You know the best part about salads? You don’t have to stick to the recipe every time. You can always juggle and substitute the spices and herbs and come up with your own personal best, The generous splash of olive oil and lemon juice brings out all the great veggie flavours.
Chickpeas are my favourite legume. Rich in protein, their bland taste lends to versatility of their use in almost every type of dish, be it soups, salads, dips, casseroles, curries to name a few. I also find that spicing up chickpeas not only add flavour to its bland taste but also helps in digesting it.
Also read: Hummus with Spiced Chickpeas
I love the Mediterranean flavours packed into this one awesome high protein salad. It is absolutely perfect for a lunch, dinner or even evening snack. Not only is it the perfect treat for your taste buds but also extremely healthy and tastefully packed with protein and raw goodness of vegetables.
Preparation time: 8-10 min
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil, extra
- 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 2 x 400 gm cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- ½ cup vegan cheese, grated
- 3 carrots, peeled and shredded
- 2 cucumbers , shredded
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
- Start by heating oil in a medium non- stick frying pan over high heat. Add the oil, paprika, fennel seeds, cumin and salt to the pan and cook for a minutes or until you can smell the aroma. Be sure not to over cook the spices as it will lead to a bitter taste.
- Add the chickpeas to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes while continuously stirring in such a manner that the chickpeas are toasted and coated in the spices.
- In a separate bowl toss the carrots, mint, lemon juice, coriander and maple syrup in extra oil.
- Top the mix with the chickpeas and your high protein vegan salad is ready to serve with optional sprinkle of grated vegan cheese.
If it’s a spicy version that you’re looking for then adding extra chilli sauce should or freshly chopped green chilli will do the magic. And if it’s a curried high protein salad that you wish to have then you could add sliced green onions, dried currants, shredded carrots, cucumber and curry powder to taste.
Toasted spices make this salad so delicious with a real earthy flavour. Perfect meal to create in a short time, filling and wholesome! The preparation time is as long as it would take you to run to the shop to buy a pre-made salad. The beauty of making this salad is that you choose the quality of your ingredients especially the oil while the pre-made salads often use cheaper oils to give the salads a longer shelf life.
Tip: Chickpea salad can be made four hours ahead as the ingredients are able to retain the freshness. I prefer to boil my own chickpeas by soaking them overnight and cooking them in a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker soaked chickpeas cook in 30 minutes. It’s a good idea to cook a larger batch to cook various dishes such as homemade hummus spicy chickpea snack or various soups.