Guest Post by Meredith Hedberg, dietetic intern with Nutrition Ink
Warmer weather calls for patio season and it is approaching quickly! Texas heat can get the best of us and after a long day in the sun we enjoy being in the comfort of our home with a freshly prepared meal. Maybe you are hanging out by the pool at home and want a quick and easy dish to prepare for friends and family. This Greek Chickpea Salad can be prepared in about 30 minutes or less with minimal or no cooking required and very few dishes to dirty up in the process. And really, what better meal to have on a hot summer’s day than a light and refreshing Greek salad? This dish takes me back to a warm summer’s day I spent at a restaurant at the top of Pyrgo in Greece. The restaurant looked out onto the village that sat along the edge of a mountain staring out into the blue ocean. During this trip I had some of the best produce! After a long hot day, how could I pass up the light and refreshing produce that Greece had to offer?
This dish is not only easy to make, but can provide several meals and can be bought for under $10! A big advantage to this dish is the variety of taste, colors, and nutrients provided. While there is a variety in taste, each food harmonizes well. I omitted the olives and substituted them for chickpeas, if you’d like you can add both! Chickpeas and feta provide a good source of protein and carbohydrates to this dish. Their assistance provides a balanced vegetarian meal. If you’d prefer, you can roast the chickpeas or serve after they are rinsed and drained. To roast the chickpeas:
- Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas
- Crank up the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Toss the chickpeas in olive oil, salt, pepper, and a seasoning of choice (I used paprika)
- Throw the chickpeas onto the pan and put them in the oven and roast as long as you’d like
* Be sure to keep your eye on them because it does not take long to roast! Every few minutes I would stir them with a spatula to ensure they are roasting evenly and not sticking to your pan.
While your chickpeas are roasting, go ahead and prepare your vegetables:
- 1 diced green pepper
- 1 diced red pepper
- 1 quartered cucumber
- 1 diced onion
- 1/2 the cherry tomatoes in a 10.5 ounce container
*If you would like to serve your dish chilled or do not plan on serving immediately, pop the prepared veggies in the fridge while the chickpeas cook and cool or until you are ready to serve.
For the toppings, you will need:
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Dried or fresh oregano
*With these you are able to add as much as you desire! I would recommend under doing these toppings as you can always add more.
To give you an idea of what I did, I used:
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 2 pinches of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ tablespoon of dried oregano
*After these toppings are added, gently toss the salad to combine ingredients evenly.
Meredith Hedberg is a dietetic intern for a distance internship called Nutrition Ink. She has a passion for cooking with friends and family, biking the trails around Dallas Fort Worth, and expanding her knowledge in nutrition, allowing her to assist others in living a healthy life.