Monday, August 15, 2011

Chickpea Salad Stuffed Bell Pepper

      After an adventurous three month vacation in California tasting culinary delights from Bouchon to Tartine, the wife and I have arrived back home to Montreal fattened and hungry still. We may have had too good of a time eating in California (not to mention the feast that was the Northwest) this summer. So the wife started speaking of a cleanse, something a friend told us he did for twenty-one days. When hearing the suggestion of a cleanse my initial thoughts were "Oh great, here comes the honeyed lemonade." But fortunately it is not one of those types of cleanses. It's actually outlines foods that are not that different than what we normally consume--well, that's not exactly true. . .

Here's what's excluded:

Dairy / Animal products of any kind (honey, gelatin, etc. )

I would also argue that most of these things should be excluded at all times, so why not go along with the wife and try this cleanse. The weak spot for me is gluten, I love bread and cannot be fully convinced of the damage a whole wheat loaf might inflict. Yet like undergoing any such diet it is important not to think about the can't haves and more about what the regiment will force you to explore. With this type of thinking I do not simply bump wheat off the list but instead add something like quinoa, a grain I typically do not get enough of.

I want to share a dish that Hollin found and adapted a bit from the ever delicious Smitten Kitchen. I loved this stuff. Light, refreshing and somewhat creamy, and reminiscent of potato salad.  And it is not only because it's vegan and gluten free that it is something to get excited about, it's tremendously flavorful.

The Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons pitted, halved and very thinly sliced black olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil
zest and juice from half a lemon
couple good pinches of salt
a few grinds of black pepper
3-4 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2-3 red bell peppers, halved (for serving).

1. Simply mix all ingredients mashing up the chickpeas slightly with a fork or potato masher, just enough to form a texture similar to that of potato salad.

2. Dish into the bell pepper boats. Enjoy.

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