Have you found your spot yet?
You know that place near or far, real or imagined, that allows you to be a little bit more like yourself and a little bit less like the impostor who sometimes inhabits your being?
I spent some time up at my spot this weekend. In fact, for the first time in nine years, I spent 24 blessed hours all.by.myself. at my spot. Not another soul in sight (except for my four-legged companion that is). A rare opportunity indeed.
And the funny thing? I almost didn’t go. 30 degrees and brilliant skies but I had the usual litany of excuses swirling around in my head: I should really stay in town and put some order in the house while I can… wash the floors, get the cupboards organized, match socks.
Yeah. Maybe not.
Find your spot. Wonderful things happen there.
I love the combination of mango and cucumber in the summertime. Juicy, refreshing and hydrating – not to mention delicious.
It also reminds me of one of my all time favourite salads (which I’m pretty sure I could eat every day if required).
The chickpea (and peanut) in this recipe transforms the salad into a meal with its quality plant protein and fulsome fibre. Add a little cilantro and a drizzle of spicy peanut sauce and you’ve got a wonderfully tasty, no-cook, meatless meal option – lunch or supper – any day of the week!
If you have vegetarian teenagers in the house, this is a healthy, well-balanced and hassle-free meal they can whip up on their own.
Mango Chickpea Lettuce Cups with a Spicy Peanut Sauce
For the Mango Chickpea Lettuce Cups:
1 head Butter (aka: Boston or Bibb) lettuce, leaves gently removed
2 cups cooked chickpea, well rinsed if using canned
1 large ripe mango, roughly diced
1/2 English cucumber, roughly diced
2 Tbsp scallions (green onion), sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup natural peanuts, chopped
For the Spicy Peanut Sauce:
2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
Sprinkle of dry chili peppers, as desired
To create lettuce ‘cups’ simply place two or three leaves together in an overlapping fashion, trying to fit them together such that they form the best cup shape possible (not an exact science).
Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, combine chickpea, mango, cucumber, onion and cilantro. Mix ingredients together gently to combine.
Place about one quarter cup of chickpea filling into each lettuce cup (more/less depending on size of cups). Top each cup with some chopped peanuts.
For the dressing, place all spicy peanut sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk to combine. If you find the consistency too thick, simply add a little more water.
Once the dressing ingredients are well combined, drizzle the spicy peanut sauce over the mango chickpea lettuce cups and enjoy.