Mediterranean chickpea salad is inspired by the flavors of the eastern Mediterranean. Delicious could not get any more nutritious than this!
Chickpeas, the main ingredient in this salad are a great vegetarian and gluten free source of protein. The quality of the protein is better than most other pulses and it provides all the amino acids except the sulfur-containing amino acids. A piece of toasted pita bread with this salad would complement the protein very well.
The high fiber content and low glycemic index of this bean helps with better regulation of blood glucose. Therefore, it makes an excellent choice for diabetic people. The short chain fatty acids that are produced from the consumption of chickpeas are considered to be very beneficial for colon health.
The generous content of vitamin C, potassium, monounsaturated fat and some B vitamins make this Mediterranean chickpea salad very heart healthy. The high dietary fiber, and adequate fat content in this salad provides for good satiety, satiation and fullness, thereby making it an ideal choice for weight management.
The other ingredients in this salad, add to the flavor profile of the salad. And further enhance the nutrition quality of it with the additional cancer preventive phytochemical boost.
If you like chickpeas and spices, you are going to love this Mediterranean chickpea salad! Bring on some flavors and good nutrition with this easy and hearty salad!
MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD
- 1.5 cups chickpeas dry
- 1.5 cups Roma tomatoes diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons scallions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1.5 teaspoons cumin ground
- 1.5 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese optional
- pickled olives optional
Soak the chickpeas overnight in 3 to 4 cups of water. Drain the water, and rinse the soaked chickpeas.
Transfer the chickpeas to a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water and place the pressure cooker lid on the top and close it.
Place the pressure cooker on the stove and turn on the heat to medium high and let the steam build up. (I have a German pressure cooker, in which the steam build up is indicated by the raising of the knob on the top of the lid).
Turn the heat to the low setting and let it cook for 5 minutes (the cooking time and instructions may vary for each pressure cooker). Let it stand until all the steam pressure is released before unlocking the lid. In my pressure cooker the indication of that would be the lowering of the knob on the top of the lid.
[Alternatively, if not using a pressure cooker, the chickpeas may be cooked with 2.5 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium high and bring it to a boil. Then turn it to a lower setting and simmer for an hour or more, until soft and well done. Adjust the amount of cooking water as needed.]
Any leftover water may be drained, or saved to add to other soups and stews.
Once the chickpeas have cooled down a little, place it in a wide salad mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, scallions and parsley.
Prepare the salad dressing with the grated garlic, cumin, paprika, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper. The red pepper flakes may be added if preferred.
Stir the salad dressing with all the other ingredients and toss well. Adjust the seasoning as per taste.
Let it rest at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
The salad may be served over a bed of romaine lettuce. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and olives if preferred. Serve with some toasted pita bread on the side.
Servings: 6, Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories 259, Total Fat 10 g (Saturated Fat 1.4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2.2 g, Monounsaturated Fat 6.3 g), Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 209 mg, Potassium 530 mg, Phosphorus 205 mg, Total Carbohydrate 35 g, Dietary Fiber 10 g, Sugars 8 g, Protein 10 g