Global Chickpea Salad

I am working to break the myth that carbohydrates are the culprit to weight gain. Carbohydrates do not simply include your white breads, potatoes and baked goods; carbohydrates are in fruits, vegetables, grains (whole and refined), milk, milk alternatives and your beans and legumes. This is a massive amount of food that is we were to cut it all out, we would be majorly ‘hangry!’. Rather than looking to remove carbohydrates all together, you are better off taking a look at reducing the amount of high glycemic foods you eat. The glycemic index is a tool we use to look at how quickly foods break down in our gut and raise our blood sugar. High glycemic foods break down really quickly and will rapidly raise your blood sugar, often causing a crash along with fatigue, cravings and hunger. Low glycemic foods break down slowly, sustaining energy for longer periods of time, which also reduces fatigue, cravings and hunger. This salad is a great example of a carbohydrate loaded low glycemic salad. It provides you with loads of fiber, some protein and lots of other nutrients that will provide you energy for a few hours. Eat it for lunch or supper and enjoy the added benefits of eating your healthy carbs!!

Ingredients:

* 2 tbsp fresh mint

* 2 tbsp fresh parsley

* 2 tbsp green onions

* 1/3 cup feta cheese

* Juice from 1 lemon

* 2 tbsp olive oil

* 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

* 1-2 cups chopped red pepper

* 2 cups cooked quinoa or barley (any grain would taste great!!)

* Optional: ½ avocado, 1 cup chopped cucumber, 1 cup chopped tomatoes

Directions:

1. Combine 1 ½ cups dry quinoa with 3 cups water in a small pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl stir together mint, parsley, green onions, feta cheese, chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil and chopped pepper. Stir in cooled quinoa.

* This dish tastes best after marinating overnight.

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