Roasted Chickpea, Cucumber and Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad

Salads aren’t dishes that are often associated with the winter weather, however, this one is not only incredibly filling but also full of the kind of goodness that helps to keep you healthy and smiling through the cold season. Sprouting broccoli is an ingredient that I have used once before on my blog but you may not be all that familiar with it. Growing during the winter and sprouting during the spring, this colourful vegetable is a great way to add nutrition and character to any meal. However, it is chickpeas that are the true nourishment bringer of this dish.

A cup of chickpeas only contains 4 grams of fat and absolutely none of it is the bad kind! Add to that, that they provide a decent dose of fibre and can help to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst improving digestive health. When you eat chickpeas your red blood cells benefit hugely as they are full of folate which is essential for the development of these cells.

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To make this salad for two people, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the salad:

250g of purple sprouting broccoli
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp of paprika
2 tsp of cumin
1 small cucumber
A handful of corianderFor the dressing:A handful of coriander
1/2 an avocado
A small handful of pitted olives
1 tbsp of tahini
1 clove of garlic, crushed
7 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
The juice of 1 lemon

Firstly, bring a pot of water to the boil and blanche the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Whilst you’re doing so, pre-heat your oven to 180C and then spread your chickpeas out on a baking tray. Take the pre-measured paprika and cumin and sprinkle over the chickpeas. You can then place the baking tray into the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Remember to put the broccoli to one side on a large bowl once it is blanched.

Whilst you’re waiting for the chickpeas to cook, chop your cucumber into small chunks and add it into the bowl with the broccoli. As soon as the chickpeas are ready, you can add them into this bowl also.
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The dressing is equally as simple to make as all you have to do is chuck everything into your blender and blitz until you have a smooth mixture.

As soon as you have the broccoli, chickpeas and cucumber in the same bowl, you can serve onto two separate dishes and top with the salad dressing. Add a generous amount of coriander to the top of this and your salad is ready to eat!

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This is a dish that my husband and I have made nearly every day for lunch for almost a year now. It is so nutritious and so tasty that even after this much time, we still look forward to it! We attribute the fact this salad is so delicious to the yummy dressing that is drizzled over the top. All four of my children agree and are even happy to have it drizzled over any other meal, anytime! Because of the ingredients used to make the dressing, it is a perfectly effortless way to get your kids to eat their greens!

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This recipe will serve two for a main course or will even stretch to four if you’re using it as a meal accompaniment. To make the salad half of the meal you will need the following ingredients:

1 head of lettuce (the darker the better!)
1 small cucumber, chopped
A range of different tomatoes (even different colours too!), chopped
2 spring onions, chopped – use all of it!
A large handful of black kalamata olives
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 an avocado, diced
A large handful of toasted pinenuts

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Simply combine all of these ingredients in a dish and mix well together!

Next, acquire the following ingredients to create the dressing:

The juice of 1/2 of a blood orange
7 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. of tamari
1/2 an avocado
A fistful of coriander
A fistful of parsley
A fistful of mint
1 small garlic clove
1 tbsp. of agave nectar or 1 date, de-stoned
Sea salt and pepper to taste

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If you have a high-speed blender, such as a vitamix, then now is the time to get it out! Even if you don’t own a vitamix then a normal device will do the trick. Chuck all of the dressing ingredients into your blender and whizz together before pouring over your salad.

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This is such a gorgeous dish to make and takes next to no time to prepare once you have all of the ingredients. Salad is a lunch time favourite of many people and by including a healthy home-made dressing such as this one instead of heaps of pre-made supermarket stuff, you’re doing your body countless favours.

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The inclusion of an entire avocado in this meal, split between the salad and the dressing, is one aspect that is particularly good for you. Avacadoes are an amazing source of protein and carotenoids; despite often being associated with a high fat content, they are beneficial fats. These fats actually boost your HDL cholesterol count. As you may know, HDL is the good kind of cholesterol and is essential in the bodies fight against free radicals! The fat content is also good for the continued optimum health of your heart as it protects against a range of diseases.

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Blood oranges are fantastic for a variety of purposes, whether you’re eating them raw, squeezing the juice out of them or including in meals. They contain absolutely no cholesterol and an incredibly low amount of fat whilst also being rich in vitamin C, potassium and several other important vitamins and minerals. Consuming a portion of this fruit every day will do wonders for your health and they are also less acidic then usual types of orange.

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