Summer Chickpea Salad with Chive Blossom Vinaigrette

Summer Chickpea Salad 

Hello all!  I hope you have been enjoying your summer.  It’s been beautiful in Montreal, and with the summer season being so short, I’ve been spending much less time behind the computer screen and more time camping, picnicking, playing in the park, and running through sprinklers with my boy.  So I hope you understand my slight absence from here. 🙂  And I hope you’ve been eating great nonetheless!  We just came back from a week of camping (and a bit of indulging on vegan sausages and campfire marhsmallows) so we’re back on track and feeling great – energizing with green smoothies and plant-based, whole meals.  When we returned, my chive blossom vinegar that I’ve been working on was vibrant, aromatic and ready to be used!  If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the life cycle of the vinegar, starting off with chive flowers from the garden mixed with white wine vinegar and canned for a couple of weeks. The process is so simple, and then you are left with a delicious vinegar to add to your summer salads.  I just love the colour so much, too!

The first salad the chive blossom vinaigrette was paired with is this summer chickpea salad.  It’s probably one of the easiest salads you can whip up, and the ingredients are filled with protein and nutrients.  My son would not stop saying how delicious it was, so when your five year old is happy, I think it’s worth sharing. 🙂

I’ll get straight to the vinegar recipe, and then the chickpea salad recipe below.  Enjoy, everyone, and have a happy Monday. 

I also wanted to mention that I have a great giveaway coming up for a bag of Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder by Kiss Me Organics.  I just received mine and I’ve been busy making smoothies and such and they were very generous in offering one lucky ready a free bag and free shipping as well (it’s sold exclusively on Amazon).  So, come back soon. 🙂

Thank you for reading,

Sophia xx

Chive Blossom Vinegar IMG_5850 IMG_6501

Chive Blossom Vinegar
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups chive blossoms, stems discarded
  2. 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place the flowers in a large bowl of cold water and swish them around to remove any dirt or bugs. Pour the flowers into a colander and strain the excess water.
  2. Place the flowers into a mason jar. Pour the vinegar into the jar just enough to submerge the flowers. Place a small piece of parchment paper over the jar, then close the jar with the lid. You don't want the vinegar to come in contact with the metal as it will change the flavour of your vinegar.
  3. Allow the vinegar to steep for a minimum of 2 weeks, the longer the better. (The one pictured here was steeped for 1 month). Place the jar in a cool, dark place and allow it to brew.
  4. When the vinegar has brewed, pour it through a fine sieve into a glass bottle, and discard the flowers.
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 Summer Chickpea Salad

Summer Chickpea Salad with Chive Blossom Vinaigrette
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - 19oz can organic chickpeas
  2. 4 lebanese cucumbers - chopped
  3. 2 small red bell peppers - chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  5. 1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds
  6. 1/4 cup pepita seeds
  7. Vinaigrette
  8. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  9. juice of half a lemon
  10. 4 tablespoons chive blossom vinegar (see recipe in post above)
  11. 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  12. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  13. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients into a jar, cover, and shake vigorously to combine all ingredients.
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Summer Chickpea Salad

Chickpea and Spinach Couscous (Vegan, Quick & Easy)

This is a dish that is on my ‘I have nothing in the fridge’ or ‘I have no time to cook‘ or ‘I want something healthy that my kid will love‘ recipe roster.  It’s something that I have been cooking for years and is still a family favourite.  I love the simplicity of it, and the versatility.  If you don’t have chickpeas, go ahead and use white navy beans or kidney beans.  If you don’t have spinach, use collard greens or kale.  Like I said, I’ve been making variations of this dish for a really long time, and it always works. 🙂

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

You’ll love how quick this will be on your dinner table.  It’s ready in 25 minutes and devoured even quicker!  Since we’re looking to making this quick, we are using canned tomatoes and chickpeas.  Of course, if you have more time, by all means use fresh tomatoes and dried chickpeas.  Otherwise, it’s best to choose organic canned tomatoes.  If you’re new to vegetarianism or eating plant-based, or even looking to simply add more plant-based meals to your dinner menu, this is a super easy and delicious meal that will deliver!

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

Chickpea and Spinach Couscous

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous (preferable whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice (preferably organic)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 1 can (400 grams) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup cashews, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add your couscous, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff up the couscous using a fork. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, paprika and lemon. Stir. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and chickpeas. Stir, allowing the spinach to wilt. Taste, and adjust any seasonings if needed. In the meantime, lightly toast the cashews in a small pan on the stove top. Spread your nuts out in an even layer and heat over medium, shaking often – don't overcrowd your nuts. Keep stirring or shaking for about 5 minutes, or until nuts are fragrant and browned.
  4. To serve, spoon the couscous into a shallow bowl, then spoon the chickpea and spinach mix overtop. Top with toasted cashews.
  5. Enjoy!
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/06/22/chickpea-and-spinach-couscous-vegan-quick-easy/

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

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sophia