Tag Archives: Garbanzos

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,

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

Recipe: Picnic Perfect Pasta Salad

Anyone up for a summer picnic?

All mothers are working mothers.

~ Author Unknown

Greetings bloggers and friends!

I hope everyone enjoyed the treat that was the weekend potluck – I know I discovered a few fine bloggers and enjoyed working my way through everyone’s delicious posts! In case you missed it, you can still catch the action here to see what it was all about!

Today I am grateful for sunshine and still reveling in what was a gorgeous weekend spent with loved ones.

Our Mother’s Day dinner yesterday consisted of a wonderful picnic dinner set against the backdrop of the beach and the mountains here in Vancouver.

It was superb!

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs…since the payment is pure love.

~ Mildred B. Vermont

Our meal consisted of a simple array of foods: soft buns, cheese & cold cuts for the men (my hubby’s father is visiting us from Europe), chips and homemade dip, as well as potato salad, deviled eggs, watermelon, and today’s recipe for a yummy fresh pasta salad.

Of course, let’s not forget the chilled white wine, a couple of gin and tonics for us moms (the shared favorite summer cocktail between me and the mother-in-law), and we were all set.

Here is a simple, light recipe for what was a super tasty outdoor salad – perfect for any picnic or summer dinner!

The Less:

Less white pasta in your diet means more room for alternate grains. Less mayo-drenched pasta means less calories, fat, and oil. Less packaged store-bought picnic food means less cost for more goodness, and less high calorie pasta dishes means less worrying about eating them.

The More:

More ways to dress salads means more ways out of the mundane. More alternate grain pastas means more depth of flavour and nutrition. More ways to head outside means more time in the sunshine, so you can get picnicking more often πŸ™‚

Picnic Perfect Pasta Salad:

  • (4) cups dry pasta (spelt, kamut, or regular, I used a curly variety)
  • (6) tbsp lemon juice
  • (1/4) cup olive oil
  • (1/4) cup capers
  • (1) cup cubed feta cheese (optional)
  • (1.5-2) cups cooked chickpeas (a 398 ml can will provide the right amount)
  • (3-4) cups chopped broccoli florets, lightly steamed (save the stalks for steaming or grating)
  • (2) tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • (3) cloves fresh garlic, minced finely or pressed
  • a pinch or two of salt & fresh black pepper if desired

Start by putting up your pasta to boil in lots of water. Follow package instructions for your pasta and cook to al dente. Do your very best to avoid overcooking it! It is especially important to not overcook alternative grain pastas as they tend to turn to mush rather quickly if cooked longer than recommended.

Sometimes this is just unavoidable, but hey, we try!

While the pasta cooks combine the olive oil, lemon juice, & capers and add to the bottom of a large mixing bowl.

Chop the broccoli florets into 1-2 inch pieces and put up to steam in a separate pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until just turning bright green. It is important not to overcook the broccoli here as if it gets too mushy the lemon juice will turn it yellow and it will be come even more mushy. Once the broccoli is steamed, transfer to a bowl and mix with water and ice to shock it for a couple of minutes (this stops the cooking process). Drain.

Chop and prepare the feta, thyme, and garlic. Drain and rinse the chickpeas (if using canned).

Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and do not rinse. Let the cooked pasta sit for a minute or two in the colander and then add it to the mixing bowl with the lemon and oil while still warm. Mix well to incorporate with a large spoon. The pasta will soak up all the yummy goodness.

Add the chickpeas, broccoli florets, cubed feta, garlic, & thyme to the bowl and mix all well.

Season to taste with a little dusting of salt (the capers and feta are quite salty but it is nice to dress the pasta with just an additional smidge) and lots of fresh black pepper if desired.

Serve right away or chill and eat later on your picnic!

The ladies in our house are pretty massive fans of capers – the husband not so much – we say it’s his loss!

The garlic in this recipe adds a wonderful flavor to the simple lemon dressing.

It’s light, bright, and delicious!

A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.

~ Author Unknown

This was a perfect cold lunch for my high school daughter today.

Anyone want to bet whether I’ll see that container again? πŸ˜‰

Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children.

~ Marilyn Penland

This dip has also become a bit of a hit.

I’ll share this with you all soon!

It’s rather a goodie πŸ™‚

This is a warm up for the upcoming summer trip to France. I anticipate many afternoons lounging in the grass over a few bites of bread and cheese, with views of picturesque scenery, and of course, the family.

Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.

~ Mother Teresa

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.

~Jewish Proverb

Kick off the shoes, spread out the blanket, and remember these times don’t last forever.

Soak it in. Breathe. Be.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, whether you are a mother, or whether you know a mother or two that deserved a little love or recognition.

I so enjoyed your comments and feedback on the last post – turns out I am not the only one who loves bread!

I’ll be posting again this week and am pretty thrilled to be getting a new computer this week (it’s sooo time!) – we are getting away this upcoming weekend for a few days by the pool with great old friends.

I am looking forward to setting up beside the pool…maybe if it gets hots enough I’ll go in too!

  • How did you spend Mother’s Day?
  • Do you have a favorite picnic food?

We’d love to know!

Yours in Less,

79 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Family, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegetables, Vegetarian