February 10, 2011

Everyday Chickpea Salad

everyday chickpea  salad

Everyday. Chickpea. Salad. Everyday–meaning this salad is so good, you could eat it every day and can use everyday ingredients to make it! Nothing fussy, nothing crazy, just GOOD simple ingredients in a delicious/healthy salad that will make you feel full AND exceptional afterward.

I’m such a sucker for adaptable salads because there’s a nice ease to making stuff with what I already have in the kitchen. When I went to gather the ingredients for the dressing, I looked to see how much olive oil I needed to measure out and realized that there IS NO OIL in the recipe! Brilliant! The cashews and Dijon mustard act as the emulsifiers! The combo of balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard make it tangy! I love how the dressing soaked into the couscous, adored the crunchy sweetness of the peppers, and loved the creaminess of the chickpeas. I’m glad to have this salad & dressing in my current rotation.


Whitney & Anna both seduced me into picking up a copy of the Appetite for Reduction cookbook. Everything is entirely vegan, low calorie, low fat, but definitely NOT lacking in flavor. I made the Brussels Sprouts Potato Hash (post coming soon!) for lunch this week and now I’m totally hooked. I have over 15 recipes marked to try! I love that feeling.

So yeah, I’m back on the salad wagon (again). It’s such a nice wagon to be on. It always makes me feel fantastic, healthy and light! I hope my friend Jenny (who is going vegan for a week) LOVES this salad!

And we’re off!

Pulverize the cashews & shallots in a food processor.

cashew & shallot

Add the water, vinegar, agave syrup, & Dijon mustard with salt & pepper.

enter the mustard & vinegar

MIX MIX MIX. You don’t want ANY cashew chunks. You supposedly need 5 minutes of blending!


Gather up your salad ingredients. Look at that rainbow of vegetables!

Pop the dressing in the fridge for a bit. It thickens up that way!

ahhhh beauties

Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl.


Pour in the dressing…..MIX!


Toss in the spinach leaves. Toss toss toss.


Dig in…


A big plate of HEALTH. That’s all I see.

Everyday Chickpea Salad

Makes 4 servings

(Recipe adapted from Appetite for Reduction, by Isa Moskowitz)

For the salad:

  • 2 cups Israeli couscous cooked & cooled
  • 1 small red onion, thinly chopped
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1-15oz. can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 pepper, sliced (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow)

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the salad ingredients together. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Keep chilled in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days. (It didn’t last a whole day at my house)

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup cashew pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • a few pinches of freshly ground pepper

Place the cashew pieces & shallot in a food processor and pulse until totally chopped. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend for at least 5 minutes, and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend until completely smooth.

Shutterbean Notes:

-Original recipe calls for quinoa instead of couscous. Romaine lettuce instead of spinach. Als0- the cucumber & peppers were my addition.

-Next time I’m going to cut the peppers & cucumbers into smaller chunks, roughly the same size as chickpeas. Would have made eating the salad a *little* bit easier!

-Other possible fixins: avocado, sprouts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, roasted bell pepper, artichoke hearts…whatever your heart desires!

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