Cool, crunchy cucumbers, juicy ripe tomatoes, spicy chickpeas, olives, Italian parsley & a lemony avocado dressing are the stars of this simple, throw-together, nourishing bowl.
The chickpeas, tossed together with a little oil & a few spices in a hot pan, aren’t rendered crispy, that was never their intent (my intent for them). Their mission was to soak up the spicy olive oil mixture, becoming bursts of flavor throughout this bowl of goodness. And they succeeded perfectly.
Chickpeas & cucumbers make such a great team, marrying together like old lovers. Cucumber has the ability to be paired with such a wide variety of flavors becoming quite the chameleon in Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern & Eastern European cuisines. If a fresh smell was a food it would be cucumbers (watermelon & winter squash could also be considered). Use the English or small variety cucumber: they have lots of crunch & less chance of giving you indigestion *buuuuurrp.
You could squeeze some lemon juice & olive oil over this bowl & tah-dah, it’d be fab. Combine avocado, lemon juice, dill, garlic & a little more spice together & now you have a wonderful creamy dressing that can also do double-duty as a dip for raw veg, if you get the urge.
If you want to make this spicy chickpea bowl ahead of time to enjoy for your work lunch, do as I do & pour the dressing into a container, then put the rest of the ingredients on top, popping the chickpeas into a separate container to keep them at their best.
If you’re working at improving your eating habits – opting for fresher alternatives, ‘bowls’ are a great place to start. Also referred to as ‘buddha bowls’, bowls are fast to make & fun because of the limitless possibility of ingredients you can assemble in one little vessel. They’re also perfect for one or two people, leaving you with no excuse not care for yourself when dining solo.
Until next time, cheers!
- 15.5 oz (439g) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed & drained
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups spring mix (baby lettuce leaves)
- 2 small cucumbers, chopped
- 4 small, vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped (I use Campari tomatoes)
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- LEMONY AVOCADO DRESSING
- 1 avocado, halved & peeled
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water, approximately
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch salt & pepper
- To make the dressing: Mash avocado in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients, using enough water to make a thick dressing; stir to combine.
- Pat chickpeas dry with some paper towel. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high. Add oil, paprika, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper & chickpeas. Stir occasionally, about 5 minutes, or until coated in spice mixture & oil has been absorbed.
- Divide spring mix between 2 bowls. Add cucumber tomatoes, green onions, parsley leaves, olives, chickpeas & feta cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Serves 2.