A vegan pantry is (hopefully) stocked with beans all year round. But they can feel heavy and hot in the summer. Cool off with this delicious and easy chickpea salad recipe.
Soaking dried beans and cooking them yourself is much less expensive than buying pre-cooked canned beans, which also increase your risk of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals including the controversial—and banned in some countries!—polymer known as BPA (bisphenol-A).
While it may seem far more daunting than grabbing a can opener, once you get into the hang of soaking beans and cooking them yourself, you’ll quickly find yourself much more liberated when it comes to making bean dishes. Try soaking them first thing in the morning. They’ll be ready to cook a few hours before dinner. They don’t need much babysitting (I turn my beans on low and go for a 5 mile hike; when I come back, they’re usually ready to go). Once you have your cooked beans, they can be used in a variety of ways. Store them plain in your refrigerator and dole them out as needed for soups, salads, burritos, spreads, etc.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are extremely versatile. They’re common in Mediterranean dishes as well as a staple in Indian cuisine. They also work wonderfully in this simple, summery chickpea salad recipe. It’s vegan, and is perfect as a barbecue side or a meal in itself. Play with your favorite herbs and seasonal veggies for new ways to enjoy the healthy and hearty bean salad recipe.
4 cups cooked, drained and cooled chickpeas
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1 small cucumber, finely diced (if you can, get lemon cucumbers)
¼ cup sundried tomatoes (the kind soaked in oil), sliced julienne style
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped very fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped very fine
Juice of one large, ripe lemon
1 tablespoon red wine or apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (or try a healthier version by mixing hemp and flax oil)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve over fresh greens or as-is. This chickpea salad is best when allowed to marinate a few hours. Top with hemp seeds, fresh vegan cheese, nutritional yeast or more parsley.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger