It can be hard to make salad taste good at the best of times. That’s why it’s so important to have a good list of healthy go-to salad dressings and exciting food combos.
This buffalo chickpea salad recipe is without a doubt one of my favourite salads.
Ever since creating it a few months ago, it is definitely up there in my Top 5 of salad dishes. It has everything you want a salad to be – cool, crunchy, warm, spicy, creamy, nourishing, filling…the list goes on!
Eat it on its own as a meal, or serve it as a side dish. I love to have this salad as a meal, with some gooey, caramelised sweet potato wedges on the side. Yum yum.
You could also serve the creamy dill ranch dressing with other things too – on veggie burgers; with fries; as part of a sandwich. The possibilities are endless!
And as for the crispy buffalo chickpeas, don’t get me started. You’ll find yourself wanting to make them all the time, whilst the buffalo seasoning mix itself could actually be used on just about anything – from tofu to tempeh to jackfruit.
Healthy, nourishing, filling
As with all of my recipes, this salad does not require any oil. This is largely down to personal preference of course, but I prefer to roast the chickpeas without it. Trust me, they’ll get just as crispy and tasty and you won’t miss the empty calories.
You can start with any greens you want, but I love romaine lettuce for the cool, quenching crunch. It pairs so well with the other ingredients.
Chickpeas make up the main part of this salad, for their awesome versatility and incredible nutrition. Chickpeas are an amazing source of protein, fibre, calcium, iron, zinc and B vitamins, just to name a few. They are probably my all-time favourite legume due to the number of ways they can be used. I eat them at least 3 times a week, but probably more. If you’re looking to squeeze in more plant-based protein without spiking your blood sugar levels, chickpeas are a great option.
Of course, you could create the buffalo taste with just a bottle of buffalo sauce. This is how the amazing Nisha Balsara (the inspiration for this recipe and a full-on BABE) makes hers.
However, my main problem was that I’ve never seen buffalo sauce in a UK supermarket. I mean, I’m sure it exists, and I probably just wasn’t looking for it. But to my knowledge, buffalo sauce has always been more of an American thing. (If I am wrong of course, which I probably am, please do correct me).
My other concern was that store-bought buffalo sauce would probably be quite high in sugar, additives and other processed things. Fine on occasion, sure, but I want things I can eat all the time here. Therefore I had to find another solution that would enable me to chow down on this salad as much as I want and not worry about my sodium intake.
Finally, the dressing. Man, the dressing. Made with a base of tahini (oh faithful tahini, where would we be without you?!), it’s a creamy, cool, slightly cheesy, dill ranch-style sauce that pairs pretty damn great with the spiced chickpeas.
It’s all about dem texture combos, ya know?!
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Salad Recipe
For the salad:
- 1 head romaine lettuce (or other greens you want)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 4cm block of cucumber, diced
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- Pinch garlic powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch cumin (can omit if you’re not a fan, works with or without)
- Salt & pepper
For the dill-ranch dressing:
- 1/6 cup runny tahini
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp fresh dill
- 1 tsp fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Pinch garlic powder (optional)
- Salt & pepper
- 3-4 tbsp non-dairy milk, to thin
- Start by roasting the chickpeas. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Dry off the chickpeas as much as you can, then spread out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, tin foil or a silicone baking mat.
- Scatter over the coconut sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and cumin powder (if using). Massage the spices into the chickpeas with your hands, ensuring every one is covered. Then place into the oven and bake for 20 mins (or more if you’d like them crispier).
- While the chickpeas are cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar. If the dressing is too thick, add more non-dairy milk until it’s reached your desired consistency.
- Chop all of the romaine into shreds and place into a bowl with the cucumber.
- When the chickpeas are done, toss them with the salad leaves and drizzle the ranch dressing over the top.
What did you guys think of this recipe? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below, or tag me on Instagram – #everythingspeachy. I love seeing your creations!