Sometimes, a terrific salad is just a matter of thinking of what types of foods are popular in the Mediterranean region, and combining them into one crunchy, tangy, delicious bowl! The Mediterranean diet is famed for its healthy, vegetable-based approach, and this Chickpea Cucumber Salad recipe is an excellent example of the most nutritious and flavorful ingredients found in Turkey, North Africa, Greece, and Italy.
The base for this salad is the crunchy, mellow chickpea, a favorite of those who stick to a vegetarian diet, but still crave the protein and satisfying texture that legumes offer. Chickpeas are rich in lean protein and high in fiber, and are a great source of iron for those of us who don’t get enough meat in our diets to keep our iron levels where they should be! Add a dose of tomatoes, and you’ve got immune boosting vitamin C and antioxidant lycopene. Cucumbers provide even more fiber and contain high amounts of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and cancer-fighting agents.
A salad like this doesn’t need a creamy, heavy dressing to weigh it down. A fatty dressing will only drown out its innate flavor and texture! For this salad, we use a classic Mediterranean pairing with honey and mint. Mint, when paired with a sweet flavor such as honey, is both refreshing and delicious, and enhances the flavors of the veggies and legumes in this fabulous salad. Get ready for a great taste and crunch!
Yields: 3 servings | Serving Size: 2 cups | Calories: 416 | Total Fat: 22 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 696 mg | Carbohydrates: 47 g | Dietary Fiber: 10 g | Sugars: 16 g | Protein: 11 g | SmartPoints: 14
- 1 large cucumber (peel if preferred), diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup chopped mint, parsley, or dill
- 1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Combine the honey, olive oil, vinegar, and salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large bowl. Add the other ingredients and toss to coat.
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