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
3/4 cup fine or medium bulgur
5 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups finely chopped parsley
1/4 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.