It’s freezing out here for the past few days and is likely to be so for at-least the next couple more days. We also had light snow this morning and yet the sun is beaming it’s warm rays. The weather often amazes me…from inside, the day seems to be warm and when I step outside it’s chilling, biting cold!
So, instead of posting a recipe for a nice, comforting, warm soup why am I here with a salad? Well, because there’s never a wrong time for a salad that is colorful, nutritious and filling. It’s always a good time to add more veggies into our diet. Let me be honest here, I’m usually a sucker at eating salads. I find it appetizing only when it has a generous amount of dressing on it in which case the whole point of eating salads doesn’t make much sense. But, this salad is an exception as it has chickpeas, some of my favorite veggies and just the right amount of dressing.
This salad is just as comforting to eat as pretty it looks. The chickpeas add a good protein content to the goodness of the veggies. I used bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli florets, tomatoes and red onions here. To make the bell peppers and broccoli more delectable, I pan roasted them for a few minutes just until they were nice and tender. For the dressing, I chose the tastes and flavors I love – lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I also added just a hint of ranch dressing to up the taste! I made a nice bowlful of it enough to be my filling yet guilt-free dinner for a couple of days.
So, make this refreshing salad adding your own twist with your favorite legumes and veggies! It should be equally delectable when served at room temperature or cold.
Prep time + Cook time: 30 mins
Serves: 3 or 4
- Chickpeas – 1-14 oz can – rinsed and drained or 2 cups – soaked overnight
- Cucumbers – 1 cup – small chunks
- Bell Peppers (Colors of your choice) – 1 cup – small chunks
- Broccoli florets – 1 cup
- Tomatoes – 1 cup – diced
- Red Onion – 1/2 medium-sized – finely chopped
- Coriander/Cilantro – a handful – roughly chopped
- Lime Juice – from 2 limes ~ 1/4th cup
- Olive oil – 1 Tablespoon
- Ranch – 1 Tablespoon
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Pepper (freshly ground) – 1n1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1n1/2 tsp
1. Drain the chickpeas from the can. Rinse well under running water and set aside.
2. Quickly rinse the veggies under water to remove any dirt. Finely chop the onions, dice the cucumbers (peeled) & bell peppers into small chunks and broccoli into small florets.
3. I’m not much a fan of raw bell peppers, so I always prefer to at-least roast it for a few minutes. Take the diced bell peppers and broccoli florets in a pan. Drizzle only a tsp of olive oil and saute for around 10 minutes until they are lightly soft.
4. In the salad bowl or platter, take red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, sauteed bell peppers and broccoli. Add the chickpeas now. Roughly chop cilantro and add to the bowl.
For the dressing,
In a mixing bowl or a measuring jar, take 1/4th cup of lime juice. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and ranch. Now, add grated garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk well until everything is well blended.
Add the dressing to the salad bowl and toss around everything so that all the chickpeas and veggies are nicely coated with the dressing. Let them hang-out for at-least 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and/or some feta cheese if desired.