Prime Time for Produce: Vegetarian Arugula Chickpea Power Salad Recipe

Photo by: Min Kwon ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Min Kwon, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

It’s prime time for farmers markets, and the bounty of fresh produce means summer cooking is in full swing. Enjoying foods at their seasonal peak is not only delicious, but it’s more nutritious, affordable and better for the environment.

Summer meals should be simple, with minimal to no cooking, allowing the natural flavors of the produce to shine through. Give your oven a break in favor of no-fuss recipes like this power salad — 10 ingredients and 10 minutes are all you need. If you find yourself with extra time, you can prep all of the ingredients in advance.

The combination of fiber-packed, antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruit plus high-protein chickpeas and avocado makes this a well-balanced and satisfying salad. Remember to always include something with healthy fat, like avocado, when building a salad, as it will help you feel fuller and assist in the proper absorption of nutrients.

Photo by: Min Kwon ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Min Kwon, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Make a big batch of the chickpea and avocado mash and you’ll be set for more than just a salad. Feel free to spice up the mash with additional ingredients like mango, celery, cilantro or carrots, then enjoy it as a dip, sandwich filling or, in this case, a salad topper.

No matter how hectic it may get during this time of year, be sure to take the time to cool down and energize your body with a nourishing meal like this salad, and enjoy the simple pleasure of good food.

Photo by: Min Kwon ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Min Kwon, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Vegetarian Arugula Chickpea Power Salad

Prep: 10 min

Yield: 1 serving

For the chickpea and avocado mash:

One 15-ounce can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, no salt added

1 large ripe avocado

1 tablespoon lemon juice (1 lemon)

1/4 cup diced red onion

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

1/2 cup chickpea and avocado mash

1 cup arugula

1/4 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup sliced cucumbers

1/4 cup sliced strawberries

1 tablespoon feta cheese

A drizzle of balsamic vinegar (optional)

For the chickpea and avocado mash: Rinse and drain the chickpeas. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas and avocado, then roughly mash with a fork or potato masher. Add lemon juice and red onion. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine thoroughly.

For the salad: Add all of the ingredients onto a plate. Enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 362; Fat 12 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 8 mg; Sodium 135 mg; Carbohydrate 51 g; Fiber 10 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 13g

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Min Kwon, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian who specializes in food sensitivities. She has a passion for translating the science of nutrition into real-life, applicable advice and tips. In her healthy food blog, The Adventures of MJ and Hungryman, she focuses on sharing simple yet healthy recipes made from wholesome, REAL foods.

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