After the Illini lost on Sunday, Mark and I were in foul moods. Not only was Illinois a total bracket buster, but we’re die hard Illini fans. DIE HARD. I mean, we were at the 2005 Final Four and championship game where Illinois lost to North Carolina and I walked out of the stadium in tears.
Illini basketball has a special place in my heart. When I met Mark, he had season floor seats at Assembly Hall and I was the lucky tag-along when his friend was unavailable for games. At that point, several of the basketball players were frequent visitors to my door room. Visiting my gorgeous roommate, not I. I was just there for the laughs and the memories, which only enhanced my love for college basketball and specifically, Illini basketball.
While I had dreams of watching the Illini take it all when we’re in Key West, I’ll settle for a Loyola win. Because they knocked off Illinois, firstly. But also because I’m from Chicago and have lots of friends who are Loyola alumni. Oh, March Madness. Driving me batty.
The Sunday of woes continued with Mark’s team coming up short in the Beer League Championship hockey game. I was there rooting them on rink-side. He wasn’t super bummed about it which was good. Our little league is so jovial and fun, it’s hard to really get too bent out of shape about these things. I mean, in the 5th vs 6th place game (my game), the goalie actually left the ice for a breather, with the clock running, with 8 minutes left in the game. Needless to say, we won big.
I was pulling in the garage around 11:35pm on Sunday night, already overwhelmed with the week ahead. I showered and read my book until 12:30am at which point I knew my eye lids were heavy enough to carry me through the adrenaline and into a restful sleep. Mission accomplished. Lord love a good book.
The highlight of Sunday was definitely lunch. We took the opportunity to fire up our new grill which quite honestly, was almost difficult to use. Dirtying those grill grates for the first time pained me just a bit, knowing they would never be clean-clean again. I will say, though, the temperature regulation is FAR better than our old hunk of junk and the chicken that topped this salad was delicious! And the salad itself is 5-star. The Mediterranean diet essentials: olive oil, olives, artichokes, roasted red pepper, and of course, feta, create the perfect marriage with the classic Cobb. There’s nothing not to LOVE about this one (don’t let the ingredient list deter you!).
Chickpeas & Dressing:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
- 3 small heads romaine lettuce chopped
- 6 hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes chopped
- 1 large avocado, chopped
- 1/2 English cucumber, sliced into half-moons
- 1 (15 oz) can quartered artichoke hearts
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 2/3 cup sliced roasted red bell pepper
- 30 kalamata olives
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lb cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced
- In a mason jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and spices (mustard through pepper). Secure the lid and shake well.
- Put the chickpeas into a small bowl and pour 1/3 of the dressing over them; gently toss to coat and set aside.
- Chop and prep all ingredients for the salad as indicated.
- In each of 6 bowls, place lettuce on the bottom and top with 1/6 of each ingredient: eggs, tomato, avocado, cucumber, artichoke hearts, feta, roasted bell pepper, olives, onion, chicken, and chickpeas in marinade.
- Serve immediately, drizzled with about 3 tablespoons of dressing.
Recipe slightly adapted from Foodie Crush
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 prepared salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 616Total Fat: 46.8gCholesterol: 229mgSodium: 909mgCarbohydrates: 22.8gFiber: 9.8gSugar: 5.8gProtein: 30.2g
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