What’s better after an indulgent Thanksgiving than a refreshing raw salad? Chickpeas are one of the best sources of folate (they help red cell production and carry oxygen to the muscles) and iron. Iron is best absorbed with vitamin C, which is what makes this chickpea-red pepper combo so powerful. Red peppers deliver more than 300 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin C, imperative for cell repair.
In general, I like to go for beans because of their slimming properties: they help shed fat and improve blood sugar levels.
This no-cook, energizing recipe is perfect on its own or can be tossed onto some greens or sandwiched between whole-grain bread. It's a perfect way to get back on a healthy eating track---and stave off that mid-afternoon slump!
Chickpea, Red Pepper, and Herb Salad
2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 red bell peppers, finely diced
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Toss together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Chill in the fridge (up to 2 hours to let the flavors meld).
Rea Frey runs her own food blog, Clean Convenient Cuisine, hosted by Chicago Tribune. She also writes a vegan and relationship column for Cheeky Chicago and is the senior editor of Chic Galleria. As a certified personal trainer and nutrition expert, Rea has helped countless individuals reach their nutrition and fitness goals by simplifying their lifestyles and breaking that "diet" mentality. A regular contributer on WGN radio, she discusses food and relationships and hopes to help bring simple solutions to any lifestyle problem. Her book, The Cheat Sheet: A Clue-by-Clue Guide to Finding Out If He's Unfaithful (Adams Media) will be released this summer.