Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Garden Chickpea Salad

Besides the new scenery, one of my favorite aspects of the changing seasons is the bounty of new fruits and vegetables lining grocery shelves.  After a few months of the same foods, it is simply a revitalizing change to swap out last season's ingredients to the freshest available harvest. 
 
With the warmer, breezy spring weather finally pushing away the cold, I am starting to crave healthy, clean salads once again.  The crispness of the raw ingredients feel so light and refreshing after a winter-long feast of hearty meals consisting of warm, thick stews and decadent, sweet desserts.  My desires for those heavy dishes seem to be melting away with the snow, and I am eager to satisfy my taste buds with lighter nourishing ingredients. 

This simple and healthy Garden Chickpea Salad is a perfect choice for a light spring lunch, and the colorful ingredients will surely remind you of all the beautiful blooms that will soon brighten up the season!
 
What You'll Need:
  • 1/2 cup of cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
  • 1 small pickling cucumber or 1/2 a large cucumber
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 cup of snow peas, chopped
  • 1/4 of a large red onion
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Mixing bowl, knife, and spoon

What You'll Do:
  1. First, chop your snow peas into thirds. Cut the cucumbers into quarters, and then slice each quarter into small chunks. 
    Finely chop the red onion, and toss it into a bowl with the snow peas, cucumbers, and chickpeas.  Mix all of the ingredients together.    

  2. Then, slice your tomato into quarters and slice each quarter into a medium-width sliver.  Add the minced cilantro and tomato slices into the bowl with the other vegetables. 
  3. Drizzle the lemon juice and vinegar over the ingredients, and lightly toss everything together.  Be sure to carefully mix the ingredients to ensure that the tomato slices don't get "smooshed". 
  4. Once all of the fresh ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Enjoy the salad right away, or chill and serve later for a refreshing dish!

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