Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chickpeas and Cilantro

Cook books will forever hold a dear place in my heart, but seriously, what did people do before social media? Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and most recently, Pinterest, provide me with the best inspiration for healthy, delicious recipes. The latest awesome find was this Chickpea Spinach Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette adapted from The Whinery 2.0. The dish screams summer picnics and potlucks. 

I can't control myself when I make this dish.  Give me a spoon and this whole bowl is in danger of disappearing in one sitting. As eating two cans of chickpeas in one day is not recommended, I'm forced to portion this recipe into small tupperware containers before chowing down (hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do). 

Chickpeas are a great alternative to meat, providing 10 grams of protein and 25% of our daily iron requirements in 3/4 cup. Pairing this with spinach and lime juice is a smart move as the vitamin C in these foods help our body absorb the iron in the chickpeas.  Iron carries oxygen to every cell in our body and helps produce energy.  As you can imagine, it's pretty important. 

Enjoy this dish as part of a meal or have on it's own as a snack. 

Recipe: Chickpea Spinach Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Spinach, raw - 5 cups
Chickpeas (also called Garbanzo beans), cooked - 4 cups (about two 15 ounce cans) *Rinse canned chickpeas before using
Red onion chopped, 1/2 onion
Red Pepper Flakes - 1 teaspoon
Lime Juice - 3 limes (about 100 mL)
Fresh Cilantro - 1 cup, loosely packed
Pure Maple Syrup (or honey) - 1.5 Tbsp (22 mL)
Balsamic Vinegar - 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
Dijon Mustard - 1 teaspoon (5 mL)
Garlic, minced - 2 cloves
Red Pepper Flakes - 1 Tbsp
Olive Oil - 1/4 cup (60 mL)

1. Pulse the spinach in a food processor until it is finely chopped (about 4 or 5 pulses). If you don't have a food processor just chop the spinach into very small pieces with a knife.
2. In a large bowl, combine the chopped spinach, chickpeas, chopped red onion, and 1 tsp of red pepper flakes.
3. In a food processor or blender add remaining ingredients except the olive oil.
4. While processing slowly add the oil.
5. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing on the chickpea salad and mix to combine. The remaining dressing can be added before serving or saved for another salad (store in refrigerator).
6. Let the salad sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.  You can also make this the night before a potluck, or have for snacks and meals throughout the week.

Wishing you tasty meals and happy days,

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Now I'm hungry!