I rarely find inspiration from Pintrest, preferring instead to use my own creativity to spark an idea and then seek out instructions later on. I feel like by sharing the same ideas over and over, we dilute our own ability to think creatively and out of the box, relying instead on other people’s idea of what’s attainable and interesting. Pintrest is great for those people with an abundance of time, resources, and obscure household items lying around, but I really only turn to it when in wedding-planning mode (this time, it’s not mine—I’m proud to be a bridesmaid for my best friend N!)
While in bridesmaid sleuthing mode this week, a certain picture caught my eye and I just couldn’t resist. I did draw the line at simply seeing the picture and said “I can figure that out”. My version is pretty different from the actual instructions (it called for a naked salad, without dressing, and who wants that!?) but one I know I’ll be repeating quite often when I’m craving Mediterranean flavors and can’t just gorge on pita now that it’s wedding diet time (again!) The variety of textures, of flavors, and even the contract of the cold kale and warm zucchini/chickpeas (if you’re impatient and don’t wait for them to cool, like I did!) was incredible and filling, but light. There’s good balance of protein and veggies, and you could even sprinkle some pita chips on top for some carbs/crunch. There’s nothing like a big salad to satisfy a specific craving for something otherwise not as healthy! As always, adjust the seasoning to your preferences—a dash of cayenne or chili powder would kick up the sauteed zucchini or chickpeas depending on how hot you like things.
Deconstructed Hummus Salad (serves 2, but easily doubled or tripled!)
2 large handfuls of kale, washed, deveined and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, with a tsp reserved for presentation
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
2 tsp tahini
½ red bell pepper, roasted (or 5-6 pieces of roasted red pepper from a jar)
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise then into half moons
1 can chickpeas, drained
Paprika (not smoked)
Mix together the lemon juice, garlic, and tahini in a small bowl or Tupperware with a lid-mix together well. In a large bowl, combine the kale and red pepper and mix in the dressing—massage to coat completely.
In a large sauté pan, cook the zucchini on medium heat in olive oil with garlic powder and paprika to taste—a few shakes of each should coat the zucchini. Cook until softened then set aside to cool. Repeat with the chickpeas, cooking at a medium-high heat until they get a coating and start to crisp. Set aside to cool, then mix cooled zucchini and chickpeas into the kale and toss to integrate dressing throughout. Top with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.