It's Alive magazine's suggestion to make this salad on a lazy Sunday afternoon and bring to work for weekday lunches. A hearty salad of chickpeas, mandarin oranges, almonds, goji berries and feta cheese. I like practical tips like this - easy to follow and makes perfect sense. With the advice appealing to my sensibilities and the recipe appealing to my tastes, I fell for this salad hook, line and sinker.
It wasn't immediate though. I thought about this salad for a good two months before making it. I was 90 per cent sure it would be good, but still something held me back. The goji berries.
As healthy as this superfood is, adding them to a salad made me pause. You can buy them at any well stocked grocery store, in the bulk section. Tasty, but they're a little tough or dense to chew and could catch a person off guard, biting down on one when you're not expecting it. But, the beauty of this salad is that by letting the salad chill for an hour - or overnight - the goji berries and almonds soften slightly. Perfectly.
After making this salad three times now I'm confidently coming out to say it's a keeper. It's fresh and interesting tasting, and good. But you don't need to wait for a lazy Sunday to make it. It's a fast, easy salad to toss together which makes it perfect for weekdays when your time is tight and energy low.
Chickpea Goji Berry Salad (serves 4)
Adapted slightly from Alive Magazine
2/3 cup almonds, roasted and unsalted, chopped
1 - 19 oz (532 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 - 10 oz (280 g) can mandarin orange segments, drained
1/2 cup dried goji berries
1/2 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
handful of chopped cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Store in refrigerator for several hours before serving.