This post is for my brother Andrew. He left last week for a 4-month public health research trip in Karachi, Pakistan. He has started a fascinating blog about living in Pakistan and working at the Indus Hospital. Anyway, when he isn’t being a public health superhero, it feels like he is sending me emails about why I haven’t blogged in 4 weeks and telling me that I need to blog. So Andrew, here you go and to boot, it would be a great recipe for you to make for your low carb dieting roommate!
The reason why I haven’t blogged in a month is because our lives have been a total whirlwind, an absolutely fantastic whirlwind. In a nutshell, Carlo started a new full time job that he loves, we decided to move back to Austin, I interviewed for a great position in Austin (fingers crossed!), we found the perfect house in Bouldin Creek that is a few minutes walk away from the hike and bike trail, Carlo graduated with his MBA with both of our families in town to cheer him on, and we are in the middle of packing up our house because we move next Wednesday!
Yikes it has been crazy, but it seems as though after fairly crappy year on many fronts, the universe is finally smiling down on us. Two months ago I was convinced that we would be moving to Portland, Oregon this summer and that we would never live in Austin again, but all of a sudden, it felt like we were meant to be back in Austin and that it was most the obvious choice in the world to make. The response from our family and friends about our decision to move back has been overwhelming and further proves that we made the right one. So this will probably be my last post in a couple of weeks as we drive back to Texas and settle into our new house and more importantly, our new life.
Like our recent life when a bunch of different and disparate circumstances came together to create a perfect opportunity, this Carrot and Chickpea Salad takes two main ingredients that I would never pair together and makes something fantastic with the addition of a few spices. The smokiness of the paprika, the heat of the cayenne, and the earthiness of the cumin combine with the texture of the carrots, chickpeas, and almonds to produce a really hearty salad with a complex flavour that will have you returning to the salad bowl for more. This recipe makes enough for 4 people at 64 cents per serving.
Carrot and Chickpea Salad, adapted from Food & Wine, May 2010
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 garlic clove, minced
2 packed cups cilantro leaves and stems
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
Start by toasting the almonds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Toast them for around 5 minutes until they start to turn golden brown.
In a small food processor, squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon and then add the garlic, cilantro, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, olive oil, and half of the toasted almonds. Whiz everything up into a nice paste.
In a large bowl, place the grated carrots, rinsed chickpeas, and the remaining toasted almonds. Add the dressing and mix everything together. Finish off the salad by seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.