January is a month of new beginnings, whether it is creating new habits, taking up a new hobby or starting a new healthy eating plan after an indulgent Christmas period. Sometimes, we become over fastidious about the food being healthy rather than tasting good and getting your taste buds tingling. I always think that people forget that eating well should taste good, and not just be good for you. We eat with so much more than our mouths so I created this salad which smells fragrant and looks delicious. For those of you participating in Veganuary, this recipe ensures that you have a good balance of both macro and micro nutrients, ensuring that you give yourself the optimum nutritional balance.
INGREDIENTS - serves 4
500g of pumpkin or butternut squash - peeled and sliced into 0.5cm wedges
1 tin of chickpeas - drained
1 tsp sumac
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 a pomegranate - deseeded
3 spring onions - finely sliced
I bulb of fennel - finely sliced
10g each of mint - flat leaf parsley and coriander leaves
50g baby spinach leaves - washed
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp za'atar (I use Zaytoun)
1 clove of garlic - crushed
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180c/ 350F/ Gas mark 4 and prepare some lined trays.
Mix the chickpeas with 1 tsp olive oil and sumac and roast for 15 min until lightly crispy.
Arrange the pumpkin wedges on a tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and roast for 30 minutes or until tender.
Arrange the fennel slices on a tray, drizzle with the remaining oil and roast for about 15 minutes until softened.
In the meantime, make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a small jar and mixing well.
Once the vegetables are cooked and slightly cooled, the salad can be created by arranging the baby spinach leaves on a large platter and layering with the pumpkin wedges, cooked chickpeas, fennel, spring onions, herbs and pomegranate.
Drizzle over the dressing just before serving.