I’ve been caught in the middle of a bunch of anti-meat conversations lately. Some of you are nodding your heads in understanding. Some of you think I’m nuts. For those of you who haven’t gotten sucked into the Netflix Forks Over Knives conversation, I won’t dunk you in the deep end. I’ll simply say that all the talk about processed meat and hormones got me thinking about how much meat I consume……… Turns out it’s a lot. I went looking for other protein substitutes in an effort to mix things up a bit, and I stumbled on Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo Beans. If you want to geek out on why there are two names for one bean, feel free, but all you need to know is they are one in the same.
LIVESTRONG did a little research and discovered they can be a healthy substitute for meat in your diet, as they “are cholesterol-free and contain less than 1 gram of saturated fat per cup.” But the thing that really got me excited was that “each cup of garbanzo beans provides 12 grams of protein, or 24 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet.”
Next I wanted to find something that had chickpeas but wasn’t bland. Ding, ding, ding. I found a good, spring-worthy Chickpea Curry Salad recipe from Simply Whisked that I slightly adapted to fit my liking. For those of you looking for a crisp spring recipe, look no further. Packed full of veggies and a new substitute for meat, this one will make your belly happy.
(Psst! For all the chopping in this recipe, I use my Vidalia Chop Wizard, and it saved me loads of time, in case you’re interested. This is a non-sponsored random side rant, by the way.)
2 cans chickpeas
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup diced onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup salted cocktail peanuts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, slightly mash the chickpeas. You can leave them whole, but I find it easier to spread or stuff when they’re slightly mashed.
2. Add everything but the curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Stir it up!
3. Add your seasoning gradually, testing for taste as you go. Everyone’s palate is different, so do yourself a favor and taste as you go.
4. Serve cold with Naan bread or pitas.
Boom. That’s it. It’s easy and delicious. If you want to see just how easy (and honestly pretty) the assembly of all this was, just scroll a little further…
Step 1: Chop & Prep
Step 2: Mash & Combine
Step 3: Serve!