Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Eat: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Missouri is not known for having the best weather. We seem to jump entirely too quickly from icy cold winters to sweltering humid summers. Lately, though, we have been blessed with strangely mild temperatures. This interim may be short, but it is quite lovely and very welcome. Matt and I try to take full advantage of nice weather with lots of picnics. I'm always keeping my eyes peeled for recipes that are "picnic-ready", meaning I can grab it from the fridge and off we go to a nearby park. You may think this criteria is limiting but not so when you're armed with the handy dandy internet.
I just recently tried this recipe for Mediterranean Chickpea Salad and loved it! I'm up for any dish with feta and this particular concoction displays an appealing variety of colors and textures. Chickpea (or garbanzo bean) salads are a healthier and heartier alternative to pasta salads. An excellent source of protein and fiber, chickpeas are proven to curb hunger and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. They can also give you an energy boost with their high iron levels -- something I definitely need!
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Makes 4 (1-cup) servings
1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas*
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup bell peppers, diced
1/8 cup cup Kalamata olives, sliced
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/8 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
For the Dressing...
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon plain low fat yogurt
Salt and pepper (or to taste)
Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place in a large bowl. After you have washed and chopped all of the vegetables, add them to the bowl of chickpeas. Sprinkle with the feta and olives.
In a separate container or bowl, thoroughly mix the dressing ingredients for the dressing. Pour this over the salad and toss to coat. Chill in your fridge for about an hour prior to eating.
*Note: I actually prefer to cook large batches of chickpeas and freeze them in 2 cup bags. It is highly cost effective and takes no time at all -- especially if you have a slow cooker. Here is a helpful overview.
I encourage you to find easy recipes that let you get outside and enjoy the nice weather in your neck of the woods!