Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chickpea and Purple Cabbage Slaw

What is my family's usual weekday dinner? It's a large impromptu salad. Sometimes it's really good, sometimes it's "just good" but always is absolutely satisfying. Below is one of them. It has come out especially lovely, particularly because of homemade avocado dressing.

Blog's Category: My Own Fast and Easy, Vegetarian


As Chickpea and Purple Cabbage Slaw is the results of my usual salad improvisation, I'll break down my salad making knowledge into a few tips and tricks. It's just a couple of rules and intuition required to get your one-meal salad using whatever you have on hands. Here they are:

- I like to use romaine, red or green lettuce, spinach or arugula as a base for my salad. But my favorite "base" vegetable is a cabbage, green or purple, - it's very healthy, inexpensive and, what is very important - cabbage keeps in your fridge for a weeks!

- Supplemental vegetables, which are great in salads and keep great in your fridge are: carrots, turnips, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli. 

- Protein element for your salad, which are also have a long shelf life in your fridge - any kind of nuts and seeds, any kind of cheeses, canned legumes and at the last but not least, any meat or poultry leftovers (though not for those who vegetarians as myself :)), seafood such as smoked fish, cooked shrimp or crabsticks.

- Seasoning elements - hot peppers (fresh or marinated), pickled vegetables of any kind, chopped anchovies, fresh or dry herbs.

- Spices of your choice.

- For a dressing, if I don't have anything special in mind or I just plain in a hurry, I splash onto a salad my favorite "salad quartet" - vinegar, salt, sugar and olive oil. It's all about balance of sweet, sour and salty. Usually ratio of 3/1/5 for vinegar, sugar and olive oil respectively works for me fine. 

What is it?

- This particular salad has a very few ingredients - purple cabbage, carrots and chickpeas. Other flavor boosting elements are fresh parsley and green onion. Rich avocado dressing ties all together - avocado, raw sweet onion, garlic, buttermilk, lime juice, fresh herbs, a spoon of mayo, salt and pepper. E-e-e-e-asy!

Taste Description

Somehow two contradictory adjectives comes to mind - creamy smooth and crunchy, the best of both worlds :). A lot of flavor comes from fresh herbs - adjust them to your liking picking the herbs you really like. Salad is barely spicy, so spike it up a notch if you wish so!
I was very pleased by combination of those three - purple cabbage, carrots and chickpeas. Besides appealing and playful colors, they compliment each other perfectly taste wise.

How to Serve

Serve as a healthy end-of-the day meal, with your favorite tortilla chips (personally, reasonably healthy type of tortilla chips are my favorite accompaniment for salads).

Chickpea and Purple Cabbage Slaw


Salad for 4 large serving:

  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 small purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 green onions, chopped, for garnishing
  • 1 tbs parsley, finely chopped

Avocado Dressing:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small wedge of sweet onion
  • garlic cloves
  • few stems with leaves of various fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, dill)
  • 1 tbs mayonnaise
  • 1/3 tbs salt
  • 1/2 tbs black pepper
  • 1 lime (juice only)
- Using immersion or regular blender, make dressing. Adjust seasoning adding salt, pepper or lime juice (add a little bit regular vinegar if you don't want to start another lime). Add a little bit plain water to make dressing thinner.

- Prepare vegetables for salad and place them into a large bowl.

- In a large bowl, mix in half of dressing with a cabbage, chickpeas and carrots.

- Serve salad, drizzling on a top with the remaining dressing, chopped parsley and chopped green onion. Enjoy!


By volume, it's about 2/1 ratio for a shredded cabbage and grated carrots. On this picture, cabbage is partially topped with carrots.
Fresh oregano, dill and parsley are herbs I used for a dressing.

It's just happened that I added lime juice and mayo later on. It's o'key to throw all ingredients together for blending.

Taste to adjust ingredients. Keep in mind that it is not a dip and has to be a little bolder in taste.

Be generous adding the dressing to your salad ;)

Serve some additional dressing on a side. BTW, this dressing can be used next day. Surprisingly, despite of avocado, it does not get darker and keeps its color and taste.


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