Creamy Avocado and Chickpea Garden Salad

The “5 Love Languages”- have you heard of them? The idea is that everyone has a dominant way of receiving love and a way that they most comfortably show love. Dr.Gary D. Chapman wrote his book, The Five Love Languages, detailing this theory of giving and receiving love. His books have been a God send for many a struggling relationship, be it work related, family or romantic connection. Knowing another’s inner software for receiving love makes the relationship much more fluid.IMG_20160220_154140

“Acts of Service” happens to be my guy’s top love language- this can be anything from helping wash the car to making dinner, or an unimaginable amount of other ways. I tend to find myself showing this love language most often by simply making us supper- which I must say -I adore doing. Cooking for another provides the challenge of catering to another’s pallet and when one of the two people loves a succulent steak and the other practices a vegan diet this can be quite the feat to accommodate to. I tend to lean towards recipes with vibrant fresh herbs, rich oils and varying textures using different grains and vegetables. Our last dinner date consisted of herb roasted red russet potatoes with an avocado chickpea salad- the flavors were beautiful and the smells of rosemary and garlic wafted through the small kitchen creating a warm ambiance all of it’s own.

IMG_20160221_205210The salad -with it’s  abundance of spinach and chickpeas- is rich in fiber, both insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber sweeping through the large intestine ,while easing digestion and the soluble fiber forming a gel that acts as a magnet for cholesterol in our diet- pulling it out of the body before it’s absorbed. The insoluble fiber also helps the body maintain a more stable blood glucose level slowing the digestion of carbohydrates while providing satiation and a suppressed appetite.

These garden gems, chickpeas and spinach, are also chock full of non-heme or non animal derived iron- providing 18% or 2.4mg of the RDA per serving of 14mg per day. Iron is necessary for healthy red blood cell production in the body as well as oxygen saturation of the blood. Not having enough iron in our diets can lead to iron deficiency anemia, exhaustion and a slew of other conditions. Absorption of iron can be markedly increased by consuming vitamin C in conjunction with iron, this salad is a perfect example of how to do just that- the dressing loaded with ascorbic acid from the lemon juice.

Creamy Avocado and Chickpea Garden Salad

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1.) Place Bagged spinach in a large salad bowl.

2.) Slice avocado in half, reserving half and slicing the other half into 1 inch cubes. Place the cubed avocado into the mixing bowl.

3.) Slice tomato into 1 inch cubes, add to salad.

4.) Scoop out the other half of the reserved avocado and add into a mixing bowl, measure out two table spoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season the dressing with 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt.

5.Using a fork mush the avocado into a apple sauce- like texture, create an emulsion by beating the ingredients together to incorporate the olive oil and lemon juice.

6.) Open the can of garbanzo beans, drain off liquid and rinse beans in the can. Drain off water and add garbanzo beans to the salad bowl.

7.) Wash basil and chiffonade- role the basil into “cigarette forms”- slice into 1/8 inch pieces. Add to the salad.

8.) Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss to incorporate dressing and salad ingredients.

Rosemary Red Russets

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1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

2.) Scrub visible dirt off potatoes under running water and using a pairing knife slice off defects or dark spots on potatoes.

3.) Cut potatoes into eighths, and toss in a bowl with olive oil, rosemary and garlic salt.

4.) Turn potatoes onto a cookie sheet, place into oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through, crunchy and a golden hue.




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