Dinner

Chickpea, Orange & Mint Salad

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Change things up and start adding fruit to your savoury salads. It can liven things up and add a refreshing flavour to any dish. The combo of chickpeas, orange and mint is perfect for a summer BBQ on those (seldom) sunny Irish days.

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 100g bulgar wheat
  • 1 tin of chickpeas (400g)
  • 100g feta
  • 1 orange
  • Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
  • 2 spring onions
  • Small bunch of mint

For the dressing:

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1 TBSP cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Rinse the bulgar wheat under cold water before boiling in 300ml of water for ~10 minutes.
  • Remove it from the heat, cover and let it stand for 5 mins. Drain off the excess liquid if needs be.
  • Rinse the tinned chickpeas under cold water before adding it to the bulgar wheat.
  • Chop the orange into segments and slice the spring onions.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients to the salad.
  • Thoroughly mix the orange juice, EVOO and cider vinegar before dressing the salad.
  • Decorate with a sprig of mint.

Nutritional Information:

Bulgar Wheat

  • Very rich source of fibre – reduces bile secretion, uses insulin more effectively and lowers triglycerides. Also shown to reduce the risk of developing gallstones.
  • Rich in vitamin B6 – regulates hormone production and proper brain development.
  • Rich source of manganese – promotes normal brain and nerve function.
  • Rich in iron – required for hemoglobin formation for red blood cells, muscle function and brain function.
  • Rich in protein.

Chickpeas

  • Extremely rich source of fibre. The fibre in chickpeas has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride blood levels more than other fibre-rich foods. Also, the metabolism of chickpea fibre results in the production of large amounts of short chain fatty acids which improves colon health.
  • Good source of protein so it’s a great meat substitute. Protein is essential for the repair and building of muscles, cartilage, bones, skin and blood.
  • Rich in antioxidants which prevents free radicals from causing cellular damage. Contains the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol and myrecetin. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties and help support brain health and circulation. Also rich in phenolic acids.
  • Eating small amounts of chickpeas has been shown to improve insulin secretion and the control of blood sugar levels.
  • Good source of manganese, folate, copper, phosphorous, iron and zinc.

Oranges

  • As most of you know, oranges are packed full of vitamin C! Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body against free radicals. Free radicals can lead to cellular damage which is a common pathway for cancer, especially colon cancer, aging and a variety of other diseases. It is also required for proper functioning of the immune system.
  • Oranges contain over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which has demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting effects.
    • As a result, a diet high in citrus fruit is linked to a lower risk of cancer, stomach ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and arthritis. Some studies have shown up to a 50% reduced risk in cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
    • A phytonutrient called limonin is currently being researched due to its possibly potent anti-cancer properties.
  • The levels of folate, potassium and also vitamin C, provide protection against cardiovascular diseases.

Mint

  • Soothing on the digestive system as it can speed up digestion and relieve cramping, gas and bloating. For these reasons it’s a brilliant natural remedy for IBS sufferers.
  • Contains menthol which is a natural decongestant that can help break up phlegm and mucus when suffering from a cold or flu.
  • Contains rosmarinic acid which is anti-inflammatory and can provide relief from seasonal allergies.

Pomegranate

  • Shown to prevent cholesterol build up and also reduces arterial damage caused  by cholesterol.
  • Improves blood flow to the heart and possibly reduces the risk of a heart attack.

EVOO

  • Great source of phytonutrients, especially polyphenols,
    • Powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
    • One key phytonutrient, hydroxytyrosol (HT), enhances the antioxidant defence of blood vessels which along with vitamin E and beta-carotene offer are hugely responsible for EVOO powerful cardioprotective effects.
  • A diet rich in olive oil is linked to lower blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. This is as a result of the high levels of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid,  found in olive oil.

 

 

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