Chickpea Strawberry Mango Salad

I love writing this blog.  When I started, I was completely infatuated with the idea that I had a place all of my own to write, and that people would actually (some day) read it.  It seemed like such a foreign concept at the beginning, which is funny because this is not even close to the first time I’ve shared my writing.

I’ve written fanfiction for almost ten years.  For those of you – probably most of you – who don’t know what fanfiction is, it’s writing stories based on established works.  It’s usually with TV shows, and the basic premise is “What if?”  I like to take actual storylines from shows and tweak them a bit to have them go in a different direction.  Other people make a completely original story with the characters, sometimes putting them in environments foreign to the original show.  I can’t even tell you the number of period pieces I’ve read based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Some of them are good.  Some of them…not so much.

For a long time, I shied away from telling people I wrote because I was afraid of what they would think or say.  Fanfiction can seem pretty strange – and to put it frankly, even weird – for people who haven’t read or written it.  I could just imagine the conversations.

Random person:  You make up stories about TV shows?

Me:  Yeah.  It’s actually really cool.  It’s – 

Random person:  Okay…yeah…I have to go now…

The funny thing about all of this is that as I’ve started to tell people and share my writing, I’ve only received positive feedback.  The thing is, I’m really passionate about writing in all its forms, and I think when you’re passionate about something people can’t help but respect it.  They may not understand it or have any inclination to do it themselves, but they accept it.  Because we’re all passionate about something, and we can recognize that passion in other people.

It seems silly to write this post without including my penname, so if any of you are interested in seeing what this crazy fanfiction thing is all about, you can find my stories at under the penname Spykid18.

I feel the need to qualify that name by telling you all that I chose it way back in high school when I was going through a MAJOR Alias phase.  Spykid was the title of an InStyle article about Jennifer Garner and I just thought it was the greatest penname ever.  Those thoughts have changed a bit over the years, but I just don’t have the heart to change it!

Anyhoo, I’ve written for a large number of fandoms, so odds are you’ll find at least one that you like.  I’ve written for:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bones, Criminal Minds, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, Greys Anatomy, Doctor Who, Iron Man, Spider Man, Glee, True Blood, Ugly Betty…and probably a few more that I can’t think of right now!

I should put here that I in no way expect you all to run over there and read my stuff.  It’s just that I really love writing those stories, and as its something so close to my heart I wanted to share it with you all!

And…on to the food…the point of a food blog.  This salad doesn’t really need explaining because when you look at the ingredients you just know it’s going to be good.  It’s the perfect bright salad, while the pumpkin roasted chickpeas add an unexpected warmth.  I tupperware-ed a few of these salads for lunches, and I honestly couldn’t wait to eat them each day.  It’s that good!

Chickpea Strawberry Mango Salad

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For the salad:

8 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

2 cups strawberries, sliced

1 mango, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup mint, chopped

For the pumpkin roasted chickpeas:

1 14 0z can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp canola oil

1 tsp cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the cinnamon viniagrette:

1 tsp dijon mustard

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbs lemon juice

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive oil


For the chickpeas:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.  Spread the chickpeas out onto a baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Let cool completely.

For the cinnamon viniagrette:

Whisk together all ingredients except for the olive oil.  Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking until the dressing emulsifies.

For the salad:

Combine all the ingredients.  Add the dressing and toss.  Serve immediately.

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Source:  Peas and Thank You


19 thoughts on “Chickpea Strawberry Mango Salad

  1. Oooo now I’m curious about this writing and going to check it out!! This salad looks delicious too of course 🙂

  2. I AM SO EXCITED I AM GOING TO READ ALL THE THINGS. ALL THE THINGS !!! Seriously, shouty all caps aside, I *love* the thought of you writing fanfic and I can’t wait to explore your work! I haven’t written any myself (yet…) but I read a lot of Sherlock (because I ship Sherlock and Molly SO HARD) and, when I’m feeling nostalgic, House and Cameron. 🙂

    • I haven’t watched all of Sherlock (only a few episodes) but Tumblr has made me totally ship Sherlock and Molly!! I want to watch them al just to watch their interactions. Love it.

      I hope you enjoy the stories!! I thought of you specifically when I did this post because we practically are the same person fandom-wise. Fair warning – my earlier high school era stuff is a bit wonky in terms of proper punctuation. I always think about taking it down, but then I get all nostalgic.

  3. very cool re: fanfic! Would love to read. Got really into (reading) it when I watched SMK, but haven’t hunted any down since. Can barely keep up with the TV shows themselves.

    And that salad? Yum. Great flavors (love the cinnamon) and what a pretty picture 🙂

  4. One of my cousins writes a lot of fanfiction about it, but she’s so embarrassed by it that she never tells people about it. To be honest, I think it’s just as much of a “niche”/out there thing as taking pictures of your food and putting it on the internet, so she should do it and be proud!

    I’m officially obsessed with this salad, by the way! BIG yum!

    • Yeah, I totally agree! I realized that everyone has some weird out there thing that they do, so I figured I might as well just let my freak flag fly!

      You should definitely make this salad, too!! I just had the last bit of it and am already wanting to make it again!

  5. So true story, I’ve heard people talk about fanfiction before, but I never actually knew what they were talking about, haha! Now I know! And I think it’s a fun idea! I am going to check out your writing right now! Especially the Gilmore Girls stuff! 🙂

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