Chickpea Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Spiced Almonds is a protein packed salad that can function as a meal on its own.
The first step is to roast the almonds. I am not a big nut person. I think the reason I have never liked nuts all that much is that I am violently allergic to some nuts. I can’t even touch a Brazil nut. The oils will have my skin breaking out in hives. I go into anaphylaxis shock if I consume them. A natural defense mechanism since I was a child is that I don’t particularly like nuts. I will eat them when they are put in other foods as I realize the healthy protein source, but you will never find me snacking on a bag of nuts, like many people do.
While I do not like plain almonds, I have found I do enjoy them when roasted with spices. I have started to keep these on hand to throw into my salads and even just munch on, when I want a snack. The way I roasted the nuts here it is almost like a brittle. For dryer nuts, you can try this other method I used in the past.
This salad also includes a few other specialty ingredients that can be homemade or store bought. If you would like to try the homemade versions, check out these recipes.
Specialty Ingredient Recipes
IN THE MAKING – HOW TO MAKE ROASTED ALMONDS
|Honey Roasted Raz al Hanout Almonds|
IN THE MAKING – HOW TO MAKE CHICKPEA POMEGRANATE SPINACH SALAD
|Pumpkin Salad Dressing|
This is a protein packed salad that is healthy and delicious!
This salad is very delicious, with lots of textural variety. The soft spinach leaves are balanced with the crunch of the nuts, apple and pepitas. Protein from the chickpeas and the nuts, this is a complete healthy meal.
Chickpea Pomegranate Spinach Salad
- 15.5 oz. canned chickpeas rinsed and drained (if you are cooking dried chickpeas, you will need approximately 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
- 1 pomegranate seeds removed (about 3/4 cup of pomegranate seeds)
- 1 skinny carrot grated
- 1 small apple chopped
- 1/2 English seedless cucumber sliced into half moons
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds/ pepitas
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin jam
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Roasted Almond Ingredients:
- 2 cups almonds
- 2 teaspoons harissa
- 1 tablespoon Raz el Hanout
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons mint finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Toss almonds with harissa, raz al hanout, butter and honey.
- Line a cookie sheet with silpat or parchment paper and pour nuts on top of parchment, spreading the nuts in a thin layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Stir them and put in a single layer again and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Let cool completely, stirring occasionally, before removing from tray.
- Using a butter knife, slide under the nuts to remove and break them up, by hand, as they will be stuck together a little, almost like brittle.
- Now, let's make the salad dressing. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin jam and lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, while whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper and whisk again.
- In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, apple, pumpkin seeds, carrots and a few tablespoons of the roasted nuts/almond brittle. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the mint and mix again to combine.
- This can be done in a large batch and kept in the refrigerator.
- To make salad, combine 2 cups of chickpea mix with 1 cup of firmly packed spinach leaves and 1 tablespoon of the salad dressing (or more, according to preference) and toss.
- Serve with crackers.