Beginning the week with a power packed recipe that screams “HEALTHY” from the rooftops! Presenting the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Amaranth Couscous. A simple salad recipe under 30 minutes that uses fresh plant based ingredients, herbs, olives and a flavourful light dressing with olive oil.
Some Benefits of the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Amaranth Couscous
- Excellent for weight watchers
- Clean Eating Recipe
- High Protein
- No heavy salad dressing
- Seasonal and local ingredients
- Diabetic Friendly
- Gluten Free, Vegan and Dairy Free
You can carry this salad at work (dressing separately) and / or this could be an early dinner option too especially during weekdays. You can plan and prep for this salad a day ahead and store the ingredients plus dressing in your refrigerator. Trust me, this is so much better than ordering take out.
The Mediterranean Diet is considered extremely healthy as it includes plant based foods, legumes, nuts, olive oil, herbs and spices that benefits the whole body. Dairy products like feta cheese is very common, especially in salads. However, for this particular recipe, I have avoided the same and kept it Dairy Free too.
Couscous is usually made with Bulgar Wheat but since I wanted the recipe both Gluten free and Vegan, also focussing on using a superfood ingredient, Amaranth i.e. Rajgira.
The Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is one of the cleverest way to include Amaranth grains into your diet, which otherwise is usually labelled as “only for fasting”. It has major health benefits and is the Indian Quinoa (as I call it). The grain, unlike Quinoa is less expensive too.
Some other SALAD RECIPES on the blog that might interest you are Steamed Broccoli with home made honey mustard dressing, Lettuce and Strawberry salad with honey mustard vinaigrette, Cherry, Cucumber Feta Salad and Quick Carrot salad.
Taking this recipe to the #181FoodieMondayBlogHop where the theme this week as suggested by Sujata Shukla who Blogs at PepperonPizza is Levantine Cuisine. Levantine cuisine is the traditional cuisine of the Levant, known in Arabic as the Bilad ash-Sham and Mashriq, which covers a large area of the Eastern Mediterranean. Some popular dishes from this cuisine are Falafels, Hummus and their world famous Pita Bread.
I was initially tempted to bake a bread but settled down for a salad instead as we have reduced our carb intake at home and I did not want to break the momentum. The salad is extremely refreshing and I am sure your family would enjoy this as much as we did.
Let us now look at the easy recipe of this hearty plateful of Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Amaranth Couscous that has surely been a real treat.
Recipe for Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Amaranth Couscous with step by step pics
Prep Time (doesn’t include soaking) 30 mins
Cook Time 10 to 15 mins
Serves 2 as lunch or dinner
1 cup is 200 ml
Ingredients for the salad
- 1.5 cups of Boiled Chickpeas
- 1/2 cup Cooked Amaranth
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato finely chopped
- 2 tblsp of finely chopped yellow bell pepper
- 2 tblsp of finely chopped red bell pepper
- 7 to 8 nos. Olives sliced
- a bunch of mint leaves finely chopped
- a small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
- Salt to taste
Ingredients for the Salad Dressing
- 2 tblsp Olive oil
- 1 tblsp Za’atar Spice
- 1 tsp Sweet Paprika Powder
(1) In a large bowl, add the boiled chickpeas, onions, tomato, olives, fresh herbs, peppers. Add salt to taste and toss well.
(2) Now prepare the dressing using the ingredients as listed above.
(3) Add the cooked Amaranth to the salad.
(4) Then, add the dressing to the salad, mix well and check for salt etc. Add more if required.
(5) Chill for an hour before serving (minus the dressing) especially if you are expecting guests.
- For the Amaranth Couscous – I soaked 1/2 cup of amaranth seeds for 30 mins and cooked it over stove top with a pinch of salt for 15 minutes. Drained the water, cooled it and used for the salad. It was more than 1/2 a cup after cooking. I have added only what is required for the salad and stored the balance in an airtight container in refrigerator for the next day.
- If you don’t have access to Amaranth (it is available in all leading Indian grocery stores), you can opt for regular couscous made with Bulgar Wheat.
- You can add vegetables like cucumber, carrots too as a variation.
- By all means add some minced garlic to the dressing or lemon juice too for added taste.
- The salad tastes best when chilled for sometime.
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