It’s not uncommon to feel entirely burned out in the kitchen. Between meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, eating, and cleaning up, even the most enthusiastic cook starts to longingly eye a takeout menu. However, a typical fast-food order serves up more than just convenience—excessive salt, hidden sugars, not-so-healthy fats, and not-so-reasonable portion sizes are often the standard. This satisfying chickpea salad is the perfect recipe to have on hand when you don’t want to turn on the stove. A good source of manganese and folate, chickpeas are also high in fiber, which is essential for maintaining digestive health. They also provide a good amount of protein, making them incredibly satiating and capable of holding their own as a main dish.
This recipe is easily adapted to match whatever ingredients you have on hand, which is helpful when you are trying to make a meal quickly. No cranberries? Try raisins, currants, or chopped apple. No celery? Throw in carrots, radishes, or bell peppers. Just because time is short, doesn’t mean you have to shortchange your nourishment.
Chickpea Salad with Crisp Romaine and Radicchio
3 cups cooked chickpeas (or two 15–ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 head Romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1 small head radicchio, cored and roughly chopped
- Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor a couple of times, until they are slightly crumbled. Place in a large mixing bowl.
- Return 1 cup of the crumbled chickpeas to the food processor, along with the water, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Process until smooth and creamy. If your chickpeas are on the drier side, add some more water 1 tablespoon at a time. Return purée to mixing bowl.
- Add the red onion, celery, cranberries, walnuts, and parsley, and gently fold everything together until well combined. Adjust salt to taste, and serve on a bed of Romaine and radicchio.
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. In place of celery, cranberries, and walnuts, add chopped cucumber, Roma tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Top with feta cheese (optional).
- Chickpea Salad Sandwich. Serve chickpea salad on your favorite whole-grain bread, topped with lettuce, thinly sliced radishes, bell peppers, and cucumbers.
- Chickpea Salad Lettuce Wraps. Serve chickpea salad with fresh sprouts, wrapped in whole leaves of Romaine.
- Let the food processor work its magic! While it’s tempting to stop it once the mixture looks uniform, allowing it to run an additional 30 seconds or so allows everything to fully emulsify, resulting in a smoother, creamier texture.
- Canned beans may be used if you’re in a pinch, but cooking them yourself is preferred. Canned beans are often high in sodium, and most can linings are made using bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that disrupts endocrine function. Simply soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas overnight. Drain, place in a pot with 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil then drop to a simmer and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
Chickpeas are an outstanding source of fiber, which is crucial to maintaining digestive health and regulating blood-sugar levels. A single 1-cup serving fulfills 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
For more health information check out the Yoffie Life Food Encyclopedia pages on chickpeas.
No need to wait for Meatless Monday! Legumes and beans are nutritional powerhouses and deserve to be on your plate as often as possible. If you’re trying to scale back meat consumption, they are a more delicious and natural alternative to the processed “mock meat” food products on the market.