Thank you for joining us for another Whole Food Wednesday! I wanted to share a fun recipe that not only has the added bonus of being vegan, gluten free and nut free, but still manages to pack good nutrition, healthy fats and a good source of vegetable based protein. If you’re eating a little lighter these days, this might be a nice change to your old ho-hum salad.

The chickpeas take the place of nuts or animal protein and the bold flavors that would normally come from cheese or a big dressing comes from the roasted fennel and the tart yet sweet balance of the apples.

Roasted Spiced Chickpeas and Fennel Salad

  • Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (1/3 cup raw, soaked and cooked for 45 minutes)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp each cumin, coriander and paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt (amount may vary depending on type of salt used)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Take 1 cup of chickpeas and place them in a medium sized bowl. If using chickpeas from a can, make sure they are really dry. Laying them out on a plate and paper towel is a good way to go. Cooked from raw seems to work best because the chickpeas dry out naturally after being removed from the boiling water. In a small bowl, mix the spices together. Toss the chickpeas in the oil and add the spices. Mix until well coated. Place in a baking pan or pie plate and bake for 45 minutes, or until dry and crispy to your taste. (I recommend adding the thinly sliced fennel after the chickpeas have been roasting for 30 minutes to save time, see roasted fennel directions below.) Make the chickpeas ahead of time to make this quick and easy for dinner or entertaining.

  • Apple Dijon Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped fennel fronds
  • 3 Tbsp apple juice (real organic apple cider is best)
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

Wash the fennel bulb and trim the fronds. Finely chop a 1/4 cup of fronds. Place all the ingredients in a small food processor or use an emulsion blender. Blend all the ingredients together until well combined.

  • For the Salad
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • mixed greens
  • 1 apple
  • roasted chickpeas

Set the oven to 400 F. Thinly slice the fennel bulb to 1/8 inch thick pieces. This is fast is you choose to use a mandolin or use a sharp knife. Arrange the sliced fennel on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 12 minutes. Change the temperature setting to broil. Broil until the edges of the fennel start to roast and darken. You’ll be able to smell them when they’re ready. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Arrange 1 cup of greens on 4 plates. Top the greens with roasted fennel slices, and a quarter apple, cored and thinly sliced. Top with a quarter cup of roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with Apple Dijon Vinaigrette.

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Now it’s your turn to share your whole food recipes and ideas!

I’m sharing this with What’s Cooking Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursdays and  Real Food Wednesdays.