You may have noticed I'm on a bit of a fresh veggie kick lately. After all of the heavy holiday food in November and December, I'm still craving meals that are light, nutritious and SIMPLE. All you need to make this Simple Chickpea Salad with Lemon Aquafaba Dressing is about 15 minutes of time, some fresh produce and chickpeas, and a good sharp knife. (Ok, you don't absolutely have to have a good sharp knife, but it sure makes cutting lots of produce go much faster!)
HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE, OIL FREE DRESSING
Right before creating this Simple Chickpea Salad with Lemon Aquafaba Dressing recipe, I was surfing one of my vegan / WFPB Facebook groups, and a guy was lamenting that he couldn't find a low calorie dressing he liked for his salads. It was pretty clear he really didn't want to make anything too complicated. Now, there are plenty of low-fat, oil-free dressing recipes out there, but it got me thinking, just how simply can we get this done?
Some people were commenting that he should just squeeze a bit of lemon on his salad--and I do that sometimes--but it is kind of nice to have a little something to tone down the acid in the lemon--without resorting to oil, of course. So, an aquafaba dressing seemed like the perfect solution!
Why? Well, because it's a good idea to include some fiber and protein in your veggie salad, so chickpeas are a natural in a chopped salad like this one. (In past posts, I've shared how very healthy chickpeas are for us.) As an added bonus, chickpeas come with 'aquafaba'--a viscous liquid that most people probably just pour down the drain, but that just happens to work really well as an oil replacement in sauces and dressings.
Which makes this Simple Chickpea Salad with Lemon Aquafaba Dressing a one-and-done kind of recipe!
Tip: For a creamy version of this salad, add a few dollops of Oil Free Vegan Mayo. Use the extra firm silken tofu or cashews.
To make the aquafaba dressing for this simple chickpea salad as easy as possible, I limited it to only three ingredients--and even then, one ingredient (the tahini) can be substituted with whatever nut butter you have on hand, or omitted altogether if desired. You could even swap out the lemon for some vinegar if that's what you have. I've made it myriad ways and it's always good.
We've been making this Simple Chickpea Salad with Lemon Aquafaba Dressing non-stop at Chez-Shah lately. We like to eat it just as it is, and as a topping for greens--no additional dressing needed!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- 'Eat' Your Greens Pasta Salad
- Watermelon and Forbidden Rice Salad
- Smokey Vegan Rice & Beans
- Quick & Easy Vegan Collard Greens
- Oil Free Hummus
- 'Everything' Vegan Gazpacho
Simple Chickpea Salad with Lemon Aquafaba Dressing
Lemon Aquafaba Dressing
- ¼ cup aquafaba (liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas)
- ½ lemon juiced and zested
- 1 teaspoon tahini (or sub nut butter like almond, cashew, peanut, etc. Or omit to reduce fat, if desired)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas--LIQUID RESERVED (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
- 1 red orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- ½ avocado ½ inch-cubed
- 2 cups red cabbage chopped
- ¼ red onion finely diced
- ½ jalapeno or serrano finely diced
- Optional: 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs like basil, parsley or mint
To make the dressing
- To a small mixing bowl, add the aquafaba, lemon juice and zest, and tahini, and whisk well. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
To make the salad
- To a large mixing bowl, add all of the chopped vegetables EXCEPT THE AVOCADO, herbs (if using) and the dressing, and toss well. Add the avocado last, and toss gently.
- Serve as is or on top of greens.