The Kitchen Prep: Coming Clean: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Monday, August 5, 2013

Coming Clean: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

So, here's a little update on life: It's crazy busy.

I realized a few days ago as I was planning for the month that I divulged all kinds of TMI back in May and then never followed up about it.

{Kind of like those NYC posts that I STILL haven't had the time to finish sharing. Ugh.}

Since that time, I've shared 10 "Coming Clean" recipes, went just about completely dairy-free for 6 weeks, and majorly curbed my sugar intake. It was glorious.

Then vacation happened. And birthdays. And baby showers. And weddings. I gave myself a little wiggle room {mostly in the form of ice cream}, and have been more lenient with the types of foods I've allowed, making sure to stay veggie and fruit-heavy, but definitely indulging here and there.

I was supposed to have my follow up appointment with the doctor in the beginning of July, but had to postpone it because her schedule and mine just wouldn't sync up.

So... the news is, there's still no news.

This week I'll finally get everything checked out again and see what's going on. I'm bracing myself for things I may not want to hear {i.e. surgery}, but hoping that my push to actively "clean up" my diet has made even the tiniest bit of a difference.

I guess we'll see.

Meanwhile, I've continued to stay busy playing in the kitchen with different ways to make eating healthy fun and exciting.

Here are a few things I've discovered or confirmed throughout this little journey:

1. Some brands are tricky. "All Natural" does not, in fact, mean All Natural. Read labels and try to stay away from weird stuff. {I'll be sharing an in-depth post about this soon.}

2. It's easier {and less expensive} to make your own healthy food than to buy it pre-made. Finding the time... now that's a whole other topic.

3. Stevia tastes funny.

4. It IS possible for a dairy-holic {like myself} to enjoy a dairy-free lifestyle. There are a surprising array of different foods out there to make up for a lack of lactose. :)

5. Avocados make my day. So do super-easy healthy recipes like this one.

I'm embarrassed to even call this a recipe. It really isn't. It's just a bunch of yummy stuff tossed into a bowl that happens to taste really good together.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad should be called "No Excuse Salad". Because there's really no reason you can't throw it together in about two seconds and have a healthy lunch or snack that is both filling and delicious.

One word of caution: You may want to serve this with a side of mouthwash or think about omitting the garlic {sacrilege, I know} if you're planning on coming into close proximity with others after eating it. In my opinion, the flavor is totally worth the stink.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this week will bring good news to share with you in upcoming posts, but for now, good recipes will just have to do. :) Have a great Monday, friends!

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried mint {or 2 teaspoons fresh mint, well-minced}
1 clove garlic, grated
Sprinkle of sea salt
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled or diced feta cheese
1/3 cup Greek olives, chopped
Optional: Whole wheat pitas

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, mint, and salt.

2. Add chickpeas, chopped cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese and Greek olives. Pour prepared vinaigrette over top.

3. Gently toss together to combine, making sure ingredients are fully coated.

4. Serve with warm whole wheat pitas, if desired.

*This can be eaten immediately, but it tastes even better after sitting in the fridge over night!


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