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.
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 🙂
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.
~ 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
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.
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 🙂
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.
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,