It’s coming up on three years since I decided to give meat the boot from my diet, and aside from that one drunken encounter with chicken fingers, I’ve been meat free since the spring of 2009. Top three questions I hear all the time:

Q. Why did you stop eating meat?

A. At first I did it just to try, I had just come back from a few months of backpacking in Europe and wanted to lose a few pints of Guinness off my backside. I found right away that contrary to popular belief, cooking and eating out vegetarian is usually mega-flavourful.

Q. How do you get your protein? Aren’t you hungry all the time?

A. I get a ton of protein in my daily diet. I have 3 egg whites with breakfast every morning, greek yogurt and nuts to snack on throughout the day, and my  lunch and suppers always revolve around a protein source like beans, quinoa, whole eggs, tofu, tempeh, and sometimes a nice fresh piece of Nova Scotian seafood (I know, this technically makes me a pescetarian, but that’s a huge pain in the ass to explain to people!). I eat a lot, and I eat often. But that’s because I’m active, not because I don’t eat critters.

Q. So, what do you eat when you go out to restaurants, salad?

A. No, I am not a big salad person. Often restaurants salads don’t have a protein source so they don’t fill ma belleh. I’ll get fish if they don’t have a great veggie option. Lucky for me, there are lots of restaurants in Halifax that have vegetarian dishes that make my omnivorous dinner mates jealous!

For the above reason, I didn’t want to slap the ‘salad’ name on this dish. It’s super flavourful, fresh, and filling! The chickpeas are a great source of protein and fibre, and the sweet of the mango and salty of the feta will make your tongue do a happy dance.

This makes a super lunch, it takes no time to whip up and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. It’s actually best made and let to sit in the fridge for a few hours to let all the flavours meld together. I just had a brainstorm…this would be an awesome potluck dish too! Just up the proportions and be everyone’s favourite. FTW.

Chickpea Mango Lunch Bowl

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (cilantro would be yummy, too)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tbsp light oil (I used extra virgin olive)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients except for oil, lime juice, and s&p to a mixing bowl. Combine until all mixed together. In a small bowl, whisk oil and lime juice, and pour over chickpea mango mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste!

This tastes best if left to hang out in the fridge for a couple hours, but really is fantastic right away, too.

 

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