Spicy Chickpea Salad
Chickpeas are a great source of plant based protein and have for centuries been used as a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, often featuring in curries, soups as well as a variety of different salads, dips + spreads. Other than protein, chickpeas are a great source of folate, manganese and dietary fibre, and contain a variety of antioxidants which protect our cells from damage and ageing. Chickpeas’ unique nutrient profile is known to benefit our health in a number of ways, and research highlights that incorporating chickpeas into our weekly diet is associated withimproved blood sugar levels, healthier cardiovascular system – particularly healthy cholesterol and lipid profiles – as well as improved digestion and increased satiety (feeling of fullness).
Chickpeas on their own are bland and boring even on the best of days. They need some love in the form of flavour to get really delicious. A good vinaigrette, fresh herbs and spices all help make them delicious and this salad is full of flavour and really brings out the best of the otherwise bland chickpeas. A great start if you’re looking to incorporate more plant based protein into your diet!
Serves 2 people
- 400 gm (or 1 can) organic chickpeas
- ½ tsp coconut oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- salt + pepper to taste
- ½ tsp curry powder (I used a madras curry powder)
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- 1 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
- 30 gm (1 oz) crumbled goats feta
- 30 gm (1 oz) toasted pine nuts
- ½ tsp wholegrain mustard
- salt + pepper to taste
- juice from ½ lime
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp madras curry powder
- Melt ½ tsp coconut oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add chickpeas, garlic, curry powder, cumin and ground coriander and stir with a spoon to make sure all the spices cover the chickpeas.
- Add salt & pepper to taste and continue to stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine chopped herbs and bell peppers.
- Remove chickpeas from the heat and combine chickpeas with the chopped herbs and peppers.
- In a separate bowl combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and stir well, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the warm chickpeas salad and stir well to combine.
- Sprinkle toasted pine nuts and crumbled feta cheese over the salad and serve warm as is, over a bed or rucola or in baby gem lettuce cups.