Editors’ note: This recipe was first published in 2010.
Every cook needs a go-to salad recipe to whip up for picnics, backyard barbecues and potlucks.
Three-bean, coleslaw or potato salads are obvious choices. But if you really want to curry favor with health-conscious guests, try The Star’s Curried Brown Rice Chickpea Salad instead.
Based on staple ingredients highlighted in the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, the salad delivers loads of protein and fiber.
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Thanks to the growing popularity of hummus, the legume has become the most widely consumed in the world. The buff-colored salad bar staple, also known as garbanzo or ceci, has a mild, slightly nutty flavor and butter texture that make it a perfect backdrop for pungent spices, such as curry.
Canned chickpeas are a good source of folate and a very good source of magnesium, both important nutrients for heart health.
Brown rice typically takes 30 minutes to cook, although instant varieties, which have been partially cooked then dehydrated, can cut the time to as little as 10 minutes. Beans and brown rice, a whole grain, are high-protein, high-fiber foods that digest slowly and help keep you feeling full longer.
Raisins are rich in iron.
Almonds are one of the most nutritious of all nuts, high in calcium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin E.
Red peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C.
Shopping tip: Low-sodium canned chickpeas (Bush’s) are available at Hy-Vee and some other stores.
Cooking tip: To toast almonds, spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
Curried Brown Rice Chickpea Salad
Makes 8 servings
2 cups cooked instant brown rice
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Combine brown rice, chickpeas, bell pepper, red onion, raisins and cilantro. Toss gently to combine.
Whisk together lime juice, honey, olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper. Pour over rice mixture and toss to blend. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
Per (3/4-cup) serving: 215 calories (30 percent of calories from fat), 7 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 34 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 165 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.
Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.