider vinegar
3 TB olive oil
1 TB dried parsley
salt and pepper



Add the ingredients together from the top of the list (from the chickpeas to the jalapeño). Give it a good toss to mix it all together.  Then mix the oil, vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and drizzle over the salad and toss again.



You'll want to eat all this up in one sitting. It should feed 3-4, but with just the two of us, we had very little left over.  If you need to store any left-overs, make sure to drain off the excess juices before refrigerating it.

This meatless main dish salad is packed with nutrient dense carbs, plenty of fiber and protein, and the ginger can help reduce inflammation while calming your stomach. All that aside, it just plain tastes good!  I hope you enjoy it. I know we did.

Thanks to my honey for capturing these great shots of the salad. See more of what he does over at his blog.