This salad has no mystery or tricks, and requires no special skill, apart from knowing the basics of how to simmer, roast and stir. It is also not a revolutionary dish, but it’s the salad I have cooked the most over the last few months. First, because it is delicious. Second, it is actually really healthy, thanks to the number of nutrients in it (protein, dietary fibre and iron). This salad, combined with any vegetable soup, makes a well-rounded and fulfilling meal.
I prepare roasted spiced chickpeas almost every week. I have a bit of an obsession with chickpeas, that is true; luckily, it’s a little healthier than my obsession with chocolate! Among many benefits, chickpeas can help lower blood sugar levels (complex carbs), improve digestion and bad cholesterol levels (high in fibre, regulates pH levels) and they are a great plant-based source of protein (19g/100g). Garbanzos are an incomplete protein though, meaning they don’t contain all nine essential amino acids in sufficient amounts.
However, when combined with a grain (brown rice, barley, quinoa, pasta…), the body is able to obtain all essential amino acids. Research suggests that complementary proteins do not need to be eaten at every meal, but should be eaten throughout the day in order for our bodies to assimilate all amino acids needed each day. If you are interested in understanding the chemistry and how our body obtains nutrients, read this article.
If you were going to eat this salad alone, you could probably add a few more things to make it more fulfilling and keep you going for longer:
- Veggies: avocado, tomatoes, sweet potato
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds, cashews
- Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin
- Meat: chopped chicken, turkey or parma ham
- Omelette, chopped
- Cheese: halloumi, feta, goat cheese
The list goes on an on… but these are a few examples of what I’d add. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions… just leave a comment here below!
I hope you enjoy 🙂
Recipe: Chickpea, quinoa & apple salad
Total time: 10 mins
Notes: serves 2
- 3 cups of baby spinach (or any mixed greens)
- 1.5 cup roasted spiced chickpeas
- 1 cup boiled quinoa (I used red and black)
- 1 apple, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Modena balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp honey or agave syrup
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt, black pepper
- Prepare the salad ingredients:
Chickpeas: used canned or dry chickpeas. If using dry, soak them in (water + salt) in a large pot, overnight. In the morning, strain, then simmer for 20-30mins until they cook.
Quinoa: ratio is 1 part quinoa for 3 parts water. Cook in a small sauteé- or sauce- pan.
Slice the apple and avocado.
2. Prepare the dressing: if the honey is solid, melt it for a few (5-10) seconds in the microwave. Be careful not to burn it! Mix in the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt&pepper. Whisk well and pour over the salad, then mix.