I’ve got another salad for you today! I hope you are slowly crawling (or, preferably, sprinting) to the Team Salad side, because fresh veggies are where it’s at. Seriously, I’m just over here having a rave with all these vegetables. Jk, I’m cramming for a test tomorrow – what’s new…
Anyway, if these healthy salads and this Asian quinoa salad didn’t quite get you on Team Salad, allow me to make another attempt with this Roasted Chickpea Salad. With vegan RANCH dressing. Yes, that is correct. Vegan ranch.
This salad is actually very simple and classic, using normal ole’ veggies we know and love. I mean, have you ever had a salad without carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes? I always toss those little guys in there – wait, that’s actually a lie. I hate tomatoes. I just put them in this salad for you guys. 🙂
We’re adding some corn for a little sweetness and ripe avocado for those magical healthy fats. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t have a little fat in my meal, I get hungry again really fast. But just a little avo goes a long way in keeping you satisfied.
Up next are little bits of crack – ahem, I mean roasted chickpeas. Seriously you guys, have you ever roasted chickpeas? As if I did love them enough before, they’re about 83948 times better roasted. I had to practice serious self-control to not eat the whole batch before I took pictures.
I dare you to roast some chickpeas and not eat any before you use them. I DARE YOU.
Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: vegan. ranch. dressing. I actually never liked ranch, or really any salad dressing for that matter. It was all too heavy and oily and just nasty. Meanwhile, Cayden doesn’t eat pizza unless it’s drenched in ranch. Opposites attract, I suppose.
Despite my rocky past with ranch dressing, I decided to give it a vegan twist. All the seasonings sounded delicious – dill, parsley, chives, lemon juice – so I didn’t see why I wouldn’t like it. I’ve seen vegan ranch dressings that are cashew-based, but I had 3 problems with that.
- Raw cashews basically cost the same as a kidney.
- While it contains healthy monounsaturated fats, I didn’t want a heavy calorie-bomb dressing.
- I’m too impatient to wait for them to soak.
So, I went for…silken tofu! The same thing I made this dreamy Vegan Chocolate Pudding Pie with, so you can already tell how versatile it is. It’s neutral in taste and pretty inexpensive. Make sure you get the silken tofu on the shelves (I use this one) and not refrigerated block tofu!
Oh, the dressing. It’s so creamy, so filled with fresh flavors. I used my handy dandy NutriBullet to make it extra smooth! I love using it on this salad, but I also love it as a vegetable dip for snacking. Since it’s pretty low-calorie and low-fat, it doesn’t weigh you down completely. Just look how perfect…
I just want to mention something real quick. I want this to be a space where we can talk about all things health, nutrition, and fitness, but I also want to talk about the more personal stuff – the stuff that’s a little harder to talk about than smoothie bowls and creamy salad dressings. I currently have a 10-pound weight loss goal set, and I’m doing really good so far! I always eat super duper “clean” and healthy, but I’m just watching my portions more closely and sticking to a consistent exercise routine. I’m not a fan of get-thin-quick diets, because I always end up gaining it back eventually. I want to lose weight the healthy way, not by completely depriving it until my breaking point. I’ve been there, and it’s no fun.
I’ve been counting calories (safely) for about two weeks, and this Roasted Chickpea Salad fit perfect in my routine. Losing weight isn’t about restriction or eating boring foods, but finding the right foods to eat and enjoying the right amount. With a little preparation and a lot of confidence, you can do anything!
I would really love to hear what you would like to see on my blog, whether it be recipes or important topics we can talk about. I love being personal with you guys because, well, this little blog of mine is like my journal, and I’m so thankful that you take the time to read it.
If you try this salad, let me know! I really think you’ll love it. It’s full of good-for-you veggies and the ranch dressing gives it so much flavor. It really is the perfect salad!
Happy weekend, friends!
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 2½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1½ teaspoon onion powder, divided
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 5 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup corn kernels (preferably organic)
- ½ avocado, chopped
- For the ranch dressing:
- 12 ounces soft silken tofu
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
- 2 tablespoons dried chives
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place onto a kitchen towel; pat dry. In a medium bowl, add chickpeas, 1 teaspoon salt, olive oil, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if using); stir until chickpeas are evenly coated. Place on the baking sheet in an even layer; bake for 14-16 minutes, until crunchy.
- In a large bowl, add lettuce, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, corn, and avocado. When chickpeas are done, add to the bowl. Stir well; set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, add tofu, milk, parsley, lemon juice, chives, dill, vinegar, 1½ teaspoons salt, garlic, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and agave. Blend until smooth.
- You have two options: add the dressing to the bowl of salad and mix, or store the dressing in a container and add as you eat. The dressing recipe makes 2 cups, so you will probably have some left over.
What’s your go-to salad dressing? Do you have any particular health goals right now?