Looking for a healthy vegetarian recipe, that’s satisfying but nutritious? My easy chickpea salad and spicy sweet potato fries is the choice for you…
As someone who eats a predominantly vegetarian diet, I love to pack my meals full with healthy vegetables and plant protein. This way, not only can I consume massive bowl-fulls of food to make myself full, I can do so guilt-free!
For me, food is all about satisfaction and taste, so seasoning is key. That said, you don’t need to fill your recipes with saturated fats and carbs to make them delicious.
My chickpea salad and spicy sweet potato fries demonstrates this perfectly. I developed this recipe back at uni as a way to eat healthily, and I recently tried it again and was not disappointed! So, for a really healthy meal, that can be consumed whatever your dietary needs, you came to the right place…
Serves 4, Cooking time 45 minutes to 1 hour
Before I dive into my list of ingredients, I want to first say that this recipe is my own. However, if it resembles someone else’s recipe, this was completely unintentional. This was a store-cupboard mishmash, which turned into something great, so apologies if it seems to copy anyone else’s recipe.
Okay, disclaimer over, now onto the ingredients! Get ready for vegetables galore…
Sweet Potato Fries
- 2 Large or 4 Small Sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 1/2 tbsp Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Cans of Chickpeas
- 2 Avocados
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Whole Cucumber
- 1 Pack Baby Plum/Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
How to Make my Chickpea Salad and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
This recipe is an absolute piece of cake (so to speak). It really takes no more time than it will take to prep the sweet potato, and for it to cook. Meanwhile, everything else can be prepped while it’s in the oven! Here’s how you do it in a little more detail…
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan, or 180°C normal oven.
2. Cut the ends off of each potato, and then cut the sweet potato into fry shapes. A good tip for this is to cut it in half, length-ways. Then, place the flat side of each half onto the chopping board, and cut along length-ways every half a centimetre to create half moon shapes. As long as they are chopped into relatively equal sizes, you’ll be good to go!
3. Place the chopped sweet potato intro a large mixing bowl, and mix with the olive oil and spices.
4. Line two baking trays with tinfoil – for easy clean up afterwards – and lay out the sweet potato pieces flat and evenly. Try to make sure there’s no overlap, as this may lead to soggy sweet potato fries.
5. Place in the oven, and leave in there until darker and crispy. This should take around 30 to 40 minutes, but it’s best to check on them regularly after the 25 minute mark, just to be sure. Every oven is different, after all!
6. Meanwhile, it’s time to start prepping all your chickpea salad vegetables. I like to do this into 4 separate bowls, so that you have an equal amount of each vegetable in each serving.
- Peel the onion, chop it into quarters, dice each quarter, and add each portion to a bowl.
- Cut your cucumber into four equal sections, cut each section length-ways down the middle. Placing the flat side down onto the chopping board, chop each section into length-ways pieces, and then width-ways chunks. You should end up with a collection of cucumber squares to add to each bowl.
- Cut each avocado in half and remove the stone. Whilst the flesh is still inside the skin, cut your avocado into squares that are a similar size to your cucumber. Once you’ve done this, grab a tablespoon and simply scoop out the insides into each serving bowl.
- Split your collection of tomatoes up into four equal-sized groups. Then, quarter each one, and add them to each serving bowl.
- Add a drizzle of virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
7. When you think the sweet potato is nearly done, it’s time to heat up the chickpeas, following the guidelines on the tin. You can use a saucepan, but I find it easier to just pour the contents into a microwaveable jug, and heat it up for a couple of minutes in the microwave. Be sure to only heat up what you’re using, so if you’re eating for one, only heat up half a tin, and leave the rest in a Tupperware box in the fridge.
8. Once you’ve done this, drain them off through a sieve or colander, and pour them back into the microwavable jug.
9. Pour in some virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, and give it a shake or a mix.
10. Once the fries are cooked, the chickpeas are hot and seasoned, and the salad is ready, add each component to a large bowl.
11. Finally, add some dollops of sour cream, and enjoy!
Reheating For Next Day
If you have leftover servings – which you should place in the fridge once cool – reheating them is simple. Simply pour the serving of leftover fries onto a baking tray, turn on the oven, and pop the tray into the oven straight away. This way, the innards of the sweet potato can heat up without burning the outside, and you should end up with relatively crispy potatoes.
Although our recipe states that you should use two cans of chickpeas, we only want to heat up the chickpeas on serving. So, if there are four people eating, heat up both cans, but if there are only two people eating, heat up one can. The other can be saved for tomorrow, using the instructions on the tin.
Prepare the chickpeas in the same way as you did for the original recipe. Then, grab your serving of salad from the fridge, and piece it all together, as you did before. Add your dollops of sour cream, and voila! Bon appetit.
Dietary Ingredient Alternatives
Food is experimental, which means nothing is set in stone. So, now that we’ve run through the ingredients, I want to show with you some ways that this entire recipe can be altered. So, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, pesketarian, or a carnivore, there’s an option for everyone!
- The chickpeas can, by all means, be replaced with chicken. Season the chicken in a similar way to the sweet potatoes, wrap it in tinfoil to keep it moist, and bake it in the oven with sweet potato for around 20 minutes.
- Similarly, the use of chilli powder can be lessened, or removed entirely, if you don’t like spice.
- There are no restrictions with the other spices, so feel free to add more, or use less, depending on your taste.
- The sour cream is optional, but I think this cools down the heat of the sweet potato fries. However, if you’re a vegan, perhaps you could replace this with coconut yoghurt.
- Every time I’ve used virgin olive oil, feel free to just simply use normal olive oil. Virgin olive oil just has a stronger taste.
- Any of the chickpea salad vegetables can be swapped out for others. For example, as you may be able to tell from the images, my boyfriend doesn’t like cucumber, so I just don’t use it. Choose your favourite salad ingredients, and experiment away!
Ready to Cook?
So, there we have it; one of my go-to healthy recipes, when I want to indulge in a healthy way. It may look simple, and too healthy to possibly be any good, but trust me on this one – the flavour combination is delicious!
I hope this has given you some meal inspo, especially if you’re on the hunt for some vegetarian or vegan recipe ideas. Let me know if you give this recipe a go, and what your thoughts were down in the comments below. I’d love to see your recreations too, so tag me in your Instagram stories @joannajournals97. Happy cooking!