The best thing about summer is the abundance of seasonal vegetables and fruits available! Early in our human history, the only option we had was to eat seasonally, and so that is how our bodies adapted. I believe we are at our happiest and healthiest when we are eating as our early ancestors did - seasonal, fresh, and a diet consisting (mainly) of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
This recipe is a combination of roasted seasonal veggies, mixed greens, a bit of gluten-free pasta, some sprouted chickpeas, and a light, lemony dressing. I chose to use gluten free pasta because that's what we had in the fridge, but you can use whatever pasta you wish and it will taste just the same (honestly it would probably taste better if you used whole wheat pasta).
I've been in the process of sprouting chickpeas and tossed a few of those in the salad which added the perfect pop of summery freshness. I will be adding a post about sprouting beans next week, in which I will go into more detail about how to sprout them. It's an incredibly easy and fun little side project. Phytic acid present in beans and legumes binds to important vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron, inhibiting them from being absorbed into your body. Sprouting netralizes this phytic acid and catalyzes the absorption of these vitamins and minerals in your body, and they taste great! Find out more about why you should sprout your beans here.
I roasted zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, and broccoli in a bit of olive oil, crushed garlic and Herbs de Provence. I popped them in the oven at 200°C (the ovens in Europe are all in Celsius), baked them for 30 minutes, and squeezed a fresh lemon wedge over them once out of the oven. I also waited to add salt to them once they were out of the oven and had cooled for a bit because I recently read a post on the website curiosity.com, which is also an app, about when to salt your food. Apparently when food is hot, the flavour of salt is inhibited, so it is easy to over-salt your food while you are cooking at high temperatures. Therefore, it is best to cool your food down a bit before adding salt to reduce the possibility of making your dish too salty! In keeping with this new method, I salted my roasted veggies after they had cooled for about ten minutes.
The dressing is a random concoction of items in the fridge that I combined and actually turned out lovely. Crushed garlic, greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper turned out to be the magic combination (and so easy).
1 medium zucchini
1 medium head broccoli
1/2 pound asparagus
12 large white or cremini mushrooms
1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 of a large lemon, juiced (about 2 tbsp juice)
300 gram bag of mixed greens (I like a combination of rocket, spinach, and lettuce)
3 cups cooked gluten free pasta (1.5 cups uncooked)
1/2 cup sprouted chickpeas
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/2 large lemon, juiced
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1 large garlic clove, crushed
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Slice zucchini into half circles, slice mushrooms in half, chop broccoli into medium-sized florets and asparagus into 2 inch lengths.
Put the chopped veggies into a large baking dish and toss with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and pepper. Put in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring them around after 15.
While the veggies are roasting, mix together your salad dressing in a small dish. Add the greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, oregano and garlic, cover and refrigerate.
Prepare the salad in a large bowl and toss with the pasta until it is combined.
Once the veggies come out of the oven, let them cool for 10 minutes. After they've cooled a bit, add the salt and lemon and stir gently.
Transfer the salad mixed with pasta to bowls and top each with roasted veggies and sprouted chickpeas. Pour 1-2 tbsp of dressing over each bowl of salad and enjoy!