Welcome potluck guests! Hopefully you’re getting plenty of delicious new recipe ideas along the way! Today I am participating in the bi-annual Virtual Vegan Potluck, which is basically a string of 100+ blogs all linked together with “forward” and “back” buttons/links to guide you through a virtual plant-based progressive dinner, if you will. You’ll be taken through eight courses, with several bloggers participating in each course. You are currently in the fourth course, Salads, which will be followed by Sides, Soups, Main Dishes and Dessert. Prior to Salads, there are also Appetizers, Beverages and Bread. You’ll find links to the previous dish/blog and the next dish/blog at the bottom of this post.
Last time I participated in the VVP, I made a more involved recipe. It required some time in the kitchen, but Sweet Potato Asparagus Cakes with Lemon Basil Cream were definitely worth the effort. This time I kept it simple with a hearty, healthy (and gluten-free!) salad. If your salad routine has been lackluster, this might be just the thing to change it up. Not only is it full of flavor, but it’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The recipe yields four side servings, but you could double up on two servings for a power lunch that won’t leave you hungry.
When I wrote the recipe, I used canned chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) to keep it quick. However, if you have the time to prepare dried chickpeas instead, you’ll get roughly twice the nutrients and half the sodium–they are far more nutritious that the canned variety.
If you’re not familiar with edamame (immature green soybeans), you can usually find it in the freezer section with the frozen vegetables. Buy the shelled kind if you can find it. Otherwise, you’ll have a longer boiling time and an extra step to remove the beans from their pods. As with all ingredients (especially the apples in this recipe), I always buy organic when possible. Your local health food store is more likely to carry an organic brand. If you don’t eat soy or are trying to avoid it, you can substitute green peas or fava beans.
The combination of toasted chickpeas, chewy edamame, crunchy apples and cashews paired with the creamy avocado-lime dressing is deeee-licious. If you need/want to make other substitutions, pears would be a great sub for the apples. And of course, there are many subs for the cashews–walnuts, macadamia nuts or hazelnuts, to name a few. You can sub onion for the shallot, or omit it altogether. The ginger root adds really interesting flavor, but don’t stress if you don’t have it–the salad will still be great without it.
If you give this salad a try, I would LOVE it if you came back and left feedback below. If you are new here and enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to 86 Lemons (by entering your email address in the column on the right) and/or keeping in touch via Facebook, Pinterest and/or Twitter. Enjoy the Virtual Vegan Potluck and thanks again for stopping by!
- 1 large avocado, flesh removed
- 1 nub of ginger root (1/2" - 1" piece)
- 1 shallot
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
- ½ Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ⅛ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ½ cup cashews
- 10 oz. shelled edamame, cooked
- 1½ cup chopped apples (about 2 small apples)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (optional garnish)
- Prepare dressing by placing ingredients in a high-speed blender and blending until smooth and creamy. (This will make more than you need, but it can be difficult for some blenders to blend smaller quantities.)
- If you haven't cooked the edamame yet, start that now.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add chickpeas and allow them to toast for about 5-8 minutes, or until they start to brown. Drizzle olive oil over chickpeas. Add salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and ginger. Stir to coat. Add cashews and stir together; continue to cook mixture over medium-high heat until cashews begin to lightly brown.
- Add chickpea/cashew mixture, edamame and apples to a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of avocado-lime dressing. Toss to coat. For a creamier salad, add more dressing. Garnish with chopped basil and serve warm.
To proceed to the NEXT dish/blog in the Virtual Vegan Potluck, CLICK HERE
To go BACK to the previous dish/blog in the Virtual Vegan Potluck, CLICK HERE
To start at the beginning of the VVP, CLICK HERE