This crisp, cool cucumber salad is sure to help you cool off during the hot summer months! Topped with crunchy roasted chickpeas and peanuts, this dish can be a meal in itself.
Summer heat is in full-swing here in Georgia! I love everything about summer: the long days, the time we spend outside, the fresh veggies from our garden, and even the heat! Having said that, it’s soooo important to stay hydrated when it’s this hot outside. Drinking lots of water is key, but did you know the food you eat can help keep you hydrated as well? That’s where this cucumber salad comes in! It’s refreshing, crisp, cool, and hydrating. The flavors are (you guessed it!) thai-inspired, but you’ll like this even if you don’t like thai food. Remember–it’s not thai food, it just has some common ingredient combinations you would find in that type of cuisine. Cilantro, red bell peppers, peanuts, etc. Quick confession: thai food is not my absolute favorite, but I loved this salad!
If you’ve got cucumbers growing in your garden, this is a great way to use a couple of them. In my opinion, they’re the focal point of the salad. To get the salad going, the cucumbers, red onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro all take a nice swim in a rice wine vinegar marinade. They need about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together, which is the perfect amount of time to finish making the roasted chickpeas, if you want them. The chickpeas are totally optional here. They add a big crunch factor and an extra 7g of protein per serving, but my husband actually preferred it without them. It’s up to you!
If you want to make the chickpeas, you’ll need 1 can of them. Rinse, drain, and dry them before tossing them with olive oil and spices. Lay them on parchment paper and roast for about 30 minutes, depending on your oven. These actually make a great little snack on their own!
Thai-Inspired Hydrating Cucumber Salad
For the marinade:
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1.5-2 tbsp sugar (this is a must to offset the strong tang from the vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the salad:
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
- Roasted spiced chickpeas (optional)
For the roasted chickpeas:
- 1 can (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp turmeric (I omitted)
1). Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Roll them in-between two paper towels to make sure they are completely dry before proceeding, otherwise they will not get crispy.
2). In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and spices. Toss well to ensure even distribution of the spices. Roast for 20 minutes before stirring them around. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until the they’re golden brown and lightly charred on the bottom.
3). While the chickpeas roast, whisk together the seasoned rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
4). Peel the cucumbers, chop off the ends, and slice them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds from each half of the cucumbers and discard the seeds. Slice the cucumbers thinly into half-moon shapes.
5). Toss the cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper, and cilantro in the dressing. Let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinade while the chickpeas finish cooking. Let the chickpeas rest about 5 minutes before adding to the salad. Top with roasted peanuts. Enjoy!
Servings: about 3 as a main dish, or 6 as a side dish. Approximate nutritional information for 1 main dish serving: Calories: 275 Carbs: 40.5g Fat: 6.9g Protein: 12.7 g Fiber: 9.5g Points+: 7
Recipe adapted from: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/06/05/thai-inspired-hydrating-cucumber-salad-with-roasted-spiced-chickpeas/