The masses have spoken (well, at least the 8 people who voted in my poll!) and the winner is . . . a new recipe! I had a lot of good feedback on the Bok Choy Soup recipe I posted a while back, and I hope you find this meal just as tasty. For those of you who asked for more quick and easy recipes after trying the soup, thanks for your patience!
This meal quietly slipped out of my rotation for a few years, even though it’s one I’ve always enjoyed immensely. Has that ever happened to you? I suppose it was because I began experimenting with a lot of new ethnic dishes, so for a while, my focus shifted to finding new (or new to me) ingredients and trying new methods of preparation. For reasons unknown, this sautéed chickpea (aka garbanzo bean) salad popped back into my memory recently, and I immediately wanted to share it with you! I started making it so many years ago that I can’t remember where I got the idea. I looked around at recipes online, and couldn’t find anything similar, so I’m thinking perhaps I saw lots of recipes during that time that included sautéing chickpeas & decided to throw some on a raw salad. The combination of tastes and textures in this dish make it absolutely crave-worthy.
The salad starts with a big bed of romaine lettuce. Romaine is not only crunchy and delicious, but also very high in folate, vitamin A and vitamin K, which doesn’t get a lot of air time, but is super important. Vitamin K works to help blood clot. Additionally, it works with calcium to strengthen bones & teeth, to help keep arteries from hardening, and to prevent osteoporosis & fractures, according to Dr. Joel Furhman, NY Times bestselling author and internationally-know expert on nutrition and natural healing. Having worked with a hospice organization for years, I know that as we age, bones can get brittle, balance and strength often wane, and falls increase. Those conditions create a perfect storm for fractures, which, for various reasons, can be the beginning of the end. So let’s try not to go there, eh? Eat your romaine! 😊
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~ Hippocrates
Chickpeas, as it happens, may be as healthy as romaine. According to The George Mateljan Foundation for The World’s Healthiest Foods, garbanzo beans are high in manganese, folate, copper and fiber. The fiber they contain can assist in making the preferred energy source for cells that line the colon. This can result in more optimal colon function, reducing the risk of cancer and other gastrointestinal issues.
So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for this incredibly healthy, delicious salad, that will take you less than 30 minutes! Please let me know in the comments if you give it a try. I’d love your feedback.
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients – use organic and/or non-GMO whenever possible
1/4 large head of romaine, chopped
3-4 medium carrots, sliced
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 tbsp oil, preferably avocado (but olive oil will work)
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
16 oz cooked chickpeas (either prepared from dried or canned, drained)
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
Salt to taste
Extra drizzle of olive oil, if desired
Create beds of romaine on 2 large plates. Add a heavy layer of sliced carrots to each & sprinkle with red onions.
Heat the oil on medium-low heat in a large skillet & add fresh garlic (if using), stirring for 1-2 minutes, until just fragrant. Add chickpeas, using the pan’s lid like a shield to protect yourself from popping oil, and stir to coat. Add cayenne pepper, salt, and garlic powder (if you didn’t use fresh garlic.) Cook, stirring frequently for 7-12 minutes, or until the chickpeas get a little tanned. (Be sure to stop cooking if the oil starts to smoke.) Taste for salt, adding more if necessary.
Scoop 1/2 of the chickpeas on top of each salad, and drizzle a little olive oil if desired. Enjoy!
Note – if you find the salad is not quite filling enough for you, here are 2 ideas:
- Follow it with a big chunk of watermelon!
- Stuff the salad into a pita round, and add some of this lemon tahini dressing, which is one of my favorites:
Yield: just under a cup
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp hot water
1 tsp salt
Whisk all ingredients together, adding just enough water for your desired consistency. Keeps for a few days in the fridge stored in a small jar or other glass container. (You may want to add a tiny bit more water each day you take it out of the fridge, as it can get pretty thick. It won’t really affect the flavor, as it intensifies as it sets.)
*This can also be used on grilled veggies, in grain salads, on regular raw salads, or even to replace mayo on some sandwiches. I make this versatile, delicious dressing often.
Thank you, Jess Hinkson, for the dressing inspiration!