Thursday, May 8, 2014

Recipe: Thai-Inspired Cucumber Chicken Salad with Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

I came across a similar recipe a few weeks ago on OhSheGlows, and I've adapted it to meet our family's needs.  We all loved it!  I served the leftovers to my mom, and she agreed - this one's a keeper!  I'll update this with pictures the next time I make it (which shouldn't be too long.)
Thai-Inspired Cucumber Chicken Salad with Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

•1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
•1.5-3 tablespoons natural cane sugar, to taste
•1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
•3 medium field cucumbers
•2 red pepper, diced
•1 cup diced red onion
•1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro (optional)
•1/2 cup chopped roasted cashews, for garnish
•Roasted spiced chickpeas (recipe follows)
•Chicken breast, sautéed and cubed with olive oil, garlic, cumin, and chili powder
1. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and adjust to taste. Feel free to add more sweetener if you prefer. Set aside.
2. Peel cucumbers, slice off the ends, and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. Slice halves into 1/8-inch “half moons” and toss into a large bowl. If your cucumbers are really big you can slice the half-moons in half as well.

3. Dice the red pepper and red onion and add into bowl. Roughly chop cilantro and add into bowl. Pour in all the dressing and toss to combine. Let this salad sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge, tossing every 10 minutes or so to help the dressing soak in.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the roasted chickpeas (if desired). Recipe follows.

5. Portion into bowls and top with cashews, chicken, and roasted chickpeas. Serve immediately.

Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

•2 (15-oz) can chickpeas (or 3 cups cooked)
•1 teaspoon olive oil
•1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
•1 teaspoon garlic powder
•1/2 teaspoon chili powder
•1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
•1/2 teaspoon cumin
•1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a medium baking sheet with a couple pieces of paper towel.
2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place onto paper towel. Add a couple paper towels on top and roll the chickpeas around until completely dry. This helps them crisp up in the oven.
3. Add the chickpeas into a medium mixing bowl and stir in the oil until coated. Now stir in the rest of the seasonings.
4. Discard paper towel and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Add chickpeas back onto the baking sheet.
5. Roast at 400F for 20 minutes. Give the pan a gentle shake to stir the chickpeas and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until golden and lightly charred on the bottom. I roast for a full 40 minutes because I like them on the crispy side, but keep an eye on them as oven temps vary.
6. Cool for 5 minutes or so and then top on your salad. They will lose their crispness quickly so these are best enjoyed immediately. You can also freeze the chickpeas once fully cooled and reheat them in the oven for 5 minutes or so to bring back the crispness.

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