I promised some colleagues at work I’d make them some of my crispy chimichurri chickpeas and, while the oven was on, thought I should put it to a bit more use than just one batch! So, I made three (as well as roasting some sweet potatoes and making some flourless protein cookies!). When lunch came around the next day, I paired the chickpeas with a fresh salad and spicy dressing to create a plate of, well, awesome.
Now really, this is just a simple salad – make it how you want. I’ve given you our current favourite combination. Though, I admit I’m no longer sure if it’s our favourite because we always have these things in the fridge, or if we always have these things in the fridge because it’s our favourite salad combination! If you don’t like, or don’t have, any of the ingredients (like the raw mushrooms), simply omit and replace with something more appealing. Personally, I often like to add cooked beetroot (I buy the vacuum packs from the supermarket) if we have any in the house – but my OH would rather it didn’t exist so, since he did the last shop… no beetroot.
Adjust your chilli for your tastebuds
The dressing – this is one spicy lemon pepper dressing. Most of the time I like my food with a good kick, so I use the full 1/4 (ok, heaped) teaspoon of chilli flakes. However, my OH is not so keen! He prefers a scant 1/8 teaspoon. What I’m trying to say is adjust the chilli to your tastebuds. Start with the smaller amount, mix it all together, and add more as required.
The xanthan gum can be a bit tricky to work with since it does have a tendency to clump together. If, after shaking, you find there is still little clumps of gum I find a using a mini whisk, or handheld milk frother works really well. The frother is the quickest fix, if you have one.
Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon & Pepper Dressing (Low fat)
For the dressing (makes double)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ⅛-¼ tsp red chilli flakes 1/4 tsp = hot
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp xanthan gum
- freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 3 handfuls mixed greens eg kale, spinach, rocket, lettuce
- 1 handful sliced purple cabbage
- ¼ cucumber sliced
- ⅓ bell pepper diced
- 6 l baby plum tomatoes halved
- 3 button mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup crispy chimichurri chickpeas recipe on blog
- ¼ avocado sliced
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- First of all, make the dressing: combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake until totally combined. You can also use a mini whisk, or I have been known to use my handheld milk frother! Pop in the fridge while you make the salad.
- Combine the mixed salad greens and purple cabbage in a fairly big bowl. Toss with the olive oil and lemon juice, if using. Next, add the cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes and mushrooms and mix together.
- If you want your salad on a plate, pop it on a plate now, otherwise just use the bowl. Top the mixture with the crispy chickpeas and avocado, then pour over your dressing.