Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Recap and Israeli Salad

Aaah, the weekend.  The happy times, the fun, the extra sleep: how I love them all!  (I say this as I’m writing on a Monday, so I’m waxing poetic about the weekend particularly hard right now.  Oy!)  This weekend was fabulously productive – I know, it’s not everyone’s idea of a good time, but for OCD types like myself, a weekend spent organizing and cleaning out closets is, um, actually really satisfying.  (I think there’s something seriously wrong with me.)
A case in point: before the wedding, a shelf in our kitchen was being used to house all our cookbooks.  Since hubs and I registered for a ludicrous amount of kitchen gadgets and cooking gear, though, that shelf has been usurped by appliances and mixing bowls.  All the cookbooks were displaced, so they’ve been living in a spontaneously-arranged refugee camp behind the couch.  This weekend, though, they found a home!  Hubs and I finally got some bookshelves, and I was incredibly stoked to get them set up.


There was also the matter of the linen closet: there was no room for our post-wedding glut of new sheets and towels.  It was time for a purge, and purge I did – after conquering the closet, we had four bags of linens to give to our local Goodwill.
Insert sigh of accomplishment and self-satisfaction here.
The weekend wasn’t all organization, though: there was time for me to feed my celebrity gossip addiction (I can never finish a New York Times crossword puzzle, but given a People magazine crossword…I own that shit!), go for a long run, and put my favorite bath salts to use.  I even got signed up for a membership at Massage Envy, which I’m unbelievably excited about – I’d been thinking about signing up for a long time, and I’m really glad I did.

By the time Sunday night rolled around, I’d just gone running and had a hankering for a light, refreshing dinner.  I was rummaging around in the fridge and was getting increasingly frustrated when suddenly I had an idea: w
hen I was living in Israel, Israeli salad was served at nearly every dinner I attended.  Israeli salad is made from chopped onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber, so I had a love-hate relationship with it (in that love onions and peppers, but I can’t stand tomatoes or cucumbers).   However, it’s absurdly simple to make – and it’s jam-packed with nutrients, so why not modify it to suit my taste?

I decided to replace the tomatoes and cucumbers with chickpeas (at the rate I eat chickpeas, there’s a very real chance of me turning into one), and voila – my take on the traditional Israeli salad was born.  In addition to being both GF and vegan, it’s light, refreshing, and nutrient-dense.  Bring it on!
Modified Israeli Salad:
1 organic red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 organic green bell pepper, finely chopped
¼ red onion, finely chopped
14 oz. chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lemon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
Dry-roasted almonds 
Mix all the ingredients -- except the almonds -- until combined.  

Once mixed, garnish with the roasted almonds and serve immediately (I dished it up onto a bed of romaine leaves, and wound up using them as taco shells in a wholly unexpected moment of food insanity).

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