Thinking that carb loading means filling your plate with pasta, rice or potatoes is an old fashioned way of looking at nutrition. Keep it fresh, zingy and tasty so you fuel without flabbing out…
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 small cucumbers (280g)
2 large tomatoes (300g)
1 small red onion, peeled
1 red pepper, seeds and pith removed
20g coriander leaves and stems, roughly chopped
15g flat-leaf parsley, picked and roughly chopped
120ml olive oil
Grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 50ml lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp ground cardamom
1½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
seeds of one pomegranate
Greek yoghurt (optional)
Dice the cucumber, tomato, onion, radish and pepper and mix with the coriander and parsley. In a jar or sealable container, put 75ml of olive oil with the lemon juice and zest, vinegar, garlic and sugar, shake and season to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.
Mix together the cardamom, allspice, chilli, cumin and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and spread on a plate. Toss the chickpeas in the spice mixture to coat. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and over medium heat lightly fry the chickpeas for two to three minutes, gently shaking the pan so they cook evenly and don’t stick. Keep warm.
Divide the salad between four plates, arranging it in a large circle with a slight indent in the middle, and spoon the warm chickpeas in the centre. Drizzle some Greek yoghurt on top and some seeds of pomegranate.
Serve either with Lebanese flatbread of with sliced chicken or salmon for extra protein.
This is a recipe adapted from Ottolenghi.