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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spiced Garbonzo Beans (Chickpeas) & Yogurt Salad

i've been on a quest lately to not only save money on groceries but also to hawk my daily caloric intake. yeah, i know, if i'm looking to lose weight or inches, there's also gotta be a combination of activity... of the sweating variety. {shudder} essentially, for the last few weeks i've been simplifying my grocery trips, hawking the caloric value of each food item and coming up with suitable activities that will keep my interest, as well as help me shed some poundage. what i've learned:

1. simple salads for lunch and dinner does not give forth much variety to blog about.
2. at least with simple salads, i have more time after work to do anything but hang out in the kitchen. i do miss my kitchen but i'm glad to be away from the iron clad hold my stove has on me.
3. counting calories suck
4. riding a bike is challenging. whoever said you know how to ride a bike forever never met me.
5. summer fare is cheap and healthy, especially when bought at farmer's markets.

during my vacation in Puerto Rico, it opened my eyes to beans. i didn't hate the stuff, i just didn't eat it often. their rice and beans combo? genius. then Recipes to Rival had a falafel challenge, giving me the chance to play around with garbonzo beans. i'd seen the stuff at salad buffets before and i wondered if the stuff would be ok without having to mash or puree, as in eaten whole. with a dash of spices here, a dollap of yogurt there, i whipped up a hearty but satisfying dish. as a side note, i've been using livestrong to calculate my daily calorie consumption and activity levels. it's all a rough calculation, i'll do what i can to provide nutrition facts. just keep in mind, i lean more towards worse case scenarios and despite my ethnicity, my math skills are horrendous.

i'm curious: what are you eating this summer that is light and healthy, but doesn't shirk on taste?

chickpea salad

Spiced Garbonzo Beans & Yogurt Salad
as inspired by what was in my cupboard

2 cans of Garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup of plain low fat yogurt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cumin
1 cup of diced cucumbers
1/2 small onion, diced
few sprigs of cilantro, chopped (picked from my fire escape herb garden)

makes 4 servings, approx. 216 calories per serving

heat up a frying pan (i guess i could've splurged and added a tablespoon of olive oil but i didn't think about it). add in the garbonzo beans and heat thru. add in the dry ingredients, mixing well and coating the beans. allow to warm thru for about 5-10 minutes. meanwhile, mix the yogurt, onions and cucumbers in a bowl. take the beans off the heat and allow to cool. when sufficiently cool, transfer them to the yogurt bowl, mixing well. garnish with cilantro. serve then or at room temperature.


today's song: Rascal Flatts, Stand


  1. Riding a bike *is* challenging! I can run / walk for a long time but biking always gets the best of me. :(

    I'm trying to be more active too, hopefully I can work your recipe into a weekday so that I can lower the calories (it doesn't help that I've pigged out and essentially had two breakfasts this morning either. oink).

  2. Hey, my math skill is horrendous too even though I'm Asian. This looks like a perfect fiber-rich, super-healthy salad for the summer. Your cupboard is very inspiring. Currently, mine has nothing, NOTHING, in it but two cans of coconut milk and a jar of protein powder. Pitiful.

  3. I had something similar for lunch today! Except I mixed the chickpeas with some sauteed swiss chard and garlic skapes. Ate it on tortillas w/ sriracha. Probably added a few calories, but that's what taking a walk on my lunch break is for! Chickpeas are one of my favorite foods ever.

  4. Ahh... you tell me, I've been trying to loose my "baby" weight... Instead of loosing it, I lost most of my math skill by having kids:)

    The salad looks so creamy but yet healthy :)

  5. I really need to try this!! thanks!

  6. This looks great!

    Thanks for giving me inspiration for what to do with some of my chickpeas.

    // Mike

  7. Yes! I love chickpeas and am constantly on the lookout for new ways of using them. This is awesomely easy for the lazy (i.e. ME).

  8. Yesterday, by the time I got out of my car from the 30-minute drive home from work, my entire back was soaking wet with sweat. (I have A/C but it's INSANE hot lately, so it doesn't matter!) So I washed up, put on clean clothes and washed lettuce, topped it with garlic dressing and tomatoes, and made a slice of thick toast. Moral: simple salads are all you're getting from me, too. But it's summer, so oh well.

    PS - kudos on the healthy living!!

  9. it's so hot and humid here today, this is looking good to me

  10. jessica, it's all about moderation. as the first step is realizing the need for a change. it does get easier, promise. :)

    leela, i attribute my awesome cupboards to all the fattening dishes that i used to make, pine to make now but wil refrain from making for awhile.

    AlizaEss, chickpeas is getting up there in my fave foods to. i don't think i've ever had swiss chard before, i might have to give it a try too this summer.

    zita, haha! :)

    jennifer, i hope you like it.

    swedish mike, hopefully they came out well?

    sheryl, YES! this dish is wonderful for the lazy and/or those pressed for time.

    shannalee, simple summer salads are the way to go. this hot weather just makes for cooking at hot stove too difficult.

    justin, nothing beats a hot humid day like a refreshingly easy salad. :)

  11. They came out really well, I did make some changes to the recipe.

    I've posted my recipe here: Pork Kebabs with Chickpea Salad. Complete with original source credit of course ;)

    Have a look, hopefully you'll like what you see.

    // Mike

  12. I really need to try this!! thanks!