Lemon Thyme Chickpea Salad
Chickpeas are perhaps one of my favorite legumes. They are so versatile, as you’ll see in this vegan take on an egg salad. This chickpea salad is satisfying for both egg-lovers and vegans like. It’s an easy make-ahead lunch and works great on a salad, in lettuce wraps or on a sandwich. It is also a delicious dip with fresh veggies or crackers. Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients and how they help you on your journey to wellness.
Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a nutritional powerhouse. They are classified as a legume. Regular consumption of chickpeas has been linked to a diet higher in dietary fiber, healthy fats, Vitamins A, E and C, folate, magnesium, potassium and iron (1). Additionally, they are a wonderful source of protein, providing an abundance of essential amino acids (2). This nutrient profile leads to some amazing health benefits, including heart health. One study showed that just 5 weeks of a chickpea-supplemented diet had the ability to lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol (3).
These cheesy flakes are a staple in most plant based diets. They bring an element of umami to our chickpea salad. Just a little bit goes a long way, so start with what is recommended in the recipe and take it from there.
So what exactly is nutritional yeast? It’s a dried form of baker’s yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Its nutty flavor mimics the flavor of cheese. Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of selenium, which is protective against certain cancers, like colon cancer. Insufficient selenium intake has been associated with increased risk of cancer (4). Nutritional yeast is also abundant in Vitamin B12, an important vitamin for DNA synthesis and proper nervous system function (5).
Another health-promoting ingredient in this recipe is olive oil. It is an abundant source of polyphenols, which promote good health, lower inflammation, reduce oxidative stress and fight free radicals. This all contributes to olive oil’s ability to prevent against certain types of cancer. This chemo-protective effect revolves around the antioxidant activity of the polyphenol compounds, which also provide antiviral potential.
Black salt is also called Kala Namak and is very popular in Indian cuisine as well as vegan cooking. It has an uncanny egg-like taste and scent that adds a lot of flavor to a dish. While there are few modern studies on black salt, also called Kala Namak, eastern medicine has embraced black salt as having potential health benefits for digestion and skin health.
Recipe: Lemon Thyme Chickpea Salad
1 ½ cup chickpeas
½ tsp black salt
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
½ t mustard powder
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 t paprika
In a blender, combine ½ cup chickpeas, black salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, mustard powder, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil
In a bowl, smash remaining chickpeas with the back of a fork until chunky
Add pureed chickpeas and thyme to mashed chickpeas and stir to combine
Garnish with parsley and paprika.