Let’s get back to the carrot story. We had a whole bag of carrots and we needed to use them asap or let them die moldy in a few days. And thus one of them was chopped brutally and made it into the salad. There – mystery of the carrot solved. If you don’t like the carrot in the salad – just leave it out.
But be warned that carrots besides being good for your eyes and making your vision super clear also whiten your teeth when you chew them. And as if that wasn’t enough – because they contain lots of beta-carotene they give your skin a nice orange glow (you’d need to you eat a ton of them to develop a completely safe condition called carotenemia for that). Isn’t that the dream of the whole Jersey Shore cast?
The only other unusual ingredient beside that carrot are the nigella seedsin this precious salad. I mean they make everything so pretty. And they taste awesome, although I needed some time to get used to them. It’s like with cilantro – at first I didn’t really like it, but once I started eating it, I’m mezmerized by its smell and want to put it in everything I make. In the past the only time I had nigella seeds was on flat bread. Warm delicious flat bread. Mmmm. Stop it.
I had no idea what those tiny black things were. I thought it was dirt or just burnt sesame seeds that tasted weird. Turns out they’re nigella seeds aka black cumin. I did not like cumin as well. People change, I’m telling you. And just like cumin nigella seeds do have some extra health benefits. A lot of them. I think it can even compete with my friend garlic in that. Nigella is considered to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, protect against cancer and heart disease…but it’s not a health food competition. If you’re interested in anti-inflammatory foods that will make you feel great and look beautiful, I’ve written a post about 5 other awesome anti-inflammatory foods that you can check out here.5 anti-inflammatory foods you need to eat daily
HEALTH AND BEAUTY BENEFITS
As you can imagine this salad is not just great for your taste buds, it’s also super healthy because it’s bursting with carotenoids (thank you red pepper, tomatoes and carrot!), vitamin C (all veggies), E (sesame oil, sesame seeds), detoxifying phytochemicals from onions, and thanks to sesame seeds – lots of calcium.
We need all these are nutrients during summer, because they protect us from the free radicals caused by higher sun exposure. If we don’t stop them, those free radicals can do with us whatever they want (<- said in a very paranoid way). These free radicals cause wrinkles & skin cancer, make us age with the speed of light and cause various health issues (to say the least) like cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
For some more informtation about the health benefits of this salad, check out this article about 29 health benefits of tomatoes (the shining red stars in this salad), at Well-Being Secrets – this article is full of valuable information and will make you crave tomatoes like never before.
Ok, now that you’re done and super motivated to eat tomatoes, let’s make the recipe!
HEALTHY SUMMER TOMATOES, BASIL AND CHICKPEA SALAD - VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE
- 1 can chickpeas (400g)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 small red pepper
- ½ cup cilantro (chopped)
- 10 basil leaves
- 1 tbsp sesame oil / olive oil
- 2 spring onions
- 1 normal onion (small)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp nigella seeds (optional)
- 2 big tomatoes
- 1 carrot (optional)
- salt to taste
- Rinse and drain chickpeas and place in a large salad bowl.
- Chop pepper, cilantro, onions, tomatoes, carrots. Add to chickpeas in the salad bowl.
- Add sesame oil (olive oil works as well) and balsamic vinegar. Mix everything and add salt if needed.
- Garnish with basil, sesame seeds, nigella seeds.