My journey as a vegetarian began organically. I had started making salads for lunch and was looking for ways to mix things up. I wanted more variety than I was able to create so I went online.
Searching the phrase ‘vegetarian salad ideas’ I came across a whole new world that I hadn’t realised existed. Lunch bowls full of yummy, vibrantly coloured veggies jumped out at me. Then something wonderful happened. With each new recipe I tried I noticed how much better I felt. After some careful research into how to be a ‘healthy’ vegetarian I decided to take the plunge and I haven’t looked back.
With that in mind, this chickpea and green bean lunch bowl is not so much a recipe as it is a small piece of inspiration. It’s about taking what you already have in your fridge and turning it into a delicious lunchtime bowl. Veggies and legumes you ate for dinner the night before are thrown together with some fresh rocket and a simple homemade balsamic glaze. Easy, nourishing, and tasty.
Chickpeas for salads taste far better if you cook them from scratch. They have a lovely buttery taste that you just don’t get with the tinned kind.
Please don’t be put off by the fact that they need soaking.
Say you want them for dinner tonight, simply put one cup of chickpeas in a bowl with 3 cups of water, a teaspoon of bicarb soda and good pinch of salt in the morning before you go to work. By the end of the day they’ll be ready to go. Drain and rinse your soaked chickpeas, put them in a pot with a fresh 3 cups of water and simmer them for around 35 minutes. This gives you a lovely big batch of chickpeas that you can use through-out the week to create simple, nourishing veggie meals.
Chickpea and Green Bean Lunch Bowl with Balsamic Glaze
1/3 of a cup chickpeas (cooked from scratch or from a tin)
A small handful of green beans (precooked, from dinner the night before)
A handful of rocket
I/2 small Lebanese cucumber (sliced)
I cheek of red capsicum (diced)
for the dressing:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbs maple syrup
- To make your balsamic dressing, put the 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a small pot on the stove and bring to the boil. Once the liquid has reduced by half take the pot off the heat, add the maple syurp, and give the mixture a stir. Transfer to a clean glass jar and set aside. Note: Will give you far more than you need for this dish. Store your balsamic glaze in a cool dark place. Lasts for several months. Works really well with rocket or baby spinach based salads.
- Assemble your salad and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Enjoy!