A Vegetarian Recipe Made with Staple Ingredients You Will Find on Any Mediterranean Diet Food List
This recipe for Roasted Chickpea and Freekeh Salad is a bright and flavorful vegetarian dish made staple ingredients from a Mediterranean Diet food list. Packed with protein (25 grams per serving!) and fiber, it’s filling and overflowing with colorful veggies. Thank you to Blue Apron for sponsoring this post and offering the first 50 PBF readers $50 off your first Blue Apron delivery. Simply click here to redeem!
I have a must-make vegetarian dish to share with you guys today! As you may know if you’ve been reading this blog for the past few months, we’ve been eating more and more meat-free dinners around here, largely because red meat and poultry were two of my biggest pregnancy aversions for months. Truthfully they often still do not call to me and I’ve really enjoyed discovering more plant-based meal options to serve to our family.
The most recent vegetarian meal success from a Blue Apron came in my most recent delivery: Roasted Chickpea and Freekeh Salad!
The Roasted Chickpea and Freekeh Salad Ryan and I loved so much is one of Blue Apron’s new Mediterranean Diet recipes inspired by the vibrant cooking of the Mediterranean and created with staples ingredients from a Mediterranean Diet food list.
First, What Is The Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean Diet is the idea of eating in a similar way to people in Mediterranean cultures based on the observation that their consumption of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, olive oil and lean proteins lead to better overall health. The word “diet” is not my favorite when it comes to talking about eating with an emphasis on Mediterranean food staples, as this way of eating simply works to shift toward choosing staple ingredients that benefit your overall health and less on dieting in a restrictive sense.
The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes fresh, nutrient-dense food, flavor and taking the time to enjoy your meals rather than calorie counting and restriction. And perhaps the best part? The Mediterranean Diet is thought to be one of the most heart-healthy diets out there and has been shown to protect against the development of heart disease and metabolic complications as well as reduce inflammation and help with healthy weight maintenance.
And What Can You Typically Find on a Mediterranean Diet Food List?
Here some items you will typically find on a Mediterranean Diet food list: Legumes, vegetables, nuts, fruit and plant-based protein sources as well as lean sources of protein like fish and poultry rather than red meat. We’re talking plenty of leafy greens, cauliflower, artichokes, almonds, sesame seeds, lentils, chickpeas, wild-caught fish, yogurt, olive oil and whole grains. Yum!
Mediterranean meals are made with lots of fresh and vibrant vegetables and fruits, nutritious grains and olive oil and feature local favorites like feta and red wine. As you can see in the food pyramid below, the emphasis is on daily consumption of fresh produce, grains and healthy oils, as the Mediterranean Diet is based around these staples. It also calls for regular consumption of fish and seafood (at least two times per week) and moderate portions of dairy and poultry.
In an effort to appeal to their customers’ dietary preferences, and to follow upon their Whole30 partnership at the beginning of the year, Blue Apron recently unveiled weekly recipes inspired by the Mediterranean Diet. To include one of Blue Apron’s Mediterranean Diet recipes in your next delivery, simply select the recipes specially marked “Mediterranean Diet” when you’re browsing your menu options and selecting your meals for the week!
Now Back to the Salad!
I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but when Ryan and I first discovered Blue Apron years ago, we quickly fell in love with their vegetarian options. As someone who admittedly often plans meals around a meat-based source of protein, I enjoy ordering vegetarian meal deliveries from Blue Apron because they continually introduce me to satisfying vegetarian recipes that are fresh, flavorful and filling.
Like all Blue Apron recipes, the Roasted Chickpea and Freekeh Salad was delivered to our front door along with two additional dinner recipes for two. (Blue Apron also has family plans available.) I selected this recipe along with our additional two recipes from eight available options on Blue Apron’s site before everything was shipped. (FYI, you may now choose any combination of meals from Blue Apron’s menus which I personally appreciate since sometimes the meal combinations I preferred in the past weren’t always an option.) All of the recipes from Blue Apron are created by chefs and use high-quality, farm-fresh ingredients. They also come with easy-to-follow recipe cards that include detailed instructions and picture tutorials.
This Roasted Chickpea and Freekeh Salad is bright and flavorful thanks to lemon zest, fresh parsley and roasted carrots and it’s one I’m going to keep on hand as an option to double or even triple for summer cookouts because I know it would be a big-time crowd pleaser! It’s the kind of dish that would work just as well as a delicious side dish as it did a filling entrée and the fact that it took me just shy of 40 minutes to make a flavorful Mediterranean vegetarian meal wasn’t too shabby either!Print
This recipe for Roasted Chickpea and Freekeh Salad is a bright and flavorful vegetarian dish made staple ingredients from a Mediterranean Diet food list. Packed with protein (25 grams per serving!) and fiber, it’s filling and overflowing with colorful veggies. Thank you to Blue Apron for sponsoring this post!
- 1½ cups Chickpeas
- ¾ cup Cracked Freekeh
- 4 Carrots
- 1 Lemon
- 1 bunch Parsley
- 2 oz Deglet Noor Dates
- 2 Tbsps Sliced Almonds
- 1 Shallot
- 1 Tbsp Harissa Paste
- ¼ cup Labneh Cheese
- Roast the chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a work surface with a layer of paper towels. Drain and rinse the chickpeas; spread onto the paper towels. Using a second layer of paper towels, gently pat or roll the chickpeas to thoroughly dry; discard any loose chickpea skins. Transfer the dried chickpeas to a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast, stirring halfway through, 24 to 26 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven.
- Prepare the ingredients: While the chickpeas roast, wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch-long pieces on an angle. Pit and roughly chop the dates. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel the shallot; mince to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra). Place in a bowl with the lemon zest and the juice of 2 lemon wedges.
- Toast and cook the freekeh: While the chickpeas continue to roast, in a large, high-sided pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the freekeh; season with salt and pepper. Toast, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the toasted freekeh to the pot of boiling water and cook 22 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly. Wipe out the pan.
- Season the labneh and make the vinaigrette: While the freekeh cooks, in a bowl, combine the labneh and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Season the shallot-lemon juice mixture with salt and pepper to taste; slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined.
- Cook and glaze the carrots: While the freekeh continues to cook, in the pan used to toast the freekeh, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Add the dates, ¼ cup of water and as much of the harissa paste as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the liquid has cooked off. Remove from heat.
- Finish and plate your dish: Off the heat, add the cooked freekeh, roasted chickpeas, almonds and vinaigrette to the pan of glazed carrots. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes and top with a few spoonfuls of the seasoned labneh. Garnish with the parsley. Enjoy!
If you do not have freekeh on hand, I think another grain, such as wheat berries, barley or quinoa, would also be delicious in this recipe.
If labneh, a tangy strained yogurt with a rich, creamy texture, is not readily available near you, simply substitute Greek yogurt for this ingredient!
Blue Apron Discount Offer
Big thanks to Blue Apron for offering the first 50 PBF readers $50 off their first two weeks of Blue Apron! To redeem this offer, simply click here. I hope you love Blue Apron as much as we do in our house!