Vegetarian Southwest Chickpea Salad

by Jenn on April 11, 2011

in Diabetic Friendly,Dips and Sauces,Gluten Free,No Cook,Vegetarian

Vegetarian southwest chickpea salad

Springtime apparently has gone and went, and hello we have come to say this past week to the bright sunshine and hot weather.  Well, for me at least. I have no idea what I’m going to do when actual summer comes around because this has been plenty warm for me!

When I was young, my parents made it a point to show us the countryside.  Oftentimes Summer vacations consisted of long car trips to various national parks, usually involving some crazy antics by my sister, like her “sleepwalking” episodes that caused her “unknowingly” reach into the containers of homemade cookies and snack on them (I don’t think she’s ever actually admitted to doing this on purpose, but I just know she did).  I wasn’t really a fan of the long car trips, and sometimes I didn’t understand why we had to see “x” site or hike on a certain trail – afterall, didn’t every trail have a path with trees and after a long exhausting climb one finally got to see a decent view?  Was it really worth all that work?  I admit, there were times I really wasn’t feeling the fun-ness of family vacations.

But then, there were more than a few magical moments on each trip where I really saw what my parents had been trying to show us year after year after year – that there are some really awesomely gorgeous places in America, steeped with history and beauty – that outside of the craziness of every day life there is a world where none of the petty stuff matters, and what’s really important is being together as a family appreciating some of the more basic pleasures of life.  I see this now, that I am grown and an adult.  And I thank them more than they know for giving me and my sister such great opportunities to learn about beauty in the world, and having that sense of wonder that comes when gazing upon a horizon in a place for the first time seeing a vast expanse before you. I try to carry that with me still to this day.

View from Schilthorn

I think I’ve totally taken that sense of wonder with me when we moved to Suisse.  I’m sure my husband thinks I get a little overenthusiastic about the prospect of hiking, seeing the mountains, and taking photos.  And yes, sometimes I’ve even been moved to tears (I’m really quite an emotional sap).  But I love the warm weather because it means now all the ski resorts can start to transition to hikers’ resorts – and we can walk through valleys of green velvet with waterfalls all around us, and have lunch on the top of a mountain staring out at the world.  Or we can choose to stay in the low lands around the lake, wandering around the Lavaux region watching the flowers of springtime and the vineyards coming back to life:

Cully, from Grandvaux

As much as I adore seeing the Alps, I also love seeing natural beauty in little things – a flower, a stone, a tree, to me these things are just as impressive as the tall mountains that stand before us.

Tree near Chigny

And when I don’t feel so philosophical, I just like going for a walk soaking up the sunshine. Winters so far (all two of them that we’ve seen) are so dreary and gray, it’s nice to know that there still is a sun after all these months and that the earth is springing back to life again.

Vine Cully

Or maybe it’s just all the jazz goodness in Cully that signaled the first of the coming long nights outside, open wine at a romantic table, enjoying the busy atmosphere around us :)

I’m sure the actual reason lies somewhere in a combination of all the above, but at any rate, I’ve really come to enjoy our hikes and our walks around Suisse on these warmer days, and also the excuse to prepare salads and stay away from the oven and the stove for a little while (woohoo for no-cook!).  Lately we’ve been eating several salads for lunch and/or dinners – not ones that are just lettuce on a plate with a bit of dressing, but with every vegetable we can find – often good for those “clean out your fridge” meals.  I particularly like using beans in salads, because it keeps the meal filling and adds a bit more of a weighty feel to the dish.  This particular one took advantage of the last of our chipotle peppers and our newfound southwest herb rub, made into a simple sour cream based dressing.  Simple and easy, and best of all no cooking required – perfect for a warm Spring day pretending to be Summer, so you have time to go outside and enjoy the view :)

Diffused Lighting.

Also submitted to - Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) April 11, 2011 at 12:37 am

I’m glad you’re having nice weather. Spring hasn’t even sprung here in New Jersey yet. Today we did have some nice weather in the 60s but mostly it’s been gloomy and cool. This salad does look wonderful, and I love that it’s no-cook for warm weather. If summer ever gets here, we’ll try this! :)

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Jenn April 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

Thanks! I hope warm bright weather comes to you soon!

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Hallie @ Daily Bites April 11, 2011 at 1:17 am

Oh Jenn, your photos make me want to pack a picnic right this minute and step outside for a lunch al fresco. (Although my views here in Wisconsin aren’t quite as spectacular!) That salad looks like a gorgeously nutritious lunch or dinner. I just ate, but I’m getting hungry again… :)

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Jenn April 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Thanks so much Hallie!

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Katie @ Health for the Whole Self April 11, 2011 at 2:09 am

I too love adding beans to salads. This looks right up my alley!

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Jenn April 11, 2011 at 8:16 am

Thanks!

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Shawnda April 11, 2011 at 4:39 am

Your photos are so beautiful!

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Jenn April 11, 2011 at 8:16 am

Thank you!

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Rosa April 11, 2011 at 8:06 am

What fabulous clicks! That salad is wonderful. Chickpeas are so versatile and scrumptious.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn April 11, 2011 at 8:16 am

Thanks Rosa!

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Sasa April 11, 2011 at 8:35 am

Total emotional sap here too ;P Though I’m terrible at bothering to take my camera (see my last post, heh) I actually went walkabouts with it yesterday and manage to use it… Chickpea salad is a favourite of mine too, yum.

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Jenn April 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Thanks Sasa – can’t wait to see your photos!

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InTolerantChef April 11, 2011 at 9:05 am

Chickpeas are such a versatile ingredient, I made a chickpea vegan curry this week, and my sister made a chickpea and rosemary soup. Yumm…

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Jenn April 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Oh that soup sounds wonderful!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I am blow away from this photography! WOW!!! Stunning. Great work.
This salad looks incredible.

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Jenn April 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Thanks so much Angela!

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Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris April 12, 2011 at 9:19 am

I loved your photos, your childhood anecdotes with your sister, and has chickpea is a must for me! Plus easy to make salad? next thing on my list!

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Jenn April 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Thanks so much Cristina!

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Natalie April 12, 2011 at 10:21 am

Beautiful looking salad! And I knew Switzerland was gorgeous just not how much, lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing both..;)

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Jenn April 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Oh thanks! I really enjoy the landscapes here :)

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Soma April 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Oh such beautiful photographs! Thanks for sharing them.. makes me breathe fresh crisp air.
Love chickpeas and this sounds like once scrumptious meal.

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Jenn April 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Thanks Soma! Yeah we really enjoyed this – it made great lunches to take to work too.

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sonia April 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Congrats on top 9. The chickpea salad is looking so inviting…. !

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Jenn April 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Thanks so much!

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Lindsey (Our Share of the Harvest) April 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Wow, Jenn, that top photo (ok, every photo) is just amazing! I’ve been looking for a new spin on chickpeas (which I LOVE) so I’ll have to try this one.

And a big congrats on FB Top 9!

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Jenn April 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Thanks Lindsey – let me know what you think!

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Sally Honor April 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Jenn,
I enjoy your blog! My husband and I are planning a trip to your area in May. I wondered if you could recommend a restaurant or two in the area. We will have a car so we could drive if need be. We love authentic chef run restaurants and any local dive with good food!!
Thanks so much,
Sally Honor

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Jenn April 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Gosh I hate to say it but we really don’t eat out that much, and when we are eating out, it’s usually because we are traveling and no where near where we live….have you checked David Lebovtiz’s posts lately? He’s spent a bit of time recently in the Lake area and been blogging about tasty Swiss foods and places :)

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Adelina April 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I love the southwest flavors of this salad! Chipotle is an added bonus.

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Jenn April 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Thanks! Yeah I’ve been super excited ever since we found chipotle peppers, I’ve been using them in everything lately :)

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Christine April 12, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Beautiful photos as always, Jenn! I wish you could send a little bit of spring time over here – the weather hasn’t quite got the memo that it’s the middle of April yet. :P

This salad looks delicious! I find there’s nothing quite like a good chickpea based salad with tons of veggies and greens. :)

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Jenn April 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thanks so much Christine! Hope you get some Spring weather soon :)

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Lisa @ Tarte du Jour April 13, 2011 at 4:02 am

I’m so glad I found your blog! Lovely photos and your colorful southwest salad looks superb! I’ll be back!

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Jenn April 13, 2011 at 7:32 am

Thank you so much!

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Tiffany April 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

I love reading food blogs and when I discovered yours I was rather interested and then I saw that you live in Suisse which got me even more interested. I’m also an food-loving expat living in Suisse (St-Maurice). Nice photos of Lac Léman! I’ll enjoy reading your posts.

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Jenn April 15, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Oh thanks!!! glad to “meet” another foodie en Suisse!

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plaisirsanscrème April 18, 2011 at 6:36 am

Yum and yes the weather has been amazing here! :D What are your easter weekend plans?

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