Rarely do I have a time when I dread cooking; usually, the process of creating a meal is a soothing experience for me. Tonight, however, I was simply too tired to cook. I also didn’t want to take too much of a shortcut, so this no-cook recipe is a great compromise. Some of my favorite recipes, particularly salads, come mostly from the assembly of great ingredients to make something easy, but also fresh and healthy. This chickpea salad is full of veggies, but it also has bites of Italian cheese and meats to satisfy your protein needs. If you want to go really light with this dish, you could use diced turkey instead of the pepperoni and salami, but if you go that route, I’d suggest adding some olive oil to the lemon juice for the dressing for added flavor. I didn’t use olive oil in the dressing here because the fat in the pepperoni and salami has enough of a flavor and consistency that it doesn’t need an added oil. Tip: when getting the meat for this dish, go to your grocery’s deli counter and ask for some thick-cut slices, about 1/2 an inch. This way, when you get home you can simply dice up the meat and you’ll only get enough for the specific dish.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cucumber, sliced and cubed
1 red bell pepper, sliced and cubed
1/3 cup marinated sun dried tomatoes
4 oz. salami, cubed
4 oz. pepperoni, cubed
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
juice of 2 lemons
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, refrigerate overnight.