I recently took a long break from blogging and, as you expect when you take a long break from anything, I came back to a slightly changed world.
So, what have I noticed about the food blog world in the last year? Well let’s see. Paleo is the new vegan, greek yogurt is better than everything else that is not greek yogurt, cauliflower can do anything you ask of it, and buffalo chicken- buffalo anything- is king.
So, lets talk about that last one. I am not sure I have ever eaten buffalo chicken. But repeated exposure to it on Pinterest made me want to see what the fuss was all about and make a veggie version. Cauliflower? Chickpeas? Seitan? The choices were endless. I settled on chickpeas. Lets keep it easy.
And it seems clear to me that buffalo and ranch go hand in hand, so there was only one way to bring this salad home. I resisted the urge to buy a bottle of Hidden Valley, opting instead to try Blissful Basil’s coconut milk ranch, a recipe that had been intriguing me since it landed in my RSS feed.
Um, can I just say that this is one of the best recipes I have found on the internet EVER? You can get it on the Blissful Basil website. And if healthy-but-perfect-tasting ranch is something you are interested in pursuing, I really recommend that you pay her a visit!
And it all kind of worked itself out from there. A salad jar was born.
And it is, my friends, THE perfect lunch. It is filling, tasty, varied, it has everything. It has spice and protein. It has creaminess and tang. It has juicy tomatoes and an entire avocado. It’s so healthy. It’s so indulgent. I’m confuuuused!
Let’s talk about that avocado for a moment. It isn’t in the jar, I hear you cry! I just think you need to eat an avocado as fresh as you can. You could chop it up and add it to the top of the jar in the morning – or just bring it to work alongside the jar and do it in the kitchen when its time to eat (I do the latter). It is worth the extra step to eat your avocado ripe and green.
It may take a little time to prepare this on Sunday, but if you can make the time, it will give you something to look forward to all week!
- 1 400g / 14oz can of chickpeas
- 1 Tblsp olive oil
- 2 Tblsps hot sauce. (UK readers- it isn't so commonplace here but I found Franks at Ocado)
- ¼ cup of ranch dressing (I recommend Blissful Basil's coconut milk ranch)
- ½ portion of buffalo chickpeas
- 5-10 cherry tomatoes
- A couple handfuls of chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 avocado
- Pre heat your oven to 200C / 390F
- Drain and rinse your chickpeas. You will want to get them as dry as you can before roasting, so I suggest laying them out over a couple layers of paper towel and then patting them all dry.
- In a shallow oven dish, toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and hot sauce. Mix it all together and add salt and pepper liberally.
- Put in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and shake the chickpeas around to redistribute them,
- Put back in the oven another 10 minutes, or until they are a little bit crispy with a nice layer of hot sauce caked on.
- Leave to completely cool down before you assemble the jars.
- Pour in the ranch first, followed by the chickpeas, tomatoes, and finally the lettuce. This should stay fresh in your fridge for 4 days.
- When it comes time to eat your salad, chop and add the avocado to the jar before shaking to distribute the dressing and mix everything up.