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
Roasted Chickpea and Freekeh Salad
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: vegetarian
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
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!
you should try hello fresh! its so easy and generally pretty healthy and so good!
Sarah @ Sweet Miles says
This looks totally out of my comfort zone, but delicious! I’ve always heard that the Mediterranean Diet is one of the ‘healthiest’ diets you can live by, and it makes sense. PS loving that accent napkin and those gold forks 😉 great choice!
thank you, sarah!! <3 my mom and sister gave me an assortment of random napkins/linens for my birthday a few years ago and i'm not sure if that's one i've ever used before. i thought it was such a fun pattern!
Julie, I meant to comment yesterday when you asked about the transition from one to two and having less time with your first born. This is what I always tell myself when I’m feeling guilty about spending more time (now) with my second son – “My older son got to have my complete and undivided attention for YEARS but my baby has always had to share my attention!” Just thinking that way takes the guilt away. I definitely have spent more time with my baby over the past two years since his birth, than I have with my older son (and my older son was already in preschool followed by half day kindergarten and now full day school in 1st grade). He definitely has moments where he says, “I’m not getting any attention!” because he got SO much for so long. Or he doesn’t like it when his grandparents come over and give attention to his brother, but overall it’s fine. In the beginning it’s great (minus the sleep deprivation those first two weeks!!) because there are so many visitors and that’s fun for the older child. The biggest help from visitors in the beginning was to entertain my older son b/c (especially w/ nursing) I felt like I was always glued to the baby. But once it got easier to go out, it was nice to be able to leave the baby home with my husband and take my older son out for “special mom and Tyler time!” 🙂 But I will say that, b/c we have a really big gap between our sons ages – 4 years and 9 months (much bigger than your kids will have) there is a lot of, “You take Tyler here and I’ll keep Brady home so he can nap.” A lot of it. Especially once my youngest was on a schedule and of course my oldest doesn’t nap at all. And it was kind of hard for me to feel like I was missing out on what they were doing. But then I’d tell myself this – “I’ve been home for years with my older son and we had so much time together just the two of us. And now it’s my husband’s turn to get to experience that.” And it’s been amazing to see their relationship grow and see them be so, so close. I think the first six months or so are the easiest because the baby can always sleep in their car seat when you go on walks, to the park, etc. (I had one of those strollers that you’d just put the car seat in.) You, Ryan, and Chase will do a great job adjusting to being a family of four. I’m so excited for all of you and can’t believe your baby will be here SO soon! I can’t wait to see the announcement!!! 🙂
Kim from MN says
This looks so yummy! And I love roasted chickpeas, I keep forgetting about them. Thanks for sharing!
I think we all want to know – did you hear yanny or laurel? I’m a firm “yanny” and my husband is a “laurel”. So curious to see my fave people and bloggers weigh in.
I am totally on team Yanny, too!! So is Ryan!
Kim from MN says
Cassie Thuvan Tran says
YES to the Mediterranean diet! I love its central focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. I personally wouldn’t consume olive oil on a regular basis, but Mediterranean style salads and other veggie-centric recipes are my favorite! This salad looks incredible. The chickpeas probably taste amazing with anything!
Yes!! The roasted chickpeas are so good even just for snacking!!