Fast & Fabulous: Salad Sensations

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We have been enjoying our warm weather for quite a while now. I love our Australian seasons – even though summer is long gone, the warm weather is not. But have you noticed how the nights and mornings have been a little on the chilly side? Despite the cooler nights and mornings, this has not deterred me from going to the local ocean baths for my regular swim. In fact, I am loving that there are less people around and more parking spots available which makes for a stress-free morning. And this morning was a whopper of a morning!! The seas were pumping and the swell was huge..so big that the white wash was being washed into the baths and making it a very messy pool to swim in! But that did not stop me! I was in there lapping it up and making the most of my last swim before flying out to Tanzania tomorrow. Talking about Tanzania - did you hear that they have a sugar shortage happening right now? Yes indeed - the new prime minister decided he would put a ban on the sugar being imported into the country (not sure exactly why) and bakers are in an uproar! Lucky for me, I am taking my own sugar with me as one of our hosts loves Vanilla Slice and as a treat, I promised him I would bring some ingredients over with me and make it for him. Except for special occasions, like Greek Easter, I am not a sugar eater so the shortage won't be touching me!

What I will be looking forward to will be the fresh fruit and vegetables so readily available at the fresh food markets. There is such a wonderful selection of salad ingredients that I will be living off salads for most of my time there! And what is even better is that these fresh foods are so cheap to buy. Like the avocados; they are under 5o cents each - yes you heard right...50 cents!

Funny thing, I had never eaten avocados until I first visited Tanzania last November. I was being hosted by a lovely couple running an orphanage in the southern part of Tanzania, Mbeya. I had prepared myself for the differences, like eating Ugali and the like, but alas, I was surprised to find this couple, who came over from Greece 3 years ago, cooked up a storm each day of the best Greek food you've ever tasted! Yep, what can I say - Greek cuisine in Africa!! What I loved the best was the crispy fresh salads Nafsika would make each day. Using the freshest of ingredients, you could not help but dream you were sailing on the crystal clear waters of the mediterranean sea and eating the best foods available to man! And we found them in beautiful Tanzania and ate like kings!

One of my favourite recipes is the one pictured above - Chickpea and Carrot Salad. I first stumbled across this salad in a small café. I would go for a long walk, then a swim and then treat myself with this salad. It is so yummy and you feel so good afterwards – although the exercise helps too! I shared it with our friends in Tanzania and I'd love to share it with you.

Chickpeas are such a great alternative to meat, and as I try to limit my meat intake, I love to add these little morsels of yumminess in my food. And if you can find avocados as cheap as we did in Tanzania, go ahead and add it your dish!

Carrot and Chickpea Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250g mixed lettuce leaves
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons of Hummus Dip
  • ½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Dressing
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Method

On a platter spread washed mixed lettuce leaves. Place grated carrot in a mound on top.

Place prepared hummus on side of platter. Sprinkle with nuts and seeds. Toss chickpeas around the edge of salad.

Mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Serve immediately.