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To celebrate National Vegetarian Week (15th-21st May) I wanted to share one of my most loved (and meat-free!) summer dishes. This delicious seasonal salad is inspired by the vibrant flavours of the Middle East and was one of the first recipes I created after leaving my City job in 2004 and starting my MSc in Nutritional Medicine. It remains one of my favourite salads as it's so simple and healthy and makes a great lunch or even a fresh addition to the typical barbecue fair.

Better yet, chickpeas are beneficial for the body as they are high in nutrients such as calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid and vitamin C. Chillies are thought to speed up the metabolism by up to 15%, which is particularly useful for anyone trying to lose weight.

INGREDIENTS - Serves 6 as a starter or accompaniment

For the salad:

1 x 400g can of chickpeas - drained

1 red onion - finely chopped

1 yellow pepper - deseeded and diced

2 red chillies - deseeded and finely chopped

15g fresh coriander - finely chopped

15g fresh mint - finely chopped

Freshly ground salt and pepper

For the dressing:

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 clove of garlic - crushed

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp cumin seeds - toasted

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

To garnish:

100g feta cheesen - crumbled (optional)

Coriander leaves - shredded


  1. Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl.

  2. Add all the dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake to mix thoroughly.

  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.


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