Recipe: Vegan Harvest Chickpea Salad

A salad to make weekday lunches sparkle & shine!

I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try.

~ Terry Fox

Good day everyone!

I’ve got a goodie to share today, and this one has been tucked away in the ‘fave salad’ category for many years now.

One of the best things for us folks who love to prepare food is enjoying something in an unfamiliar place prepared by someone else and enjoying it so much we promptly head home to re-create it.

Sound familiar?!

Well this salad came about after a work trip many many years ago, and it was in Calgary that I first enjoyed this combo as part of a quick healthy lunch.

It has pine nuts in it, which truthfully I don’t use very much and haven’t featured on IPOM before, as they are very expensive. They are, however, a nice treat and combined with the rest of the ingredients here taste rather unreal! Of course, you could also sub in lightly roasted cashew or almond pieces if pine nuts are not on hand.

So without further ado, let’s get to this beautiful salad featuring Farmer’s Market chard & yellow zucchini.

It’s totally vegan & gluten-free too! A rather nice perk, I would say πŸ™‚

A single leaf alone provides no shade.

~ Chuck Page

It always seems I am reminded of this recipe at the end of summer when I stumble across fresh yellow zucchini squash.

This time of year they are abundant and cheap, not to mention firm, sweet, and delicious. Of course, you can sub in green for the recipe too, you’ll just miss that sunny hit of yellow in your bowl!

The chard used here adds a nice variety and provides a use for this green in its raw form that can be (for some) rather obscure in its applications.

Of course you can also sub other greens such a raw kale here too, but the case for color remains the same – just looking at the colors in this dish brings a smile to my face!

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Β  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

The beauty here is depending on what you’ve got, this can be made year round & keeps well for 4-5 days in the fridge.

It makes for a truly satisfying & light lunch on the go during the work or school week.

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The Less:

Less prepared foods at lunchtime means more freshness in your tupperware. Less pre-bottled dressings means less waste, cost, and preservatives. Less reliance on traditional lunch foods means packing a brown bag becomes exciting & weekday lunches become something to relish.

The More:

More high fibre chickpeas means easy filling up on the good stuff. More colorful veggies means a feast for the eyes. More variety & raw greens means more fresh vital energy, so you’ll never miss the standard old heavy stuff.

Vegan Harvest Chickpea Salad:

  • (3) cups cooked chickpeas or garbanzos
  • (2) medium yellow zucchini, chopped into one inch pieces
  • (4-6) cups chopped Red Chard
  • (1/2) cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • (4) tbsp pine nuts
  • (2) tsp dried basil
  • (1/4) cup good olive oil
  • (3) tbsp red wine vinegar
  • (2) tsp salt, or to taste

Start by washing and preparing the vegetables.

On the stove, put up a shallow pan filled with an inch of water and turn on the heat to high. Chop the zucchini into one inch pieces and add t the pin with the lid propped just barely on.

Once the water reaches boil, turn it down to simmer and cook for no longer than 3 minutes (set the timer!), just until the zucchini is soft-‘ish’ – be careful to not to overcook! Drain the zucchini pieces and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine the olive oil, salt, and wine vinegar & mix together with a fork or whisk. Add the cooked chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil. Stir all gently to combine.

Add the zucchini and raw chopped chard to the mixture and stir gently to incorporate, taking care not to crush the chard leaves or the zucchini. Taste for seasonings, and transfer to a clean serving bowl and serve!

If you are making this for lunches, store covered with wrap or foil or in a to go container. Last week I packed up my containers in advance and just grabbed them in the morning when I left the house.

Feel free to add freshly ground pepper or crumbled feta to this if you like.

It is also totally wonderful just on its own and truthfully a wonderful break from heavier cheeses and nuts.

As much as I normally try to avoid using pine nuts due to their high cost, I was lucky to find a very reasonable source here in Vancouver recently, and this recipe benefits immensely from their taste and light texture. Of course the substitutes I mentioned above would add their own brand of delicious too πŸ™‚

If you choose to cook your chickpeas from scratch, simply put up 2 cups of dry beans to soak in 6-8 cups of cold water for 8-12 hours. Before cooking drain & rinse the soaked beans in more cold water and put up to boil in plenty of salted cold water (about 1 teaspoon salt added to the water). Simply Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours or until soft.

If you’ve got the time, this is a wonderful cost saver, not to mention the added benefit of having no cans to open & recycle.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.

~ Seneca

I hope you might enjoy this celebratory combo as we continue to ring in this beautiful fall season we are having here in this part of the world!

  • Do you have a chard recipe to share with us?
  • Do you ever cook beans from scratch?

I’ve certainly posed this question about beans before and am always interested to know who is cooking their own. It is so easy but can be tough to fit in (and to look that far ahead) at the same time.

I became re-inspired about cooking my beans from scratch as much as possible after reading (and trying) a few recipes I brought home with me from my holiday, and after getting to it have been reminded of the taste & texture of freshly cooked beans, especially chickpeas – it is heaven in comparison!

Wishing you all a fabulous sparkly week as always filled with good food, good friends & loved ones!

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Health, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetarian

56 responses to “Recipe: Vegan Harvest Chickpea Salad

  1. I cook my own chickpeas – in my slow cooker. It is so easy I feel like a loser if I have to buy canned ones πŸ˜‰ After cooking I drain and cool, then freeze on a lined baking sheet, then transfer to bags for storage. I can get 3 or so cans worth out of a pound of the beans dry πŸ™‚

  2. Easy to imagine how this became a memorable favorite salad Shira! it’d have the same effect on me. (I’m lying in bed early early morn, wide awake jet lagged, wishing this salad into being!) xx

    • Wow Spree! I feel so honored to hear from you on your trip – you just made my heart smile wide! I hope you are adjusting & most of all enjoying – I remember the jetlag all too well! This salad certainly makes me think of you a little as I know we share similar tastes when it comes to these things πŸ™‚ Have a MOST wonderful time my friend! xox

  3. All of my favorite savory ingredients in one bowl! This recipe looks amazing.

  4. Was the salad you tried in Calgary from a restaurant or made by a friend? I completely agree that the most excitement I derive from trying a new recipe comes from having tried it somewhere else first; I haven’t given a great chickpea salad a go for a long time, so I’m terribly excited to try your recipe as well. It almost feels as if I have tried it and found it amazing. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Fabulous! I hope you enjoy discovering it!
      I did have it out at a restaurant, actually if memory serves me right it was a health food store – I think they are called Good Earth πŸ™‚ It was easily 13-14 years ago so I am hoping I’ve remembered correctly! Enjoy! xo

  5. My swiss chard and basil are just starting to take off, so this is wonderful timing! I’ve been on the lookout for recipes that involve swiss chard as I have never cooked with it before…let alone eating it raw! Pine nuts are expensive here, but I’ve been wanting to buy some to make pesto, so I may just have to take the plunge πŸ™‚

    • Oh this does sound like perfect timing – especially if you get to use your own fresh grown! I just got goosebumps reading this, I am such a dork πŸ˜‰ I hope you like it, and yes, the raw chard here is so lovely, I like it better than cooked by a mile! Have fun with it and if you can afford to splurge on the pine nuts just once, it will be so worth it! πŸ™‚ xox

  6. ooh….gonna have to try this one too!! πŸ™‚ love everyone of those ingredients! have a wonderful start of the week, Shira!

  7. This sounds so fresh and delicious! I’ve been making similar things lately- having leftovers on hand has been so important to me now that school is in full swing! I will probably have to substitute some cashews instead of pine nuts, but I definitely am going to try this!

    I just got back into cooking my beans from scratch too- you’re right, they are just so much better! Plus none of that weird salty liquid to worry about πŸ˜‰

    Hope you had a lovely weekend my dear!

    • Totally with you on the salty liquid Gabby! Gone with it and the beans taste so fresh and soft when they are home cooked too πŸ™‚
      This would be yummy with cashews for sure πŸ™‚ Hope you had a great weekend too! X

  8. I’m feeling all kinds of sparkle and shine from this post! I think you must share my flavor profile for many things because everything you post is like everything that’s my favorite (I’m sounding a little like Nacho Libre)!

  9. Alexia @ NamasteYoga

    pine nutes, sun dried tomatoes and chickpeas are a match made in heaven! i am crazy about toasted pine nuts in salads but they get quite expensive if you like to throw them in every salad like me… πŸ™‚ beautiful photos, the salad looks so bright and fragant, as I could smell the fresh ingredients!

    • Thanks Alexia! Totally agree on the pine nuts – and this is why I only seem to make this when yellow zucchini are in season, about once or twice a year! X

  10. your salad looks so colorful and yummy, thank you for a great post ^^

  11. This looks fabulous! I will definitely be trying this recipe. Thanks Shira πŸ™‚

  12. Pretty! Hard to beat the combination of pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes. Made for each other. I don’t prepare my own beans often enough – canned are so easy!

  13. This looks delicious, Shira. I wish I could have you pack my lunch for me each day.

  14. This does look like a perfect lunch–full of legumes and vegetables and bursting with flavor! If only pine nuts weren’t $24.99 a pound… Oh well–I can use toasted walnuts or almonds. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Eileen! I know, the price of pine nuts is bordering on obscene, though I did stumble across a good deal last week and decided to splurge a little – however, walnuts or almonds would be wonderful too! πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Ji

    Melissa and I are drooling over this salad, Shira! Distracting us from work πŸ˜‰

    I love cooking dried beans/legumes in my rice cooker – it’s a cinch and so easy!

    • Super Ji – that’s it – you are doing a guest post on cooking beans in a rice cooker!! Actually, you and Melissa will make a video, an IPOM first! Not surprisingly, you are a bonafide GENIUS. πŸ™‚

  16. Another amazing chick pea recipe – looks delicious πŸ™‚ Thank you Shira!

    • It looks like a theme is starting to emerge..doesn’t it? πŸ˜‰ Thanks Anne! Something about Europe got me re-inspired about them – and all of their awesome uses! X

  17. Beautiful, as always! I’ve never thought of using my rice cooker for cooking chick peas. Genius!

  18. YUM!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. Beautiful chard and a nice colourful salad – I adore chickpeas so this has me a little fixated, Shira πŸ˜€

  20. I am swooning over this!! I only wish I still had some chard from my garden, but I harvested it all! I have made beans from scratch a few times, but they turned out a bit mushy. I probably cooked them wrong!

    • Oh Britt! You and your home grown chard! I LOVE it, that makes so happy to be reminded of that! I love using mushy beans for all manner of delicious bean dips….. πŸ˜‰ xo

  21. De

    I’ve made black eyed peas from scratch,in soups or something. I usually use chickpeas in hummus or I tried a roasted chickpea recipe that was pretty good. I want to try this though!

  22. the salad looks gorgeous! we cook beans everyday from scratch.. the canned ones just dont cut it in terms of taste:)
    as for chard, it usually gets added to bean stews or mushroom pasta soups.

    • Fabulous Richa – and thanks! I love your commitment to cooking from scratch – it is so very true about the flavors πŸ™‚ And a great use for chard, fabulous added to soup! Thank you for this!

  23. I for sure think cooking beans & chickpeas fresh is the way to go! soaking and cooking can be a time crunch but pressure cookers apparently help lots. Soaking allows for the enzymes to break down some of the sugars – supposed to help them in your gut.

    • Thanks Vania! I totally agree with your point about soaking the beans – it is supposed to help digestion greatly! πŸ™‚ I love all the suggestions about pressure cookers and rice cookers…so awesome!

  24. What a beautiful recipe! I love the bursts of color from the rainbow swiss chard & yellow zucchini πŸ™‚ In the winter I love cooking up batches of beans in my Crockpot – so much easier, then I freeze for later!

    I absolutely love adding a whole bunch of rainbow swiss chard to my tofu scrambles – it is so amazing!!

  25. I literally just discovered how awesome rainbow swiss chard is – with the vibrant colours, I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before! And this recipe showcases it’s flavours and colours….You have a true talent Shira!

    • Fabulous! It’s a gem for sure! I hope you enjoy trying new recipes with it as it is very nutritious (including this one it is SO good!) – thanks for a lovely comment too (*blushing*) and it’s great to hear from you! πŸ™‚

  26. marianhd

    I can’t wait to try this! I try to cook dry kidney beans and black beans when I make my veggie chili soup. I can also cook just enough when I use dry beans instead of having half a can left over in the fridge.

  27. Pingback: Garbanzo Bean Soup « WestDeltaGirl's Blog

  28. Are the sun-dried tomatoes the ones in oil?

    • You could really use either! I like to use soft ones not packed in oil – they are still l soft and don’t require soaking , but oil soaked would be good too!

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