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ROAST PUMPKIN, SPICED CHICKPEA AND POMEGRANATE SALAD

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

For salad

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


For dressing

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

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180c/ 350F/ Gas mark 4 and prepare some lined trays.

  2. Mix the chickpeas with 1 tsp olive oil and sumac and roast for 15 min until lightly crispy.

  3. Arrange the pumpkin wedges on a tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and roast for 30 minutes or until tender.

  4. Arrange the fennel slices on a tray, drizzle with the remaining oil and roast for about 15 minutes until softened.

  5. In the meantime, make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a small jar and mixing well.

  6. 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.

  7. Drizzle over the dressing just before serving.


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