Easy dinner recipes: Three garbanzo bean salads for Gluten-Free Wednesday

Easy dinner recipes: Three garbanzo bean salads for Gluten-Free Wednesday
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

It's Wednesday. You know what that means. An opportunity to change your diet to eliminate gluten for a day. These salads are unconditionally delicious, and you might never guess they're gluten-free.

Chickpea salad with chorizo: Whether you call them garbanzo beans or chickpeas, if you're a fan, you won't get a much better chance to enjoy them than this refreshingly bright salad, one of our Top 10 Recipes from 2011. Marinate chickpeas in a blend of lemon juice, olive oil and salt, then toss them with some Spanish chorizo, tomatoes and a little garlic, green onion, parsley and bell pepper. Marinate the beans first thing in the morning, then assemble the salad in the last few minutes before you sit down to eat. It makes a colorful side or a perfect light meal.


Curried chickpeas: The curry blend in this recipe gives an otherwise simple salad wonderful depth and robust flavor. Coriander and cumin lend fragrant earthiness, with a little cayenne pepper added for a hint of heat. The caramelized onions add richness, and the cilantro and lemon juice brighten the salad nicely, distinguishing the flavors. You can make it in advance; this is one salad that improves with chilling time.

Garbanzo and fresh vegetable salad: From former Test Kitchen Director Donna Deane, who writes: "Garbanzos are a great source of vegetable protein, and they have a nutty flavor that goes well in salads. This simple, fresh-tasting salad combines garbanzos with freshly chopped vegetables. Toss them with a vinaigrette dressing made with a small amount of olive oil and let the salad marinate to develop flavor. Serve it on watercress, a springtime favorite." You can find the recipe below.

If you are sensitive to gluten, check all ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free before using, as many may contain trace gluten (such as spices, a number of which include flour as an anti-caking agent), and/or are produced in facilities that also process gluten-based products.


Total time: 25 minutes plus 1 hour standing | Serves 8

2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced

1 cup diced carrots

2 cups diced yellow squash

1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup rice vinegar


1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 bunches watercress

Toss together garbanzo beans, celery, cucumber, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, green onions and parsley in bowl. Combine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over vegetables. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat. Let salad stand about 1 hour to marinate. To serve, arrange watercress on plate or platter and spoon salad on top.

Each serving: 172 calories; 790 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 31 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 2.48 grams fiber.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter