Have you ever heard of a Godwink?
It is a moment in your life that gives you a feeling of reassurance from above.
Last year, when I was visiting California for my brother-in-law’s wedding, I received a Godwink. I was pregnant and eating meat made me very ill. This was the catalyst for my current diet choices.
My husband, have I mentioned lately how amazing he is?, was on a mission to find me some food that I could not only eat but would love. He drove me to a vegan restaurant that had great reviews and, after deliberating for much too long, I ordered a Mediterranean salad.
That salad. I could write odes to that salad. It was one of the best meals I have ever eaten.
In navigating a new lifestyle, without meat or dairy, discouragement was paramount. But at this moment, I received a Godwink. Like God was telling me that I was going to be okay and would enjoy my new diet.
I know. Enough about the salad already. But you guys! This (pivotal) moment was when I realized that though I might miss so many things about being a carnivore, veganism was going to also be enjoyable. This moment gave me empowerment. And when you are attempting a big and difficult change in your life, empowerment is pivotal.
This recipe is in memory of that salad.
The dressing is a lemon za’atar dressing. Za’atar is a spice blend that I was not familiar with until last year. It is very common in the middle east and is delicious. I ordered this blend off amazon and I love it! It is made with thyme instead of the traditional hyssop though. Next time I will try a more authentic blend and let you know what I think.
My husband doesn’t like lemon as much as I do so when I am making it for the both of us I use less lemon and add some red wine vinegar for the acid. If it is just me though, lemon all the way!
The other components of the salad are simple enough: Lettuce, grain, avocado, fresh tomato, cucumber, sprouts, pumpkin seeds, kalamata olives, and falafel. The kalamata olives are non-negotiable. They taste amazing with the za’atar and their texture is perfect. I have been making this falafel recipe in my oven and absolutely loving it! Any type of grain can be used. I like the salad best with red quinoa but on the day I took the pictures I had brown rice on hand. Either works well.
- 1 handful salad greens
- 1 cup grain
- 4 falafel see notes
- ½ avocado sliced
- ¼ cup diced tomato
- ¼ cup diced cucumber
- ¼ cup sprouts
- 3 tablespoon kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoon sliced red onion optional
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- ¼ cup tahini
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon za'atar seasoning
- 2-3 tablespoon water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix dressing ingredients together except for water.
- Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency
- Combine salad ingredients.
- Top with dressing and enjoy!
- If you make the falafel in advance this salad turns into a quick meal! If you don't have any falafel on hand you can easily sub in plain cooked chickpeas for a delicious protein option.
- Make sure to taste the dressing for saltiness as different companies use different amounts of salt in their blends. Adjust accordingly.
- If you are not a lemon fan, try subbing in red wine vinegar or another type of vinegar.
I hope you enjoy this Mediterranean salad as much as I do!
Are there any foods that you have eaten that you consider a godwink? Or that have changed your life in one way or another? Let me know in the comments below!