Mediterranean Chickpeas Salad with Herb-Citrus Vinaigrette
A flavorful, lite, and healthy dinner salad, in just 10 minutes!!!
Posted By Savita
A 10 minute hearty dinner salad packed with proteins, vitamins, anti-oxidants, and a flavorful herb-citrus dressing! Wherever I'm time-pressed, this superfast and filling salad is my easy fix, for a lite and healthy summer dinner or even a lunch!
Past few weeks, my schedule has kept me very busy..... feels like time just flying!! Today, while sharing this post, I realized, we are already 6 months into year 2015 and it feels like New Year Eve was just yesterday!! Isn't it? Am I the only one feeling this or you can relate too?
Whenever I have a busy or uptight schedule, I love keeping some hearty and easy food options to serve for dinner or lunch! Like when Vishal is too busy in office and has too late evening or too-early morning office-hours, Or when blog is keeping me extra-busy, my quick and healthy salads always keep me dinner-worry-free!
I'm sure, I shared with you before that my family is not vegetarian. However, even though we are not vegetarians, there are many days in week when don't eat or cook meat/chicken due to religious reasons. Luckily, vegetarian dinners or lunch are even easier to ready in tight-schedule!
I always make sure that my 10-minute dinners have good serving of protein and are low in fat to keep our health on track! And chickpeas are one of my favorite legume which does this job very efficiently!
It is vegetarian, packed-with-lean-protein, healthy, and a blank canvas to pair any flavor you like it with!
Good part for me, Vishal likes chickpeas as much as I do. So, often my hearty, vegetarian, quick dinner salads have a good serving of vegetarian chickpea protein.
Today, I paired chickpeas salad with a very lite and delicious herb-citrus dressing. For clean Mediterranean flavors, I have used fresh oregano and mint herbs. Some natural sweetness of fresh orange juice gives this dressing savory notes. If you prefer very sharp, traditional Mediterranean tart taste in your salads, feel free to add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. However, I did not feel the need of it.
As you can see, since I was time-pressed, I have not done a very-good-job taking pictures. :(
For my love of chickpeas, many variations of this salad often appear in my weekday menu, sometimes for lunch and sometimes for lite summer dinner. I'm thinking to take few clicks whenever I make this salad next. For now, I hope these pictures are delicious enough to make you crave some "Mediterranean Chickpeas Salad", today!! :)
Now, a few words about "health benefits" of this Clean and Lite Dinner Salad!!
1. This Chickpeas Salad is VEGAN. With delicious brine-y taste of water-packed olives, I did not feel the need of Feta Cheese in this salad.
2. It is also GLUTEN FREE. Chickpeas and most legumes are naturally gluten free and good source of slow-carbs. So, it is GOOD for you!!!
3. Low Calories - Salad has less calories per serving. Stay with me, I will update this recipe with exact Calorie Count, later today.
4. This mighty salad is packed with vegetable proteins, anti-oxidants, vitamin-c, good fats and ton of flavor!!! Do you really want me to sell this any more?! ;-)
5. Okay, last but not the least, if you are not in mood to eat JUST salad for dinner. Feel free to serve this vegan salad as side with grilled chicken or fish.
I'm sure you will notice, this salad has no leafy greens. You can add some if prefer. However, I have kept it leaf-free for few reasons:
1. There is already good serving of crunchy vegetables in this salad: bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, and even tomatoes.
2. No leafy greens make it perfect - pack-for-lunch or a picnic salad. You can even layer this salad in single-serve jars and it will travel great with you! How good does that sound?
I hope you are enjoying your day!
Cheers to healthy eating!! -Savita
Few of my favorite quick and hearty Vegetarian Dinners ever!
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Mediterranean Chickpeas Salad with Herb-Citrus Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp Oranges (fresh juice, plus get 1/2 tsp orange zest)
- 1 tbsp Lemon (fresh juice, plus get 1/2 tsp zest)
- 1 tbsp Oregano (fresh leaves, fine chopped)
- Salt (a pinch or two)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2-3 tbsp Mint (fresh leaves, julienne )
- Black Pepper (as per taste)
- 2 Cup Chickpeas (16 ounce, cooked, rinsed if using canned)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (small diced)
- 1/2 Cup Red Onion (half medium onion, small diced)
- 1 Cucumber (medium size, small diced)
- 2 Tomatoes (medium size, small diced, remove seeds if prefer)
- 1/4 Cup Olives (green olives, water packed, drained)
- 1/2 Cup Pomegranates (or more per liking)
1. To make dressing, in a wide salad bowl, add juice and zest of orange, zest and juice of lemon, with olive oil and fine minced oregano. Whisk with hand-whisk to emulsify the oil and citrus. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Drain chickpeas and add to salad bowl with dressing. Also add chopped onion. Mix then set aside to let chickpeas and onion marinate in dressing while you cut rest of the veggies.
3. Once all veggies are sliced, add into salad bowl and toss well to combine. Also add olives and fresh mint. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Dressing in this salad is very lite and uses very less oil per serving. However, dressing recipe doubles easily. If you want, you can also double batch.
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