I created this Preserved Lemon and Chickpea Arugula Salad when I was feeling a little unhealthy. Lots of fast food, eating out, and consuming indulgent dishes will do that to you. I needed something quick, easy, healthy, and that used up some dying arugula in the fridge. This Preserved Lemon and Chickpea Arugula Salad is what I came up with.
Roasting the chickpeas is the most time intensive component of the recipe. They are lightly seasoned with a little olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, smoked Spanish paprika, cumin, and a bit of pesto before being roasted in the oven for 30 minutes.
This is the third post that I’ve used preserved lemon (see Goat Cheese Crostini Spread with Preserved Lemons and Balsamic Drizzle and Leftover Chicken Bowl Recipe Version 1). I really need to make more because I think the quality and healthiness of my meals will take a sharp decrease when I run out. Preserved lemons add intense flavor, effectively reducing the number of ingredients and therefore calories of my meals. Would anyone be interested in seeing a live Facebook video on how to make them? Making preserved lemons is super easy but preserving food is one of those skills that is intimidating even if it is technically easy.
Preserved Lemon and Chickpea Arugula Salad
Preserved Lemon and Chickpea Arugula Salad
- 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- dash of pepper
- pinch of smoked Spanish paprika
- smidgeon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon pesto
- 1 tablespoon finely diced preserved lemon
- 1 teaspoon preserved lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
- 2 cups baby arugula
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and place them in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and pesto and mix well.
Spread the chickpeas out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the chickpeas are a dark golden color and crispy.
Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the diced preserved lemon, preserved lemon juice, feta cheese, and arugula. Mix until the arugula is nicely coated and slightly wilted. If you feel like the salad is too dry, add a little freshly squeezed lemon juice.
I freeze homemade pesto in ice cube trays to use as quick seasoning. If you don't have any pesto around, don't worry about it. It just adds a little more flavor.
Counting Down the Days
24 days. That’s how long I have until I say goodbye to my stoma and ostomy bag. I’m so excited. My standard of living has already been raised by leaps and bounds from the first surgery, where my colon was removed. But now I’m moving on to an even greater improvement.
In order to move on to the next step though, my j-pouch has to be inspected, so yesterday I had a barium enema test done. A radiologist inserts a barium contrast solution through the stoma or anus that makes it possible to see, in x-rays, if my j-pouch has any leaks from tears or fissures. The good news is there doesn’t appear to be any leaks: I am okayed for my next surgery on August 30.
The bad news: oh my gosh did they have problems doing the test. First, there was some confusion on what my surgeon ordered. Apparently doctors can’t read another doctor’s chicken scratch writing. They usually insert the catheter through the anus but they decoded the writing and determined that probably maybe my surgeon wanted the barium to be inserted into my stoma. Which means I had to take my bag off. Which means I had barium solution and bright green bile (I hadn’t eaten so luckily nothing smelly or anything closely resembling stool was present) erupting out of my stoma like Mt. Vesuvius.
The doctor also had to find the right hole: one leads down to the j-pouch and the other comes out the center. But he couldn’t find it: the solution kept flowing upwards, not downwards into my pouch. They tried contacting my surgeon who couldn’t be reached. Then it was determined that enough time had passed since my surgery and by doing the procedure through the anus, the radiologist wouldn’t risk disturbing the stitches that connects my j-pouch to my anus. By this time, everything should be healed and permanent.
Once I turned on my side my stoma got even more active. Luckily this technique worked really fast and they got the image they needed, showing that there were no leaks (but it hurt). They did some x-rays before the procedure, during, and then he wanted some after as well. But first I had to get cleaned up. By this time almost two hours had passed. And I am soaked and freezing cold in sticky barium solution. As the technician was trying to help me get untangled from the soaked gowns and blankets she said, “Oh my gosh you really are soaked. Oh my gosh I can’t believe you’re not freaking out.”
I cleaned up real fast, put a bag on, and got some more x-rays done. And I didn’t freak out. I’m just kind of used to this shit now (pun intended). But once I got home, took a shower, and finally ate, I was exhausted. Tiredness hit me real fast with a crushing headache and I just wanted to curl up. But now I know I’m definitely having my surgery and I get to say “bye-by-bye” to my stoma.
Before that happens, I do have some challenges ahead:
- My first road trip. Eight hours in the car. It’s going to take some planning, patience, and there will probably be some discomfort (the seat belt sits right on my incision site and the ostomy bag gets uncomfortable being trapped by the belt).
- On August 20th I’m going to a wedding. It’s an outdoor event and starts at 3-the hottest part of the day. I’m hoping I won’t start breaking out (my rash is heat activated) and having an ostomy bag attached to your stomach when it’s really hot just plain sucks.