DSCF3659I am often asked to provide recipes for snacks on the blog.  When I began to change my lifestyle, this was one of my go to recipes. These days I often (but not always) skip making appetizers and opt for a salad loaded with an assortment of fresh vegetables topped with hemp seed and nutritional yeast.

It is easy for me now, but that wasn’t always the case. In the beginning, I missed having that satisfying three o’clock in the afternoon “meal onto itself” kind of snack. This is that sort of entree with the added benefit of being nutritious.

No matter what your diet preferences/choices are this dish is healthy, easy to prepare and universally appealing.

Now that basil, thyme, parsley and oregano are in season (at least in my neck of the woods), you may want to try adding 1/4 tbsp each in lieu of the dried Italian spices. That goes for the rosemary as well.  Fresh always triumphs over dried!

This also makes a great side dish.
Serves 6-10

3 cups cooked Chickpeas
1/2+ cup dried cranberries (check label for sugar content, some are better than others)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves, ground to powder with mortar and pestle
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar – optional (I have only used this once, when I first developed the recipe)
1/8 – 1/4 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
olive oil

Soak 1 1/2 cups dry chickpeas overnight. Cook the following day until tender. In no particular order, add the remaining ingredients to chickpeas. Add only enough olive oil to moisten the salad.
Note: If you are just beginning to make changes to your diet, you may need to add a little more oil..but easy does it, add a little at a time and taste as you go along. Oil is also an ingredient in the dried cranberries. If you pour with vigor, a seemingly nutritious dish could quickly become less than healthy!

What are some of your favorite afternoon snacks? Please leave a comment…