|Fresh, zesty, and healthy--what more can you ask for?|
A few weeks ago, I attended an awesome workshop hosted by my friend Rachelle. It was called Food to Love, and in a nutshell the focus was on ways to feed your family healthier, better foods. I learned several valuable pieces of information that afternoon, and I’ll be sharing a few of them in the weeks and months to come. But one of the first changes implemented in my house was Meatless Mondays. The hubs, who has rarely met a meat he hasn’t liked, was surprisingly open to this idea. I was prepared to whip out the scary statistics, but it proved unnecessary. He was totally on board with cleaning up our diet.
Since legumes are one of the main non-meat protein sources out there, this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest. However, being a native Californian, I firmly believe that almost everything is better with avocado. I also swapped the parsley for fresh basil then added some yellow bell peppers and flavored feta for a little extra kick. Here’s what I came up with. (Note: I use organic ingredients whenever possible. More on that in a future post.)
Herbed Feta Chickpea Salad
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small-to-medium cucumber, peeled and quartered
¼ cup white onion, minced
½ cup fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped (or torn)
½ cup yellow bell peppers, chopped
1 medium lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2-4 ounces herbed feta cheese (I used 1/2 package (2 ounces) Athenos Garlic & Herb)
1 medium avocado, cubed
Dash pepper (to taste)
In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, basil, and bell peppers. Add lemon juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and feta cheese. Toss well. Add cubed avocado, fold ingredients together gently, and let sit for 10-15 minutes allowing the flavors to mingle. If desired, add a dash of pepper just prior to serving.
This recipe takes a little while to put together since it involves chopping up a bunch of veggies. If you want to try this dish on Meatless Monday, consider cutting up your vegetables on Sunday when you have more time and bagging them separately to store in the fridge. That way, all you need to do for dinner on Monday is toss them in a bowl, whip up the wet ingredients, and combine them. The only thing you should wait to cut would be the avocado since it browns quickly.
This is one of my favorite new recipes. It’s tangy and delicious and it’s nice to know you’re using lots of wholesome and healthy beans and veggies. Plus, with summer almost here, it’s great to have a light meal that doesn’t require turning on the oven and heating up the kitchen.
I served this as a main dish with garlic bread and it was totally filling. Better yet, my husband loved it. If you’re serving it as a side, it could easily feed four people.
I thought that this might be one of those recipes that would be good the next day after “marinating” in the fridge overnight. I was wrong. I don’t know why, but the flavors fell flat and it wasn’t as good cold. Eat this one while it’s fresh. It’s SOOOOO much better!Until next time,