There are few dishes that can provide those who like to swim, run and pedal with more performance and health-boosting nutrients than a salad. But too often salads are as exciting as folding laundry—something you need but hardly what you want to run to the kitchen for. That’s because most often salads have been turned into culinary has-beens, regrettable victims of uninspiring renditions. Baby spinach and bottled dressing can only excite your palate for so long. So you are probably thinking it’s time to raise the (salad) bar. Let us help. The following all-star salad add-ins are sure to bowl you over.
Want to add crunch to your salad minus some of the calories in nuts? Look no further than oven-blasted chickpeas. In fact, crunchy chickpeas are easier to include than ever with several pre-made options in the snack food aisle. Plus, if you toss a handful onto your greens you’ll benefit from the added protein and dietary fiber they deliver. A mere one-quarter cup serving can have as much as 6 grams of fiber, which is an important perk considering that a recent American Journal of Epidemiology study found that there is a 10 percent drop in death risk from disease with each 10-gram per day increase in fiber intake.
Look out for bags of Biena Chickpea Snacks or try making your own by drying two cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas thoroughly with a kitchen towel (discard any loose skins) and then toss with a couple tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and any other seasonings you fancy such as curry powder. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F, until crisp and golden, about 40 minutes, stirring twice throughout.