Lemony mustard chickpea salad is a go-to lunch that is healthy, delicious, and vegan to boot.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending an event at the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) hosted by Texas Oncology. We were there to learn about diet as it relates to cancer prevention and recovery and heard from an oncologist, a registered dietician, and the SFC chef cooking that night.
It turns out that eating for cancer prevention is much the same as eating for an overall healthy diet. Sure, that might seem like common sense, but considering that in the United States we consume 22 teaspoons of sugar per day per person,* and fast food restaurants dot our landscape like wildflowers, the overall declining health of the country is no surprise.
While I can’t control what the country eats, I can do my best to bring foods into my own house that promote stable blood sugar and proper digestion, reduce inflammation (a root cause of many diseases), and are nutrient dense.
Eating more healthful foods can often sound boring, but it’s a great opportunity to experiment with the wide variety of flavors that are out there, especially in the form of fresh herbs and spices. If you’ve been a reader around here for a while you might have noticed that I don’t use a lot of salt in my savory recipes; I try to build flavor with herbs and aromatics instead.
This lemony mustard chickpea salad, adapted from a recipe served at the class last week, features so-hot-right-now ingredient turmeric. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, promotes digestion, helps to regulate a protein complex in immune and inflammatory processes, and is an appetite stimulant. It has been used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking for a long time, and is now expanding beyond those cuisines here in the U.S.
The salad comes together quickly, making it an ideal side dish or lunch. You can stuff it into a pita or just eat it as-is.
- 1 can chickpeas
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Pinch chipotle pepper powder
- Pinch salt
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Drain chickpeas into a colander. Rinse and let drain. (You can remove the chickpea skins if you like, by rubbing the chickpeas in a kitchen towel.)
- In a bowl, whisk together mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, chipotle pepper, and salt.
- Add chickpeas, celery, parsley, and walnuts, and stir until well-combined.
- Serve immediately or chill in an airtight container and serve when ready.
Moss, Michael. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.
Katz, Rebecca, and Edelson, Matt. The Cancer Fighting Kitchen.
For more meatless inspiration, check out my Vegetarian board on Pinterest!