I normally have salad for lunch on a daily basis. It usually consists of chopped assorted vegetables without dressing. For some unexplainable reason, I had a craving for chickpeas. I generally don’t care for chickpeas unless its been dissolved into hummus. I never thought much about eating chickpeas as part of a salad,let alone a snack. One time, I made roasted chickpeas just to have something to snack on. Predictably, I didn’t make enough. But hey! If you could enjoy salad with toasted nuts, then how bad can chickpeas be? And what’s a Middle Eastern themed salad without couscous? This low fat couscous salad features peppers,carrots,tomatoes,cucumbers,red onion, and roasted chickpeas. Season with a little lemon juice, chopped fresh mint and parsley. I used frozen chickpeas but you can used canned chickpeas instead. For those of you deciding on using regular chickpeas, follow the preparation instructions. You may have to let them soak overnight before using them. The pre-cooked version is more time saving though.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 cups of frozen chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of coriander
- 1 1/2 cup of whole wheat couscous cooked
- 1/3 cup of diced cucumbers
- 1/3 cup of diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup of chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1/3 cup of diced carrots
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper for taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil and spices until well combined. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes. Turn every 5 minutes so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Place couscous and vegetables in a salad bowl. Fold in chickpeas and toss. Drizzle with lemon juice and season with herbs, salt and pepper. Stir well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Yields 6 servings