My Little Chickapea

I enjoyed a lovely, breezy walk in the sun today on my way to join a friend for lunch. It was glorious after such a gloomy week! Of course, that didn’t stop me from getting caught in the pouring rain without an umbrella and getting soaked to the skin on my way home. Sigh. I decided to stop off to pick up a bunch of cilantro on my way, so I guess it was my own fault.

Folks either love or hate cilantro, there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. Luckily, my husband and I BOTH love cilantro, so I don’t have to start looking for a new spouse.

The acquisition of cilantro in our household usually means several things: before it goes black and slimy in the fridge, we will be having cucumber and chickpea salad; mango salad; and guacamole!

First up tonight is the cucumber and chickpea salad which will be a great side to our roasted chicken, and then tomorrow we will have to pick up a couple of mangos, and of course avocados when we get groceries.

This is a recipe in three parts and one should make the chickpeas first since they take the longest to prepare, followed by the dressing, and finally the salad itself.

Sandra’s Cucumber Salad with Roasted Chickpeas:

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1. Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

Preheat oven to 400F.

  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place onto paper towel. Cover with additional paper towels and roll the chickpeas around until completely dry to help them crisp up in the oven.
  2. Add the chickpeas to a mixing bowl and stir in the oil until coated, then stir in the seasonings.
  3. Discard paper towel and place chickpeas on the baking sheet.
  4. Roast at 400F for 20 minutes. Give the pan a gentle shake to stir the chickpeas and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until golden and lightly charred on the bottom. I roast for a full 40 minutes because I like them on the crispy side, but keep an eye on them as oven temps vary.
  5. Cool for 5 minutes or so before eating them or using on top your salad. They will lose their crispness quickly so these are best enjoyed immediately. You can also freeze the chickpeas once fully cooled and reheat them in the oven for 5 minutes or so to bring back the crispness, or store in an airtight ziploc bag. 

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*Alternatively, I came across The Good Bean All-Natural Roasted Chickpea Snacks, and found them to be a great time-saver if you don’t have the time or inclination to roast your own chickpeas. Use the sea-salt flavour so the seasonings don’t conflict with the flavours in your salad!  Check their website to see availability in your area:  http://www.thegoodbean.com/sea-salt/

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2. Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2  to 2 tablespoons sugar (or Splenda artificial sweetener), to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

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Place dressing ingredients together in a cruet and shake to mix. Adjust to taste and feel free to add more sweetener if you prefer. Set aside.

3. Salad:

  • 2 English cucumbers, skins left on
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow or orange pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced onion (I like a sweet Vidallia onion, but a red onion looks pretty too)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

(Optional, but recommended if you don’t have nut allergies:)

  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • Roasted spiced chickpeas

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1. Remove plastic and slice off the ends of the cucumbers, and slice in quarters, lengthwise, then cut into bite-sized pieces and place in bowl.

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2. Dice the red, green, and orange/yellow peppers and onion and add to bowl.

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3. Roughly chop cilantro, discarding stem ends, and add to bowl.

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Pour in all the dressing and toss to combine. Let this salad sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge, tossing every 10 minutes or so to help the dressing soak in.

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Portion into bowls and top with peanuts and roasted chickpeas if using. Serve immediately.

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And ENJOY!

With lots of fibre, plant-based protein, low fat, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, this salad not only looks great, but is great for you!


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