If you’ve been a vegan or any amount of time, you’ve probably been accused of eating nothing but rabbit food. And if you’re not, then you’ve probably made some variation of this joke.
The truth is that if you want to be healthy and regular, salads are kind of an essential part of life, at least for me. For us. But we’re not talking about your basic gross salad with iceberg lettuce and under ripe tomatoes, we’re talking about salad with a capital ‘S’.
Now let’s get down to business, starting with the lettuce. I prefer Romaine because it’s a light flavored green that goes with pretty much everything but here I mixed the Romaine with arugula because that spicy flavor was perfect with the spiced chickpeas. I’d recommend anything BUT iceberg because the nutrients are minimal just like the taste, but if you’re not a big salad eater, start with Romaine and work your way up to darker, greener leaves.
When it comes to building your salad, choose what you know you like but also add something you’ve never had before. Since we already know that I’m not an avocado fan, the photos with avocados are HIS salad. Look close at the bowl and you’ll see:
Sprouts (red and white)
For the spiced chickpeas I bought dry beans because they’re WAY cheaper and you can cook them however you want. Plus chickpeas are an excellent source of protein for those of you so very concerned about my protein intake. Then you make sure the beans are nice and dry before you toss them in the spice mixture. Ours included: yellow curry, cayenne pepper, black pepper, masala powder, garlic granules and a pinch of ground scotch bonnet peppers. Toss the chickpeas until well coated and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Now you’re ready for the oil-free vinaigrette. Let me preface this by saying that I don’t have a problem with oil, per se, but let’s just say that it isn’t really healthy for you. Sure it may have some benefits, but only good things can happen from limiting your oil intake.
Hence, the oil free vinaigrette. I like to use herbs, vinegar and mustard…all varieties of mustard to change up the flavors. Place it in a little jar and shake like crazy or break out your whisk and do it the old fashion way. Either way you’ll get a delicious dressing for your salad without the extra calories and fat.
If you look very closely you’ll see that I added a pinch of fried onions to the top because, well because being vegan doesn’t mean around the clock, nonstop healthy eating. Unfortunately. I’m still a work in progress but meals like this make me feel pretty good about that progress.