Smashed Chickpea Salad is just right for the first day of Mediterranean Diet Month in May. The Mediterranean Diet is a pattern of eating that mimics the traditional customs of people found in countries along the azure Mediterranean sea.
Studies show that the Mediterranean way of eating is filled with cancer-protective foods such as fiber-filled vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and beans, along with eating socially and moving naturally throughout the day. The people studied who follow this pattern of eating enjoy lower rates of cardiovascular disease.
For this salad, use up any leftover vegetables such as peppers, carrots, or cucumbers, because the lemony dressing will cover up any imperfections.
And if you’re having a rough day (raise your hand!), then smashing those chickpeas will have you singing soon.
For more tips on the benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle, visit Oldways, a nonproﬁt food and nutrition education organization. Their mission is to inspire healthy eating through cultural food traditions and lifestyles.
Oldways has a #MedMonth tip for every day of the month of May. The site has many plant-based recipes, health studies, and nutrition information on whole grains and more.
Try this easy recipe for dinner, and save the leftovers for breakfast with a hunk of fresh whole grain bread, while picturing the sleepy Mediterranean village of your choice.
Smashed Chickpea Salad
1 (15 oz) can or Tetra Pak chickpeas
2 cups total of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers, more or less.
Handful of pitted, chopped green olives
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half
1 clove of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of tahini (sesame paste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Drain a can or Tetra Pak of chickpeas. In a large bowl, use a potato masher and mash the chickpeas by hand.
Chop all vegetables and add to bowl.
For the dressing, in a small bowl mix the olive oil, tahini, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon to extract the juice over the bowl.
Before serving, toss the salad with the dressing. Serve with warm, whole wheat pita, or a whole grain baguette.
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