After telling others that I eat a primarily plant based diet, I am ALWAYS asked "Where do you get your protein from?" A common misconception is those with a primarily plant based diet don’t have the ability to consume the appropriate amount of protein needed for a healthy and well- balanced diet. However, little do people know that the best sources of plant based protein around found in leafy greens (think kale, spinach...), legumes (think beans, lentils, chickpeas, seeds/nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds....)
Just 1 cup of chickpeas has 15 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber! Due to the high fiber content, chickpeas help prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive track!
I love this chickpea salad (& chickpeas in general) not only for its nutritional benefits, but because it is so versatile. You can have this as a main dish, pair it with leafy greens, or even add it to a soup! You can eat chickpeas cold or toss them in a little coconut oil with any spices you love and either roast or heat them over the stove- top!
I often make this salad on Sundays as part of my meal- prepping regime. The salad often comes in handy when I am rushed for dinner or need a quick healthy lunch that won’t leave me feeling sluggish the rest of the day.
Makes 4 small sized servings
2 cans garbanzo beans (drained & rinsed)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 - 1 whole jalapeño (chopped & deseeded)
1 red or yellow pepper (chopped)
1/2 - 1 cucumber (diced)
fresh squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 small ripe avocado (chopped)
1/3 cup roasted nuts (optional)
1 - 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
handful of parsley leaves
1 heaping tsp. of grain mustard
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sweetener (honey, maple syrup- also optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne all to taste
Red pepper flakes to finish
ince the garlic and with the salt, mash with a fork until it forms a paste. In a bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard, sweetener, and the spices. Add the olive oil slowly while continuing to stir. Set aside to marinate.
In a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients. Mix together.
Add the dressing and toss together. Sprinkle with desired amount of red pepper flakes. Taste test add more spices if needed. Remember to start off small with the spices, you can always add more but remember you can't take it away!