As someone who does not eat meat, my meat eater friends always seem to think that I must be lacking protein and constantly starved. I think that it is a common misunderstanding that those who follow a plant-based diet are unable to intake the necessary amount of protein for the body to properly function. Little do people realize that some of the best sources of protein are found in leafy greens (think spinach) & legumes (think chickpeas)- exactly what this salad is packed with. I am confident that a meat eater will feel satisfied after this dish; full, but not to the point of feeling sluggish since it is filled with so much wholesomeness.
The aroma of the spices cooking with the onions are stimulating and the juiciness of the mangoes paired with the crunchy spinach and charred cauliflower create the perfect bite of flavor and texture.
I love preparing this type of salad the night before for lunch as it is fills me up to give me the energy I need for the rest of the day; avoiding the 3PM slump! It is quick to make, refreshing, and delicious! It is great either warm or cold and will last for a few days stored properly.
1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium white onion, slicked thin
1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 large ripe mango, diced
4 handfuls of baby spinach
1 small green chili, seeded and chopped
1 handful of cilantro, leaves removed and chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt to taste
*Feel free to adjust the above spices to taste. I usually over load my dishes with spices, the above measurements are reserved, so I suggest to up it! I tend to not measure exactly and taste test as I go.
Rinse the chickpeas and set aside.
In a pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the sliced onion and cook for 5 or so minutes, string occasionally. Add the spices to the mix (salt, cumin, turmeric, curry) and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until the onion becomes translucent. Add the chickpeas to the pan and mix until well-incorporated. Set aside off of heat & transfer to a large mixing bowl.
In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp. of coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and a dash of salt. Add 2 tbsp. of water. Cover the pan and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and turn the heat to medium high. Cook the cauliflower until it is browned and almost charred-like.
Add cauliflower and the chopped chili to onions and chickpeas; stir well. Adjust to taste.
You can either add the spinach and mangos to the mixing bowl and stir until well mixed or you can dress your plate first with the spinach and top it off with the cauliflower, onion, chickpeas, and mangos. I like to add everything to the mixing bowl, add the lime juice and a little salt. That way everything is well incorporated and the flavors are more balanced. Finish the dish off with cilantro. Serve as is, cold, or room temperature.