Friday, August 31, 2012

Honey Roasted Carrot Salad with Hommus Dressing and Moroccan Pita Chips

I have been lucky enough to have today off work. I usually get one Friday a month off, but from next week I'm working an extra half hour every day and I'll get every second Friday off! Yay! These days off are really useful to get all the little bits and pieces done that you normally don't have time for. Like today, for instance, I brought some cushions for our new dining table, brought a new little lamp table for the lounge and managed to sand it and get a coat of stain on it as well, made a batch of cupcakes ready for delivery tomorrow, made lunch for Dad and Mr B who were busy building our pergola in the cold, did some shopping, called into see Mum at work, got my hair dyed, did some housework, fed the lambies went for a trip with Dad and Mr B to deliver bath tubs to Mum and Dad's block, had a cup of tea with Mum, had dinner and now I'm writing to you! I think I'm going to have to go back to work for a break!

Sometimes when cooking dinner I get so caught up in the main component that I forget about the you do that? I will spend hours deciding on which lasagne to cook for dinner or whether to do the grilled chicken with peach jam I've been drooling over or maybe it would be nicer with lemon sauce and pocketed with ricotta and spinach....and then just automatically default to serving it up with salad or vegies....BORING!

So this week I decided to throw myself a curve ball (which isn't easy, have you ever tried to throw yourself a curve really really fast...and catch it?? Me either...) and plan a few of our weekly meals based on the side dish component rather than the 'main' component.

I found this recipe in my latest issue of Super Food Ideas and knew it was spot on for Tuesday night dinner with Mum and Dad!

Honey Roasted Carrot Salad with Hommus Dressing and Moroccan Pita Chips

You will need:

4 small wholemeal pita rounds
2 tspns moroccan seasoning
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm thick slices
1 tbspn honey
1/2 cup couscous
100g baby spinach
3 tbspns currants
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tbspn crushed garlic (or 1 clove of garlic crushed)
1 tbspn olive oil (or 1 heaved tspn tahini )
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to season

Ok let's start by making the hommus dressing....

Combine the chickpeas, garlic, oil / tahini and lemon juice in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and process until smooth. Place in the fridge until you're ready to use.

Now moving onto the salad....

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a small baking dish. Place carrots in a single layer in dish and drizzle with honey. Roast for around 30 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Place couscous in a small bowl and add just enough boiling water to cover it. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it stand for 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the couscous up. Add the carrots, spinach and currants. Stir to combine.

Serve the salad drizzled with the hommus dressing. Place any leftover dressing in a small bowl in the middle of the table for people to dip their pita chips into!

Speaking of the pita chips...

When the carrots have been roasting for 15 minutes, you can start preparing the chips. Cut the pita pockets into 6 or 8 even triangles. Place the pita triangles onto a baking tray and sprinkle with moroccan seasoning. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until crisp.

And there you have it! Now we served all of this with some crumbed fish fillets and it was delicious!

Today's lesson....never take the humble side dish for granted!

And before I head off, here are some gluten-free vanilla cupcakes I made today, all packaged up and ready for delivery tomorrow. I am really pleased with them - a field of purple butterflys!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Mrs B xx

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