As much as I love my friends, family, co-workers, blog friends, local Walgreens clerk who always rings me up with a smile, hot yoga teacher (let me just add…the yoga class isn’t the only thing that’s hot), neighbors who have audibly bumped uglies three times this past week and the homeless man that lives behind my apartment building, sometimes I like just being alone.
Every once in an Everythingtarian while, my normal outgoing nature yearns for a social break, and the urge to hibernate with nothing more than me, myself and I cannot be resisted.
It’s a good thing I’m easily entertained.
Hmmm…although this could explain why I don’t have a boyfriend.
Simultaneously fighting a sinus infection + preparing for the Twin Cities 10-mile Race next Sunday, this weekend proved to be the perfect time to engage in some restorative solo fun.
Me-time activities included, but were not limited to…
…going to bed by 10:30pm on both Friday AND Saturday night.
…attending a hot yoga class led by said hot yoga teacher with two friends. While you may think this doesn’t count for a solo activity, I barely talked the whole class minus (<- progress!). P.S. I can’t move my arms, legs or hips today.
…writing at a coffee shop for two hours in complete productive silence, minus the couple in the corner holding hands + praying before slurping down their matching espresso drinks. Something tells me God would give them a pass for not honoring his name before a meal in Starbucks.
…spending Saturday night browsing the mall by myself + comingthisclose to buying this pair of brown riding boots from Banana Republic.
…having a handstand contest in my living room. My only competition was my friend Ruth (you can’t see her, but I swear she was there).
…and of course, what would an open, leisurely weekend for a food blogger be without taking ample time grocery shopping, spending three hours cooking in her tiny kitchen + creating a haphazard mess as a result.
Taking inspiration from Bluephies, a Madison restaurant favorite, I decided I didn’t need a dining companion to enjoy a gourmet meal and recreated my favorite Bluephies sandwich: Chickpea Chop. It’s a colorful mixture of garbanzo beans, marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers and Feta tossed in a fresh lemon aioli and eaten on crunchy, toasted bread.
After devouring the first bite of my most perfect recreation, I sent the Everythingtarian family an iPhone picture gloating my success, and Mama E texted back asking, “You made that? For who?”
To which I responded, “Myself.”
Sometimes, there’s no better answer than that.
Chickpea Chop Sandwiches with Easy Lemon Aioli
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, roughly chopped
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup Easy Lemon Aioli (see recipe below)
4 whole wheat buns
Arugula, for serving
Red onion, for serving
Easy Lemon Aioli
1/2 T minced garlic
hefty pinch of sea salt
1 egg yolk
juice of 1 small lemon or 1/2 large lemon
1 cup olive oil*
*plain olive oil…NOT extra-virgin
In a medium bowl, mix chickpeas, artichokes, red peppers and Feta cheese. Fold in 1/2 cup of aioli until garbanzo mixture is well-coated.
To serve, toast whole wheat buns under the broiler until light golden brown. Top bun with 1/4 of the garbanzo mixture, arugula and red onion, and enjoy!
To make Easy Lemon Aioli, place garlic, salt, egg yolk and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and pulse for 5 – 10 seconds, or until well-mixed. Turn blender or processor to medium-low, and slowly pour in olive oil in a thin stream. Continue blending for an additional 10 seconds. When finished, you should have a smooth aioli that highly resembles mayonnaise.
Makes 4 sandwiches & 1 cup of Lemon Garlic Aioli