Chickpea Salad – Italian Style: Turning An Empty Fridge into A Quick Delicious Dinner

Rocket Science Scale: 1 (Make it up as you go along easy)

Chickpea Salad - Italian Style

Hey guuuuuuyyyyssss.

Dinner with Chickpeas!

Everyone has been there. When you hit the end of the week and you are out of food. And you still have to make dinner. And you’re hungry, right now, so the grocery store is out. What can you do with an empty fridge?

This is not an empty fridge. I can make a weeks worth of food out of those veggies!

This is not an empty fridge. I mean, look at all those veggies!

I’m going to tell you. This is an original recipe that took me 30 minutes to make. I made a Chickpea Salad – Italian Style out of my empty fridge. But if you don’t have my ingredients on hand, I’m going to try and help you build your own original recipe out of your empty fridge. 

Start with a base. Rice, pasta, quinoa (keen-wah), or, if you are being super healthy, a salad base like lettuce or spinach. I chose chickpeas because I’ve been obsessed with them all summer and the obsession is still going strong in October. So, I’ve been grabbing a can (or two) every time I go to the grocery store.

Chickpeas are also known as Garbanzo beans.

Chickpeas are also known as Garbanzo beans.

Next think of a sauce/binder. Something that will tie all your ingredients together. I chose pesto and parmesan cheese since I had some leftover from a previous recipe. Hence, Chickpea Salad – Italian Style.

Leftover Pesto, I bought it at the Broad Ripple Farmer's Market. (Jacquie's Catering)

Leftover Pesto, I bought it at the Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market. (Jacquie’s Catering)

Next you want to add the veggies/meat. That is what makes the meal. So I grabbed the leftover veggies in my fridge (corn, onion and red cabbage) and used eggs as my source of protein.

Sweet Corn, Onions and Red Cabbage. Not the best combination but it's what I had!

Sweet Corn, Onions and Red Cabbage. Not the best combination but it’s what I had!

Specifically, a runny egg. My second new cooking obsession.

Specifically, a runny egg. My second new cooking obsession.

And TA DAH! You should have a decent quick dinner. Whether it ended up as a Chickpea Salad with Italian flavors, a shrimp stir fry with a peanut sauce or some chicken with veggies and quinoa, you made food that is hopefully tasty.

I will say if you make my recipe, Dinner can be on the table in about 28 minutes, give or take a few minutes. I wish I chopped my cabbage more and cooked it a minute or two longer, so let’s put it at an even 30 minutes. Recipe is below.

Chickpea Salad – Italian Style.

Serves 3-4.

What you need:

– 1-2 cans of Chickpeas (I ended up using two)

– 1/4 small red cabbage, chopped

– 2 ears of corn, kernels off the cob

– 1/2 an onion

– 3 tablespoons of basil pesto (more if it is not tasty)

– 1/2 to 1 cup of Parmesan Cheese

– Olive oil, garlic salt, red pepper flakes and pepper.

– One egg (more if you are serving a crowd)

The Stuff

The Stuff

First, heat up a pan with some olive oil. (I started with a small pan and then realized I had to much veggies and switched to a larger pan. Whoops).

While the oil is heating, Drain the chickpeas from the can and add to a bowl. Pat semi-dry with a paper towel.

This is about a cans worth. I ended up using two cans.

This is about a cans worth. I ended up using two cans.

When the oil is hot, add the onions and stir until soft (5-6 minutes approx.) Add a bit of the garlic salt and pepper. I added a pinch of red pepper flakes to make it a bit spicy (this did not overpower the dish which I loved).

OnionsThen add the chopped red cabbage and corn. Again in hindsight, I would have added the cabbage a few minutes before the corn to let it cook longer (I think I would cook it for 5-10 minutes depending on how you chop it). Frozen corn doesn’t take long to cook since it has already been cooked, it just needs to warm up about 2 minutes.

Veggie Mix

Around this time I started to cook my fried egg for dinner. If you are cooking chicken, I’d say prep it first and then cook it in a separate pan when you put the cabbage in. I also recently started cooking fried eggs. My method is to crack it in the pan and wait for the bottom of the egg whites to set then put the lid on to cook the top of the egg white. Depending on the timing, this will leave you with cooked egg whites and a runny yolk.

OBSESSED

OBSESSED

Now add the pesto to your veggies and mix to coat!

IMG_6394

Add the chickpeas to the mixture, stir some more and now your finished! A quick dinner in 30 minutes!

Started at 5:01.

Started at 5:01.

Now serve your food with the fried egg on top, and top the egg with some parmesan cheese.

I promise, even with the egg slightly burnt on the edge, it was perfect.

I promise, even with the egg slightly burnt on the edge, it was perfect.

I really liked this dish because the pesto, cheese and red pepper flakes made it feel like I was eating pasta. But even better I was eating chickpeas and veggies, which is so much healthier. And because I added eggs, I felt like I had enough protein in the dish too.

Happy Cooking!

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