Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Curried Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad

Curried Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad
served over a bed of organic spinach
Life as a stay at home mom, or a working mom as I now feel like I am, can be very busy and hectic.  Sometimes I give in and just plan to stop somewhere for dinner with the kids and grab an egg sandwich or a chicken wrap to go.  But that costs more money, is usually not nearly as nutritious as something I would make on my own, and definitely not as satisfying.  Perhaps I am influenced by the example that my mother set when I was little. While cheering me on at the sidelines of my softball games, soccer practices and swim meets, she usually would be eating a home cooked meal in a to go container while most other parents either bought something unhealthy from the snack bar or complained about having to wait to eat until they went home.  She usually had a plate all warmed up and ready for my dad as well, and her dedication to providing a nutritious meal not only for her family, but for herself, impresses me to this day.

So this past weekend when I had time to work in the kitchen I took advantage.  Instead of planning to stop at Subway or the grocery store to grab a quick meal during my busy Monday evening rush, I made a large batch of this salad, shared some with my husband for lunch that day and packaged up a big bowl to take for dinner the next night.  Since this meal is vegan, there is no need to keep it constantly refrigerated.  It honestly tastes best when left at room temperature for an hour or two so it was perfect when I took it out to eat while my kids were in dance class last night. And unlike some other parents who I know where complaining about being hungry and having to wait for dinner, I was well fed, and had something to do to keep me busy while my children took their classes. It is definitely delicious, and of course since it is made with all whole grain, all natural, plant based ingredients, it is a nutrient rich powerhouse of a meal as well. 

Curried Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. pumpkin seed oil, optional
1/4 C. organic apple cider vinegar
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional

2 cans organic chickpeas
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chilies
2 C. cooked brown rice
1 pint organic grape tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. red onion, finely diced
1 C. organic cucumber, diced
1 C. organic carrots, grated
1/2 C. kalamata olives, chopped

2T. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 C. toasted pumpkin seeds, optional


In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, curry powder, cumin, garlic salt and red pepper.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, mix together the chickpeas, chilies, brown rice, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, carrots and olives.  Pour the dressing over the top and mix well to combine.  Top with fresh cilantro and pumpkin seeds, if desired.

all mixed together

two lunches, one lunch to go and one dinner to go

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