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Lemony Artichoke & Chickpea Salad

Artichokes are a major super food in my book. You may consider them a vegetable, but most don’t know that the humble artichoke is actually in the “thistle” family! According to a study by the USDA, artichokes ranked #7 out of one thousand plant foods for antioxidant value (very impressive!).  For nutritional purposes, artichokes are known for detoxifying the body and supporting liver health.  They are loaded with dietary fiber and help improve digestive issues like constipation and indigestion. They’re great for bolstering your immune system and even lower bad cholesterol.  Paired up with fiber and plant-protein rich chickpeas, artichokes make a “meaty” meat-less meal.

Lemony Chickpea and Artichoke Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked, drained chickpeas

1 1/2 cups marinated, grilled artichoke hearts (I like the grilled Vita Reale brand artichokes in a jar)

1 Persian cucumber

3 green onions

3 cups mache or watercress (or blend of your favorite greens)

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1 tsp. dijon mustard

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. lemon zest

2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Make the vinaigrette by placing all of the ingredients in a jar or blender and blending or shaking well to emulsify. Taste and adjust the seasonings and necessary.

Drain chickpeas and place into a medium/large mixing bowl. Thinly slice the green onions and julienne the cucumber and add into the bowl with the chickpeas. Toss this mix with half of the dressing and a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper, then set aside to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Just before serving the salad, add your watercress or mache greens and toss with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with the toasted almond slivers and serve immediately.

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