Last summer our daughter, Samantha, and I spent 9 nice travelling throughout Greece. We fell in love with the food while we were there. Both my husband and daughter have food allergies (each to different things), and it’s been very easy to find Mediterranean recipes that they can both eat.
When I made our Mediterranean Chickpea Salad for the first time, it was a big hit. It quickly became a weekly staple, and over time we modified it a few ways. It starts with a basic recipe that can be changed depending on your preferences.
My favorite thing about this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is that it holds up incredibly well in the refrigerator. It is great to bring to a potluck or picnic.
The basic recipe starts with:
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 English cucumber, chopped.
- 1 bell pepper, chopped. (Sometimes I use 2)
- 1 medium onion, small dice. (I use yellow, but red onion would be great, too!)
- 4 oz. crumbled Feta cheese (I use reduced fat. Add more or less to taste)
- 3 – 4 oz. chopped green olives
- 3 – 4 oz. chopped Greek kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup of Ken’s Greek Simply Vinaigrette (I like the fresh taste of Ken’s, and it’s gluten free.)
- Optional add-ins: chopped tender artichoke hearts or chopped canned beets
This basic recipe is very forgiving. You can add or leave out items depending on your tastes and what you have available in your pantry. Once you have the basic recipe prepared, here are 4 ways that we use it at our house:
1. As a weekly food prepped item
I include this as one of the recipes that I food prep for the week. We can eat it for lunch or dinner. It takes very little time to prepare it on Sunday, and then it’s ready whenever we need it. I store it in a airtight container, and it lasts for several days. If you are planning to use it throughout the week, I do not recommend adding the optional beets.
2. Add Quinoa
If you are looking to add even more protein, quinoa is a great add-in. I don’t recommend adding the quinoa in until you are ready to eat it. If you are food prepping, you can always prepare the quinoa ahead of time, but store it in a separate container.
3. Add Tuna
If you want to make this a more substantial meal instead of a side item, you can add tuna. I only use solid white albacore tuna in water. Make sure you drain the tuna completely of any water. If you are using tuna, you may want to add a little more dressing so that it doesn’t taste dry. I don’t add tuna unless I’m going to eat it right away.
4. Add Grilled Chicken
Ken loves chicken. It’s kind of a joke with everyone who knows him because he loves chicken more than the average person. He’s that guy who goes to a steak house and orders chicken. So naturally, we often add grilled chicken to this. I think the chicken holds up pretty well in the refrigerator. I sometimes will add it if I know that we’re going to be eating it within a couple of days. If you are into food prepping and saving time, you could even add a rotisserie chicken.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
A healthy, versatile, Mediterranean-inspired salad perfect for a quick summer dinner.
- 2 cans (16 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, small diced
- 4 oz. Feta cheese
- 3 oz. green olives, chopped
- 3 oz. Greek kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/2 cup of Ken’s Greek Simply Vinaigrette
- Optional Add-Ins: tender artichoke hearts, chopped or canned beets, chopped
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add them to a large mixing bowl.
- Chop the cucumber, bell pepper, onion, green and kalamata olives. Add to the mixing bowl.
- Add the feta cheese and Greek dressing.
- Mix all ingredients well.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour.