I struggle to get beans into my daily rotation. It's a shame because they are such a wonderful balance of protein and carbs, and pack a mean dose of plant fiber. We know that getting fiber from a variety of plants is the best way to maintain healthy digestion and improve gut health, so beans are kinda an all-star. They are also a great source of folate, which is not abundant in many foods, along with iron, zinc, and polyphenols, which are well known for fighting free radicals and keeping aging, inflammation, and cancers at bay.
With all these amazing benefits, and the fact that I truly enjoy their texture and taste, you'd think that I would be serving myself up a big ol' bowl of beans every day. It just doesn't happen for some reason.
Enter my BFF Shani. We were in Chelan at the beginning of the summer and each couple chose a meal they would be making for everyone. Shani chose Saturday lunch, and as she is vegan, I was very interested to see what she would be making this house of meat and dairy eaters. She made a vegan tunafish salad, sans tuna, and it was delicious.
I didn't ever get the recipe from her, but I knew the general ingredients that were in it so I came home and immediately tried recreating it. I think I nailed it. I continued to eat it for a couple of weeks and then decided I should probably turn it into a recipe.
Aside from the health benefits of the chickpeas, this recipe also has fiber rich and hydrating celery, raw onions which are a great prebiotic, and a splash of dulse flakes, a super nutrient dense sea veggie that has lot's of calcium, magnesium, and supports thyroid function. It is optional, but this recipe is perfect for it as there are so many great flavors, the fishy taste of dulse is hidden really well.
This recipe is perfect for a cold lunch option. Just pair it with some large lettuce leaves like romaine or chard for a lettuce wrap, enjoy it on some sprouted bread as a sandwich, or, my favorite, alongside real food crackers. Also a wonderful option to pack in a kid's lunchbox!
Oh, and it takes about 5 minutes to make. Doesn't get much faster than that!
Quick Smashed Chickpea Salad
Makes 3-4 cups
2 cans chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed.
2 tablespoon capers, plus a splash of caper juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 green onions, diced
3 large dill pickles, diced
1 teaspoon raw honey or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon dulse flakes, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Place chickpeas and capers in a large bowl and mash with a fork or some kind of smashing utensil. Mash until there is a nice mix of smashed beans and some chunky beans.
Add the mayonnaise, mustard, celery, green onions, pickles, honey/syrup, and dulse flakes and mix. Add salt and pepper, mix, and taste. Add more salt if needed.
Serve on large pieces of lettuce, in a sandwich, or with crackers.
Keep in a glass container with a lid for up to 5 days.
Meal Prepping Tip
This recipe is ideal for meal prepping because it's as good on day 4 as freshly made! Make at the beginning of the week and keep in a glass jar to pick from throughout the week, or portion in small containers and bring to work or school.
Can make vegan by using vegan mayonnaise and pure maple syrup instead of honey.