For the past week, I've been on a detox. Which means giving up on all the good stuff in life: meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, wheat... Why on earth would I do such a thing, right?
I often compare it to an oil change for your car. After a certain mileage, your car needs its oil changed to function properly. Lately, my body has been telling me that it has not been feeling great and I knew it was time for another round of detox to rid the body of toxins it has consumed in the past few months. It was time for my body's own "oil change" in order to run properly again.
Going on detox and giving up all those good things are not as hard as you think it is. In a discussion with a friend a few weeks ago, we were saying how we could actually make it as a 75% vegetarian. I don't need meat all the time, nor do I want meat all the time. I could do with a small bit of meat twice a week, and fill in the gaps the rest of the week with other protein options.
What I do miss though is my daily dose of dairy (my yogurt for breakfast, my glass of cold skim milk), coffee (which I've traded for green and herbal teas) and the occasional glass of wine. Thank goodness this is just temporary!
What I do love about the detox is digging through my bookshelf for inspiration on what I can do with vegetables. When served as a side, I generally steam, stir-fry or roast my vegetables. But as a main, vegetables need to stand out to make them appealing, and I rely heavily on my spices and herbs to give them some flavour boost.
It also means eating more legumes, which I do love but don't eat enough of on a regular basis. So when I came across this recipe that featured chickpeas (probably one of my favourite legumes), I couldn't resist. This salad is so delicious and easy to make. You don't need to be on a detox or a vegetarian to enjoy this!
Warm Spiced Chickpea and Mushroom Salad
Adapted from The Vegetarian Student Cookbook
2 tablespoons olive oil
250 g mixed mushrooms (button, cremini, oyster, king oyster), roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, finely sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt, and cook until softened. Reduce the heat, then add the garlic, chilli and chickpeas. Fry for 2 minutes, then add the cumin and half the lemon juice. Cook until the juices in the skillet evaporate.
Serve immediately over a bed of dressed salad greens.