Thursday, June 24, 2010

30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals: Day 18 - Amy's Summer Chickpea Salad

Welcome to 30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals!

Today's post is written by Amy Green author of the blog, Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.

Day 18 - Amy's Summer Chickpea Salad

One of the things I love most about summer is the produce – the flavors are incredible! The other bonus is that with garden-fresh flavors, little effort is needed to create a great meal. You just need a little Grocery Shopping Savvy. More on that in a little bit…

I’ll be honest – I’ve been burning the candle at both ends so I didn’t have lots of time to think about pulling together the perfect dish for this guest post. I find that happening more often than not lately, which creates a test-kitchen environment for creating quick & delicious meals.

My husband snuck into the refrigerator before dinner and tried some of this dish. With the door open, fork in hand, he said, “Honey, this bean salad is so fresh! It’s perfect.”

And it literally took less than ten minutes.

Grocery Shopping Savvy
There are a few things I always keep on hand so we can have an impromptu meal in no time flat. Canned beans, lemons, parsley, tomatoes, capers, a good, fruity extra virgin olive oil, and lettuce of some sort are all on the list – which just happen to make up the bulk of this salad.

Generally, I cook beans from scratch. The extras go into glass mason jars with their cooking liquid and are frozen until I need them. Frozen beans aren’t much good for an unplanned meal, so I always keep canned beans on hand. Canellini and garbanzo beans are my favorites for salads, so those get stored in the refrigerator along so they’re cold when I need them.

Change it Up
This dish is meat free – you could add chicken or tuna and it would be fantastic. Don’t have any garbanzo beans on hand? Use cannellini beans or navy beans instead. Don’t have zucchini? Use cucumbers or shredded carrots.

Serve this light summer salad as is, on a bed of lettuce, or with corn chips.

Amy's Summer Chickpea Salad
serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side

1 (14.5 ounce) can of garbanzo beans, drained, not rinsed
1 medium zucchini
1 medium tomato
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
10 drops liquid stevia
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Optional for serving:
Tortilla chips
Spinach or lettuce

Put garbanzo beans in a medium bowl. Slice zucchini in half, then cut each half lengthwise into four strips. Slice thinly and add to bowl. Cut tomato in half and then in quarters. Remove seeds and cut into strips, then into small pieces. Add to bowl along with parsley and capers. Mix well.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and stevia. Taste and add more stevia if needed. It shouldn’t be overly sweet – just sweet enough to balance the acid of the lemon juice. Drizzle over chickpea salad and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For best flavor, cover and chill for two hours or more.


About Amy:
Amy Green, M.Ed., authors Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, a blog about eating well, eliminating refined sugars and wheat, and maintaining a healthy weight. She has been living free from refined sugars and wheat since 2004 and, as a result, is maintaining a 60+ pound weight loss. Over the years she’s learned that eating healthier doesn’t equal deprivation. A former elementary teacher and small business owner, Amy is currently a full time culinary arts student, soon-to-be-published cookbook author, freelance writer, and does recipe development. She lives with her husband and four dogs in Dallas, TX where she teaches local sugar-free, gluten-free cooking classes.


Stay tuned for Day 19 of 30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals. Tomorrow will feature a simple & delicious recipe by Michelle Doyle of Domesticity Nouveau.

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  1. Great series Carrie. Thanks Amy for ideas on using zucchini. Someone overplanted this year.

  2. Amy, I know you've been hearing me wax poetic on chickpeas! I absolutely love this recipe. I'll be eating this for main meals--breakfast, lunch, or dinner; using it as a side salad; or adding in some chicken or tuna as you suggested. Adding "MORE" to my chickpeas entry on my grocery list. LOL, but true. ;-) Thanks for finding the time to share this one with us, and congrats again on the upcoming cookbook--your first, but I'm sure, not your last. :-)

    Still loving the series, Carrie--you came up with an awesome idea with this one!


  3. Carrie - my gratitude for allowing me to participate. This series has been wonderful. There is a real need for healthy meals that are simple. People need to understand that gluten-free is not complicated. And it's at it's best when it's all about real food. You're a gem.

    Wendy - I wish my zucchini would produce just one. None yet.

    Shirley - Thanks so much, my friend. I love chickpeas too. All beans, really. I was scared of them for a long time because I thought they'd make me fat from the carbs. Not so. :)

    Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free

  4. This sounds really great! Super-fresh and light. Perfect for summer. Yum!

  5. Another beautiful and delicious-looking salad, Amy. I've never been a big fan of chickpeas, but I think I'll reconsider for this one. It looks wonderful. I love the tip about storing them in the refrigerator, too. Thanks.

  6. I LOVE this recipe! Instead of using plain chickpeas, I used these delicious seasoned ones (also gf!) from this brand called Tastybite. It was so delicious, but light and refreshing as well. This is definitely going to become a summer staple!