Well, I’m back from a couple whirlwind weekends of travel to the West coast. My mom, sister, and I had a fantastic time in San Francisco soaking up each other’s company and plenty of glorious California sunshine. My skin has gone from ghostly white to slightly not ghostly white with a hint of funky sandal tan lines. Success. After the conference in Portland, my sleep-deprived self came down with a bad cold the day before I traveled to SF, so I was a sniffling and sneezing mess during most of the second trip. Luckily, my loving travel companions, the sunny blue skies, and plenty of food & wine helped me heal. Ok, maybe not the wine part, but when in Napa…
I must say, it’s been a shock to my system to be back to my normal work routine. It’s always good to be home though. I returned with plenty of fun recipe inspiration, some of which you’ll likely see on the blog in the weeks to come and some of which I might sneak into the book if I can find the time (and do so without my editor killing me!). Either way, it’s true what they say – a break is always good for the creative spirit. Being in this type of work, I tend to constantly struggle with ebbs and flows of the creative process, especially during recent intense months. I’m only now realizing that sometimes stepping away and being less productive is exactly the thing I need to be more productive. Or at least that made total sense to me after a couple glasses of wine.
[photo credit: Eric Liddon]
We dined at a Thai restaurant in SF called Thai House 530 on our last evening. I ordered the cucumber salad as an appetizer and the Pineapple Fried Rice (made vegan) for my main. The salad reminded me of sweet and sour pickles (a childhood favourite!) and I just couldn’t get enough of the tangy, sweet combo and the hydrating cucumbers. What a lovely way to start a meal. After devouring the salad I made a mental note to give this salad a whirl once home. I’ll probably need a couple days until I’m ready to tackle more involved cooking feats, but this simple recipe was a great way to ease back into it all.
My version of this salad is more tangy/acidic while the restaurant version was much more on the sweet side. I generally tend to prefer more acid in my dishes, but you can decide for yourself if you’d like to add more sweetener to balance it out. The beauty of this simple rice vinegar and sugar dressing is that you can adjust it easily. I also threw in a handful of cilantro and topped it with chopped peanuts which are both encouraged additions. Some recipes also include a diced jalapeno pepper, but I decided to leave it out. Feel free to add one if you’d prefer some heat.
To make it a protein-packed meal, I roasted chickpeas in a garlic, cumin, ginger, chili, and turmeric spice mix. The roasted chickpeas are a nice option if you want to take this salad from an appetizer to a main course (I enjoyed it for lunch!), but the salad is nice on its own too.
Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad with Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
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Yield: about 3 portions
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1.5-2 tablespoons natural cane sugar, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 2 medium field cucumbers
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
- Roasted spiced chickpeas (recipe follows)
1. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and adjust to taste. Feel free to add more sweetener if you prefer. Set aside.
2. Peel cucumbers, slice off the ends, and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon (see photo in post if necessary). Slice halves into 1/8-inch “half moons” and toss into a large bowl. If your cucumbers are really big you can slice the half-moons in half as well.
3. Dice the red pepper and red onion and add into bowl. Roughly chop cilantro and add into bowl. Pour in all the dressing and toss to combine. Let this salad sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge, tossing every 10 minutes or so to help the dressing soak in.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the roasted chickpeas (if desired). Recipe follows.
5. Portion into bowls and top with peanuts and optional roasted chickpeas. Serve immediately.
Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
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Yield: 1.5 cups chickpeas or 3 (1/2 cup) servings
- 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked)
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a medium baking sheet with a couple pieces of paper towel.
2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place onto paper towel. Add a couple paper towels on top and roll the chickpeas around until completely dry. This helps them crisp up in the oven.
3. Add the chickpeas into a medium mixing bowl and stir in the oil until coated. Now stir in the rest of the seasonings.
4. Discard paper towel and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Add chickpeas back onto the baking sheet.
5. Roast at 400F for 20 minutes. Give the pan a gentle shake to stir the chickpeas and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until golden and lightly charred on the bottom. I roast for a full 40 minutes because I like them on the crispy side, but keep an eye on them as oven temps vary.
6. Cool for 5 minutes or so and then top on your salad. They will lose their crispness quickly so these are best enjoyed immediately. You can also freeze the chickpeas once fully cooled and reheat them in the oven for 5 minutes or so to bring back the crispness.
This sounds like my perfect summer dish! I love Thai food and the spices added to the chick peas sound amazing. I’d probably throw that jalapeno in there. I like my food HOT. :)
Roasted chickpeas are one of my absolute favorite things! This sounds awesome :).
Thank you for the recipe! It’s delicious! Meat-and-potatoes boyfriend can’t stop eating it!
I saw your Instagram of the GGB and we laughed because we just decided that day that we’re going back next year. (Every time we decide on a destination suddenly lots of commercials, pics, etc start bombarding us like the universe says “good choice!”) What is it with being sick in SF!? I got sick our 2nd full day there which was also hot air balloon ride over Napa day so that was fun. :-\ I couldn’t taste half of the things I ate which was horrifying and half the reason we went to begin with. I hope you at least kept your sense of smell about you while you were there.
Definitely bookmarking the salad!
Hi Angela, very yummy salad and like you say very hydrating. I didn’t have the time to roast the chickpeas, so I added cooked ones. I also didn’t have peanuts so I toasted some pumpkin seeds! Very versatile recipe. Thanks for sharing!
If you want your chickpeas to stay crispy, I’ve had goof luck with the following. I dry them, roast them for 30-40 minutes, THEN add the oil and spices and put them back in the oven (lower temp, 250?) for a bit. If I have time sometimes I just crack the oven door and let them cool. Super crispy for days when stored in an airtight container. I think adding the oil before they are baked just adds more moisture…
Made this for lunch and it hit the spot!! Thanks for the great recipe. I added lime juice and olive oil (I’m pregnant and need to gain weight) to the dressing. The lime juice brightened it up well. Didn’t have peanuts so I used cashews. I’m new to your blog and eating vegan, but love your recipes!!!! Thanks!
Another winner! I made this last night with the chickpeas and it was excellent! It was dinner for two of us with some corn tortillas and some left over for lunch today. The dressing is very tasty and I will use it on other salads that I make.
I love all the Thai inspired recipes in the blogging world lately.
Can’t wait to try this recipe! I love anything with peanuts and this is way healthier than my preferred Thai dish: Pad Thai.
And great quote. Sophia Loren is a goddess inside and out!
This is an amazing salad! I had a huge bowl then later finished off the extra chickpeas as a snack. Leftovers are going on a whole grain wrap with chopped kale. Yum yum!!
Ooh this looks so fresh and summer-perfect. I hope you had fun in CA, I haven’t been to San Fran since I was about 6 – I just remember running down the hilly streets and my mom being way more wary about going down them…lol. Glad to have you back!
Nothing like traveling and eating out at good restaurants for food inspiration! Love the colors in the salad, it looks beautiful (and yummy). I often add chickpeas to a salad for protein, too, but hadn’t thought of using roasted chickpeas, I’ll have to give that a try!
ooh this looks so good – and good for you for getting some wonderful time away and being inspired by it. I completely concur – being less productive can increase productivity (and I’m saying that without wine in my system!!!). Don’t they live more that way in Europe (more time off, longer lunch breaks…)
I LOVE roasted chick peas – this looks so refreshing – I need the weather to warm up a little then it will be first on my list (it feels like fall here in upstate NY). Thanks again for a great recipe
First of all – thank you for all that you do here. You have been such an inspiration to me in creating my own recipes that I really cannot thank you enough! I am actually about to start publishing some of my own recipes but I need to include the nutritional information. You are so thorough in your inclusion of nutritional information & I’m wondering where you get it for each recipe. Do you use a particular program? Any kind of guidance would be a-w-e-s-o-m-e! Thanks again Angela… for everything!
I love your blog! As a newlywed this year it’s been a find both in content and humor!
We’ve been donating 1% each month to places like the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (VVC’s silent auction) and I love that vegan blogging often accompanies activism…in that vein…
Thank you…you’re a beautiful woman who shares her light with the world and we love you for it!
This recipe looks great. I always love a little crunch in my salad.
WOW. Just had this salad for lunch and it was AMAZING! Angela, thank you so much…once again! I told my hubby while we ate that there hasn’t been one recipe of yours that didn’t amaze us!:)
I’ve had similar salads at Thai restaurants. I love the sweet, tangy and spicy dressings! Never figured out what’s in it though – thanks to you now I have an idea! Can’t wait to try this for a nice refreshing lunch!
i’m setting up a new vegan resource website, to promote veganism. Please visit and send me feedback on what else to include!
I made this beautiful salad last week and I’m about to make it again, I really love it! Thank you so much for sharing it!
I had this salad for dinner tonight over a bed of kelp noodles, and it was delish!
I’m getting ready to go on a trip tomorrow, so I also made the super power chia bread and banana bread protein bars are in the oven for some travel-ready snacks over the next few days. Officially hooked! :)
Just had to tell you how much my husband and I loved this salad! Serves 3 you say? The two of us devoured it in one sitting. (?) Thanks for this and many more incredible recipes!
I’m currently eating a “take-to-work” version of this salad! I didn’t roast the chickpeas, just threw them in my giant salad tupperware with everything else, and added the roasting spices to the dressing in a separate container. Poured the dressing over the salad at lunchtime, shook it up, and yum! My colleague keeps saying, “What smells so good?!” Very yummy! I also added some quinoa I had laying around.
Ok Angela, this may be one of the best salads I’ve ever had. Promise. I am a pretty strict salad critic- my salads have to be the perfect blend of salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy, light and dense. You nailed it. My Mom surprised me and made this for dinner a few nights ago and the two of us finished the entire recipe! The chickpeas were especially delicious :) Thanks for creating easy to make, scrumptious and healthy recipes! I love your blog!
So glad to hear that Maggie! Thanks for letting me know :)
Just made this salad for lunch with the chickpeas and it was delicious! I added a little sriracha to the dressing for a little zing and it was perfect. Sure to become a summer staple!
We had this salad the other night, it was delicious. Thanks for the tip about freezing the chickpeas, I heated them up the next day with the left over salad!
Oh this looks delicious! Perfect for a lunch for me!! Keep the chickpeas separate and toss together at work. Yum! I adore roasted chickpeas. Pinned for later.
This salad is great! Roasted Spiced Chickpeas just by itself are so addicting – yummy snack!
Recipe looks amazing. Tasty & Healthy!
I love this salad. I wanna do the same.
Wow healthy salad. I wanna try this too. Keep posting
Made this salad this afternoon! LOVED IT!
Chickpeas are my jam… Love this!
This was a light, delicious, refreshing salad! I’m not a big fan of raw bell peppers, but the dressing really balances the flavors. 5 stars! When I’m bored of my own cooking, or have recipe block, I will do a few days of vegetarian cooking to mix things up. That’s what brought me to your site. So far, the whole family has loved your recipes and the ones that have been inspired by the beautiful pictures.
Thank you, I’m so happy to hear this!
Good salad that was even better the next day. I really think the flavors just marinate so well after it sits a bit! just loved it. Did not fair so well with the roasted chickpeas tho, so I will save those for … Hummus ! Love your recipes and your blog overall. One my favorite things to do on a Sunday afternoon, thanks Angie.
This is the greatest salad ever!! My wife who usually claims salad is not an adequate dinner, keeps asking me to make this again and again!
I’ve made this dish twice now and it’s a huge success at BBQ’s and my 4-year-old daughter. Love the chickpeas in this!
What a delicious salad! Full of healthy ingredients too. Can’t wait to try it
Hi Angela! I am a newbie on your website, and so far have tried this salad, the green monster and the black bean and potato nacho plate – and LOVED all of them! Thank you so much for sharing these recipes and your story – both are very inspiring, nourishing the body and the mind :-)
ohmygoodness! Yum!!! The salad is so cool and refreshing. I love how it is so simple but so flavorful and satisfying! I had never made roasted chickpeas before, but I will be doing it more often now! SOOO tasty and easy to do! It was hard not to eat them all right off the baking sheet; had to force myself to save some for the salad. Thank you for another awesome recipe!!!
It’s not raw if you have to turn your oven to 400 to roast the damned garbanzos. Just sayin.
Okay, I am into salads and all kinds of but not once have I stumbled on something this exotic! One thing that I really appreciate about this particular meal is the way you have decided to think outside the box -making use of a theme from the Oriental cultures.
The whole dish actually looks very delicious. Obviously, you have made very good use of the chickpeas (roasted and spiced!) and it all looks so yummy that I actually feel like having a try right now! I intend to try it out too, but in a peculiar way, I will be using very different spices! I really hope it comes out well.
This salad is delicious! Thanks Angela!
What a delightful salad! My husband came home from 3 weeks away of reluctantly chowing down on fast food and said, “Please. Feed me clean food.” So I made him this! I added some creamy coconut brown rice so that we’ll have leftovers. This is DEFINITELY a winner. Thank you for being awesome.
Have to share something! I’ve made this salad a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it as is. But today, on a whim I served this on top of some quinoa I had prepared earlier for the (Veganomicon) pineapple-cashew stirfry. The quinoa was cooked in freshly made pineapple juice with a splash of soy sauce. WOW – what a great combo! Satisfying and delicious!
Wow this was simply delicious!! I made it yesterday for my sister’s birthday party and all I could hear was my dad claiming it was the best salad ever….every 5 minutes pretty much :) The taste was just so refreshing. Thx again for another perfectly exquisite recipe!
Oh my god. Just made this and I think it may possibly be the greatest salad of all time!
What is the serving size for this salad? 1/2 cup 1 cup Maybe?
Stumbled into this website searching for something inspiring for dinner this week. Made this dish tonight and the veggie pad thai last night. What wonderful dishes! I think this one tonight is definitely my favorite. I love chickpeas. Now I know to roast ’em with spices to make a meal or a tasty snack! Thank you.