Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chickpea-Vegetable Salad with Curried Yogurt Dressing

A no-cook, fast, entree salad packed with protein and veggies? Check, check, and check.

For the dressing:
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces plain non-dairy yogurt
For the salad:
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrot
  • 1 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) drained cans chickpeas
  • 12 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1. To prepare the dressing, whisk together the cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, garlic, black pepper, and yogurt.  Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, bell pepper, tomato, raisins, red onion, and chickpeas.  Pour 1/2 cup dressing over the carrot mixture, tossing to coat.

3. Arrange 2 cups chopped lettuce on each of 6 plates.  Drizzle each serving with 1 tablespoon dressing.

4. Top each serving with 1 and 1/3 cups chickpea mixture.

To round out the meal, I added these quick spiced pita wedges: cut an 8-inch pita in half horizontally (i.e. around the pocket in the center - a serrated knife works well). In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric.  Brush the butter mixture evenly over the rough cut sides of each pita half, and cut each half into 6 wedges.

Arrange the pita wedges on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (2 cups lettuce, 1 and 1/3 cups chickpea mixture), Calories 337

Tasting Notes:
The curried dressing is absolutely fantastic, especially coating the chickpeas and carrots. My favorite part of this salad, far and away, was the delectable tender golden raisins, a perfect contrast to the crunchy raw veggies. I would plate the salad a little differently next time, tossing the romaine with half the dressing before dividing onto individual plates, so the greens are coated better. That or you could get rid of the romaine all together, since the chickpea mixture alone is so good. I might also nix the bell pepper, but other than that, an excellent dinner. The pita crisps are a salty, crunchy perfect accompaniment, and would be great anytime for a snack. Definitely the kind of meal that makes you feel plant strong.


The second time I made this salad, I made things even faster by buying pre-shredded carrot and pre-shredded romaine. Both are great convenience items for a busy weeknight.

I also used the opportunity to exchange the yellow bell pepper for a red one, which I thought made a nicer color contrast.

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