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Cooling Chickpeas

July 26, 2010

By Brianne Harrison

We’re undoubtedly in the dog days of summer, and I don’t know about you, but when the temperature soars above 90 degrees with humidity to match, I really don’t feel like cooking, either inside on the stove or outside on the grill. But, I still need to eat, of course, and since I usually have dinner after hitting the gym, I need something with protein to help my muscles recover.

This recipe is my fiance’s brainchild. He whipped some up one day, and I got so addicted to it it’s become our hot-weather standby meal. Like most salads, it’s open to tweaking according to your tastes—crumble on a little goat cheese or feta, use lemon juice or the vinegar of your choice instead of balsamic, toss in some fresh herbs…and then dish it up and enjoy!

Cooldown Chickpea Salad

Salad:

2 15.5-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cucumber, diced

1 red onion, diced

½ red pepper, diced

½ green pepper, diced

1 tomato, diced

¼ cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped

Vinaigrette:

3T olive oil

1T balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon or horseradish mustard

Leaves from a few sprigs of thyme

1 clove garlic, crushed with the side of a chef’s knife

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients and set aside to let the garlic infuse the oil a little.
  2. Combine salad ingredients. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and use within the week.

Healthy Roundup:

Chickpeas are a good source of folic acid, fiber, manganese, and protein as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Thanks to their high fiber content, they help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. They’re also an excellent source of molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps the body detoxify sulfites, preservatives commonly found in wine and luncheon meats.

Vinaigrette’s two main components—oil and vinegar—add their own health benefits to the dish. Olive oil provides healthy monounsaturated fats, which fight heart disease, and vinegar helps regulate the body, controlling blood sugar levels, increasing mineral absorption, and replacing unhealthy substances such as fats and sodium with healthier ones. This vinaigrette is also excellent on field greens and pasta and potato salads.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Karen & Anna permalink
    August 5, 2010 12:01 pm

    Great Recipe!!!

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