Monday, February 24, 2014

Chickpea Red Cabbage Salad

So eating healthy is a topic which is a dominant one in most people's minds. You can be eating it, recommending it, denouncing it but most adults are usually thinking about it at least once every 3 days. With the holidays and festivals it becomes mighty difficult to hold on to your healthy eating habit and everything goes into disarray and a little help is always very very helpful.

I have been on and off the eating healthy food from December, first there were the holidays and then the visit to my Mamma-in-law and then back to some healthy eating and then again there were a few celebrations with the other half and so it has been one see-saw ride and I am finally back home with a hopefully calm head and ready for some mild healthy diet. Now I personally do not like the word diet since it automatically conjures images of underfed stick-thin  sick people but the phrase 'following a healthy diet plan' is a huge hit with me because I am not above desires and so while I love my fresh salads and fruits and soups I might just reach out for that slice of pie once in a week but here is the problem. I speak from my personal experience and well what usually happens is once you go off track it becomes mighty difficult to come back to your senses. So the piece of pie leads to a piece of sachertorte and that leads to something else and then there is the period of panic when one realizes one has piled on a few kilos here and there and so when Claudia from My Continental Kitchen began an event of low calorie food I was relieved , you see  when there is a support group or reminder to eat healthy you are naturally  but conscious and for me once I start with a bit of participation it automatically becomes a habit and so I am grateful that the lovely lady has created the virtual event where everyone is welcome to share their ow calorie dishes (soups, salads and other low calorie dishes) and so come Monday and I was fully recovered from the welcome back to Calcutta Biriyani, Chocolate lava cake , pasta and decided on some filling yet healthy Chickpea salad.

Now before I go to the simple recipe here is a few tips from my experience which always helps me loose some kilos. Once you know you are on a healthy track you first need to stock up your pantry with. So fresh vegetables, fruits, legums , lean meat , fish but what one also must do is to think about the taste buds and so stock up on herbs, spices and any flavouring agent which helps a great deal. Imagine you have a few greens and carrots and lemon and you feel bored and are about to cook some deliciously unhealthy cheese toast but if you have a bit of parsley you can have an excellent salad in no time which reminds me that you need not give up on any ingredient when eating healthy. Controlling portions is the key factor for a successful healthy diet. So even if you do eat a single buttercookie and balance it with soups and salads for the main courses you are good to go but of course you must train yourself to stick to a single cookie or a tiny portion.

So coming back to my Chickpea red cabbage salad this one is easy and extremely healthy and delightfully delicious. I chose Chickpeas because a cup of boiled chickpea is nto only filling but has a mere 269 calories.

Serves 2

1/2 a cup of dried chickpea which should yield 2 cups of boiled chickpea
3 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1/4th cup finely chopped parsley
1 medium sized onion
20 almonds lightly toasted and halved but with the skin on since it contains some much needed nutrients
Salt and freshly ground pepper as per taste
2 heaped tsp feta

Dressing :
1 tbsp :2 tbsp -> lemon juice: extra virgin olive oil

Simply soak the chickpeas overnight and boil them in the morning. Let the chickpeas cool down and in the meantime shred the cabbage ,slice the onion and  chop the parsley and toast your almonds at preheated oven at 140 C for 5 minutes to 7 minutes of each side. Alternatively one might toast the almonds on a skillet on the gas-stove on medium flame but in that case one must keep a constant eye on them so that they do not burn one bit. Whisk the oil and lemon juice together to form a smooth silky emulsion. i use a fork which is good enough for the amount .

Mix everything together except the dressing  and add some crumbled feta on top. You have a delightfully healthy meal waiting for you.  Along side some grilled lean meat or fish this is perfectly healthy and wonderfully tasty.

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