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Yummy, Nourishing Chickpea Salad

Yummy, Nourishing Chickpea Salad

For a week now, I’ve been skipping regular lunch to feast on a bowl of hearty, wholesome chickpea salad.

The results have been wonderful. The salad is a meal in a bowl, and keeps me going until late evening, so I’ve stopped digging into potato chips at 4 pm. And because I keep varying the recipe every other day, I am far from bored with it!

When I began eating chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) for lunch, I had no idea that research has shown them to be a weight loss ally! But here’s what the studies say (quoting from WHfoods.org):

“Participants in a recent study reported more satisfaction with their diet when chickpeas/garbanzo beans were included, and they consumed fewer processed food snacks during test weeks in the study when garbanzo beans were consumed. They also consumed less food overall when the diet was supplemented with garbanzo beans.”

Hmm, so that’s why my jeans feel a bit loose at the waist. As a bonus, chickpeas are lavishing me with impressive health benefits—here’s a short list:

  • A cup of chickpeas gives you almost 50% of your daily requirement of fiber!
  • Chickpeas contain concentrated amounts of antioxidant phyto-nutrients, which combat the harmful effects of free radicals.
  • One cup of chickpeas contains 85% of our daily requirement of manganese, a crucial mineral that helps build energy.
  • As little as 3/4 cup of garbanzos per day can help lower our LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides in a one month period of time.
  • Just ½ cup of chickpeas can regulate blood sugar levels in only a week’s time!

Colorful Chickpea Salad (serves 1 hungry person)

Soak 1 big cup chickpeas in 4 cups of clean water overnight, or for at least 2 hours. Drain the chickpeas and cook them with salt, a pinch of turmeric and ½ tsp freshly grated ginger. When the chickpeas are tender, drain off the water, reserving it for kneading dough or cooking steamed rice. (You could use chickpeas from a can, but I always prefer my food to be fresh–you just can’t beat the taste!)

So, place the chickpeas in a bowl and pop them in the fridge for an hour or so. Meanwhile, gather and prepare the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ cup onions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup cucumber, finely chopped
  • ½ cup carrots and bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A few cilantro leaves, washed and finely chopped
  • salt to taste

Toss all of the above into the chickpeas, and mix thoroughly.  Make a meal of it at lunch time. This simple, delicious salad has a lovely buttery, nutty taste. It  is easy to put together, full of nutrients, low in calories, and a great way to fill yourself up without guilt.

7 Tasty Variations on the basic salad:

1. Add a few fresh, torn basil and mint leaves to your salad.
2. Intensify the flavor with a little red wine vinegar.
3. Make it more exciting with some minced garlic.
4. Drizzle some heart-healthy and flavorful extra virgin olive oil into the salad.
5. Add small cubes of fresh, homemade paneer or crumbled feta cheese to the salad.
6. Play with the spices! Crushed black pepper, rosemary, oregano, or roasted and ground cumin seeds add lots of interest to the proceedings.
7. Add more veggies/greens: spring onions, steamed corn, baby spinach, lettuce…

Try your own tweaks on this salad, and I’m sure you’ll love the results because chickpeas are truly versatile—they won’t disappoint you!

 

 

Related:
Spiced Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpea Patties with Apricot Mayo Recipe
3 Simple, Nutritious Paneer Recipes

Read more: All recipes, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, General Health, Health, , , , , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

57 comments

+ add your own
1:06PM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

I usually eat garbanzo beans. Thank you.

10:14AM PST on Feb 11, 2013

Thanks! Love it

11:40PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Looks great!
Just got back from camping holiday in France (baguette, tomatoes, peaches, melon and either taramasalata - because my little one loves it but we didn't have a way of keeping things cool - or store bought tabouleh pretty much every day ...) Hitting the supermarket tomorrow morning and getting cooking again. :)
This will be high on my list while the late summer veggies are still in season.

12:57PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

I love chick peas! I eat them almost every day. I would add spinach to this salad for sure, and I am glad to see the vinegar in the "tweaks" - but I would use balsamic. I would also add a 1/2 avocado as it makes everything creamy and delicious... and if you need something a little heartier add some quinoa to it - it will fill you up without making you have that heavy/sleepy feeling that take-out lunches leave you with. Thanks so much for the ideas, and for suggesting real chick peas and not the canned kind (the only kind I have ever seen). I'm going to seek out some non-canned chick peas at the health food store tomorrow!

3:38AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

It's so hard to find chick peas in the shops... :-(

8:32AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

yumE

4:21PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Sounds good - may start making this to take to work for lunch instead of the usual salad sandwich!

9:26PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

YUM!!! thanks for the recipe and ideas...

3:31PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

yummy:-)

11:14AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Any type of legume is alright with me, other than lentils, which don't inspire me.

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