Healthy and Delicious

November 11, 2008

Sometimes you just want something really really healthy. I have noticed when I need to eat some protein, I will just start to crave it. As I was planning this week’s menus, I realized that I kept gravitating towards chickpeas. Now I love chickpeas – to me, they are one of the world’s most perfect food – but when I start to feel like I could eat them straight out of the can…it’s time for some protein.

I made this incredible salad tonight to go with a Cauliflower and Tomato Gratin and that Jerusalem Artichoke Soup. It is a favorite of mine and is a perfect protein with the chickpeas, lentils, and bulgur. I could eat bowls of this stuff – even when I’m not craving protein. I am totally in love with Goya brand chickpeas – to me they are the perfect texture and nice and buttery.

Bulgur and Green Lentil Salad with Chickpeas
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Makes 5 cups

I find this salad tastes best if it rests for a day. Don’t add the mint until right before you serve it though.

1/2 cup French green lentils, picked over
1 bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground pepper

cup fine or medium bulgur
5 scallions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Grated zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 2 lemons

cup olive oil
1 tsp. paprika

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 cups finely chopped parsley

cup chopped mint

Cover the lentils with water in a small saucepan, add the bay leaf and 1/2 tsp. salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender but firm, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, put the bulgur in a bowl, cover with water, and let stand until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender – 20-30 minutes. Drain the extra water if necessary.

Whisk together the scallions, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oil, paprika, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. When the lentils are done, drain them and add them to the dressing. Press out any excess water from the bulgur and add it along with the chickpeas, parlsey and mint. Toss gently and thoroughly, then taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. When I get protein cravings, i generally reach for the cheese (eeks!). At other times some tofu or a protein shake will keep me happy. But this sounds so satisfying! I love that you added mint. Goya is the only chickpeas i use too, they are great in hummus as well. I dont have bulgar though, what could i use instead? brown rice? couscous?

    Comment by veggie belly — November 12, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

  2. Hi VB! Yes, you could totally substitute either brown rice or couscous – brown rice would be nuttier which would mimic the nutty flavor of the bulgur. Rice and lentils should cook in about the same amount of time.

    Comment by Dana Treat — November 12, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

  3. Sounds so good and healthy. I love chickpeas too…they are my favorite!

    Comment by Pam — November 12, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  4. This looks so good, Dana! I love chickpeas, but find I can get a bit board of them if the recipe isn’t interesting. This looks great, though! It’s nice to see some healthy food on blogs once in a while, isn’t it? ;-)

    Comment by Andrea — November 13, 2008 @ 3:37 pm

  5. It does look healthy and delicious!

    Comment by Vera — November 14, 2008 @ 4:20 am

  6. Yay, I have all these ingredients already. Beautiful and looking so flavorful. Can’t wait to make this!

    Comment by Kristen — November 18, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

  7. Hi Dana – I cooked up some dried heirloom garbanzo beans last night and whipped up this receipe today. I used sweet smoked paprika instead of plain paprika and am finding the paprika taste a little bit overpowering (first time I’ve used the smoked paprika – so maybe I should’ve used less than what you call for here?). Anything you could suggest to help cut or mellow out the paprika flavor? Thanks.

    Comment by Lynn — February 12, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

  8. Yum! This is one of my favorite Deborah Madison recipes and I come back to it again and again. I love parsley, mint and lemon. Because I live in California and have two lemon trees in my back yard (one Meyer, one Eureka) I am always looking for ways to use those yellow beauties.
    Love your site, Dana. (welcome to my state, by the way).

    Comment by Stella — November 28, 2012 @ 6:27 am

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