Updated: May 25
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We eat a lot of salads at our house since it’s an easy way to get healthy greens into our diet. I really love this salad with crunchy Chickpeas and roasted lemon vinaigrette. As much as I enjoy salads in the summer, I get bored with constantly eating the same thing. Life is too short!
A year ago, I published two salads that are absolutely delicious for lunch or dinner, that are light and full of flavor.
I'm probably the biggest fan of arugula in my house, because I love the crunch and bitterness. So many people are afraid of the peppery taste but FEAR NOT for bitter foods are good for you.
Bitter foods such as arugula contain liver-boosting nutrients such as sulfur, along with A, D, E, and K, which are fat-soluble vitamins. This mechanism helps to produce bile. For the optimal digestion and to help the liver work at a great level. For your liver to work its best to filter out the bad stuff, it needs to produce bile.
What makes this salad sing?
I think the roasted lemon vinaigrette is what makes it so special. I love to have this dressing on hand in my fridge, because it is perfect for any greens and is especially tasty served with seafood. There is a perfect amount of sweetness to the slight sourness beautifully combining those tastes to create plenty of umami flavor, that will make you crave this salad more often.
The salad I'm sharing with you today is just right for a summer vegan lunch that is very filling, loaded with flavor and bursting with health benefits. Crunchy chickpeas beautifully assist in harmonizing all the flavors that make up this salad. It is a colorful and complete meal on one plate. Easy and quick to make too. That's what I like about this salad.
My children even love it. In fact, my kids are better about eating salads than my husband. LOL.
What do I need for this salad?
Greens, arugula is my first choice.
Green apple, or apple of your choice.
Dried fruit, I used cranberries in the video.
Garlic, just one clove to flavor the chickpeas while frying them in a pan.
7 spice mix, one of my favorite spices, but if you don't have, use cumin with a tiny pinch of cinnamon.
Pros and cons about chickpeas in a can
When you are buying beans in a can for sure it's more convenient BUT not necessarily healthier. In order to digest properly, and not disrupt absorption from other food minerals, your beans, seeds, nuts, and some grains have to be soaked or even fermented first before the cooking process. So, when you buy beans be aware that not all companies do this extra step. For this reason, I cook my beans, then portion out for one use and freeze the rest individually. When I need beans for one recipe, I always have them on hand.
Another problem with canned beans is that if you are trying to avoid heavy metals in your diet, this step is easy, don't buy canned food!
The average adult in the USA ingests about 7-9 mg per day via their food. Even whole foods like meat, vegetables, and fruits may naturally contain small amounts of this metal since it is a naturally occurring element in the soil. Processed foods may add other aluminum compounds in aluminum tins, baking powder, anti-caking agents, and coloring agents.
Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical commonly found in aluminum and tin cans, has been the focus of much negative attention in recent years. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization advocating for health-protective and subsidy-shifting policies, has found over 100 peer-reviewed studies that show BPA to be toxic and dangerous to human health even at low doses. These studies have linked BPA exposure to a wide range of health problems and diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, neurological disorders, obesity and infertility.
But, if this is the only way you can buy beans, and beans after all are healthy food, please choose BPA free. This brand I like the most.
How to roast lemons?
Lemon juice in salad dressing is not something unusual, it works as an acid component and helps balance flavor plus during emulsification lemon acid blends together with fat and creates a beautiful harmony of perfect consistency. After roasting them, the caramelization will appear on the surface, and the sugar that is naturally contained in the lemons is noticeable. Why? Simply because lemons are a fruit that contain a lot of sugar, even more than strawberries. Due to their high acid content, we don't initially taste the sugar, but that changes after they are roasted.
Here is how to do it:
Cut the ends off, then cut in half and lay on a baking sheet with the cutting side up. Place in a preheated oven at 375F for about 15 minutes, or until you see the brown liquid (caramelization that you want to use along with squeezed lemon juice) creates around lemons. That's it. Easy. I usually do this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until I'm ready to use it. Very cool idea to use up some lemons.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Servings: 2-4 salads
Ingredients for the salad
5 oz bag of arugula
1/2 green apple
1/2 red onion
1 large carrot
1/2 red pepper
15 oz cooked chickpeas
3/4 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
1 clove of garlic
1-2 teaspoons Lebanese spice (7 spices)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for the vinaigrette
6 roasted lemons (see note above on how to do it)
1/4 cup honey
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Celtic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dry
1. In a heavy bottom pan add olive oil, then chickpeas and cook on medium heat. Next, add salt, pepper and Lebanese spice, and stir. Keep an eye on it. After five minutes grate one clove of garlic. Stir.
2. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down.
3. Slice the veggies using a mandolin slicer.
4. To make the dressing, in a bowl squeeze lemon juice out of the roasted lemons. Add mustard, honey, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Whisk all together. While whisking, drizzle olive oil into the mixture.
5. Add the cooled chickpeas into the bowl of sliced veggies, cranberries and the apple. Then pour the dressing on top leaving 1/3 of the dressing for a final garnish or save for another salad. This dressing is good to have on hand. Mix all together.
6. Arrange your greens on a platter, in my case, I spooned the chickpea mixture over arugula.
Serve right away.