Gut friendly chickpea “tuna” salad

chickpea

It has been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, but I thought this one might be a nice addition to my gut health series. This is one of those dishes that I make a lot of on Sunday night and eat throughout the week for lunch. It’s also a big hit served with tortilla chips at potlucks.

Now, I know that not everyone can eat beans. I couldn’t until I healed my gut sufficiently, and even now I have to be careful — like preparing beans using the method listed at the end of this post. Also, the addition of gut-healthy bacteria from the probiotic pickles and Greek yogurt enhances the digestibility of the dish, which is why I recommend waiting several hours before eating it.

The recipe below was inspired by several recipes I found around the web, most notably from Oh She Glows and the Minimalist Baker. H/T to these great resources that constantly keep me inspired.

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy... like really really easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas*
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 big probiotic pickles, finely diced (like these  or these)
  • 4 TBS probiotic pickle juice
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or vegan mayo
  • 1 to 1.5 TBS chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Method

  1. Mash chickpeas with a potato masher. The goal isn’t to mash them all, just to get some squished down.
  2. Toast sunflower seeds in a skillet until lightly toasted. Just a few minutes over medium heat will do it.
  3. Mix all ingredients (told you it was easy!)
  4. Place in the refrigerator overnight. You don’t have to do this last bit, but I find it incorporates the flavors better and makes the beans easier to digest.

Serve

  • On toast, if toast works for you.
  • On crackers, GF or regular
  • Atop greens with avocado (pictured above).
  • With tortilla chips
  • As a side with anything else you might be eating.

*The best bet for making chickpeas (or any beans) is to soak them overnight and then cook with a piece of Kombu. Kombu helps to break down those sugars in beans that lead to gas.  You remove the kombu before using, but I find that a few piece get left behind, which is totally fine.

 

Enjoy!

Easy, quick, and yummy salmon salad

salmon

As I’ve stated before, I like to eat and I like to eat well. Somedays it’s easier than others to make that happen. If I’m on my game, I have lovely leftovers waiting in the fridge. But occasionally I don’t, and last week I had one of those days. Instead of opting for eating out, I decided to see what I could concoct in a matter of a few minutes using what I had on hand. As we know, necessity is the mother of all invention, and this time was no different. Enter the salmon salad. This delicious meal is chock-full of omega 3 and probiotics while being rich in flavor.

Salmon salad with dill and capers

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 can or 6 oz of wild Alaskan salmon*
  • 1/4 cup of full-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs + chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbs + capers
  • 1 tbs + lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Directions

mix all ingredients, tasting and adding as you go to get the exact flavor you desire. Once the salad is to your liking you can serve it on anything that fits your individual dietary needs. I served mine on top of  zucchini noodles I had left over, but you could also serve it with leftover pasta or quinoa. If you don’t have leftovers, throw it on a green salad or pull out some hearty crackers. Just use what you have on hand, and I’m sure it will be perfect.

I hope this recipe inspires you to get in the kitchen and create some lovely and nutritious meals for you and your loved ones. Let me know how it goes!

Lettuce have some food!

lettuceLettuce is in season right now which means you can find some really great deals. I purchased this head of romain lettuce from Whole Foods for $1.99, and believe me it really stretched throughout the week. This is great news for those of us trying to get more vegetables into our diet.

Wait. What?

I know, we don’t really think of lettuce as vegetable. Rather we think of it as the  flavorless base-layer for bacon bits and croutons.  But certain types of lettuce can be very nutritious. The romain I bought my family is loaded with vitamin A, K, and folate and contains omega-3 fatty acids and iron along with many many more nutrients.

While romain is one of the healthiest types of lettuce there are several other varieties that are loaded with nutrients your body needs. When choosing a lettuce use color as your guide. The richer and darker the color the more packed with nutrients it will be. Pick lettuces that are dark green or red and avoid the paler lettuces like iceberg.

As the workhorse of the veggie world,  you can make delicious (and seasonal) salads, you can use it as a wrap for a variety of ingredients, you can add it to soups, or even blend it in your smoothies. Below are a few ways my family has used this gorgeous head of lettuce this past week.

pear, walnut and argula
Pear and walnut salad

 

grapefruit and fennel salad
Grapefruit, fennel, and avocado salad

 

Lettuce wraps
Mushroom and walnut lettuce wraps with miso soup

As always, I hope these ideas and recipes inspire you to get into the kitchen and experiment with your own seasonal goodies. I’d love to hear all about your creations in the comments!