Rachael Ray Chickpea Salad

The Truth About Chickpea Cobb Salad

In the past couple of months, a popular twist on a Cobb salad has tallied millions of views across social media. It’s a mix of cucumber, quinoa, chopped pistachios, red onion, mint and parsley dressed in olive oil and lemon juice and topped with a can of chickpeas.

But Jennifer Aniston debunked the TikTok-trending salad in June, telling ELLE that it “is not what I ever ate on Friends.” She told a magazine reporter that she never would have put a can of chickpeas into her Cobb because they’re not good for your digestive tract and can cause diarrhea.

It’s also not a good idea to eat a lot of garbanzo beans, which can be high in fiber but low in protein. The legumes contain a type of protein called cysteine, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce blood pressure, according to WebMD.

Guarnaschelli recommends rinsing and draining canned chickpeas, then tossing them with salt and paprika before grilling or air-frying them until crispy. This will give them the extra crunch they need to stand up to the bright, citrusy flavors of this salad, she says.

The recipe’s lemon, olive oil and black pepper have been linked to reducing inflammation, too, which is why Lakshmi suggests pairing it with a bowl of quinoa or avocado for a healthy lunch that will keep you full and satisfied all day long.

Adding protein-packed ingredients like bacon, steak or chicken takes this salad to the next level, she says. But if you want to go vegetarian, she recommends swapping out the meat for fresh baby spinach–which will wilt when tossed with the dressing–or feta cheese for an additional dose of flavor.

You can also add croutons or other crunchy toppings to make this a hearty, satisfying meal that’s perfect for a weekday. The shaved almonds in the vinaigrette help bind the flavors together, she notes.

This salad will keep well in the fridge for up to a week, she says, and is great for lunches or dinners. The crunchy veggies and toasted walnuts are a great source of protein and fiber, plus the tangy vinaigrette is packed with flavor.

It’s also a great clean-out-the-fridge meal with lots of anti-inflammatory power, as long as you use high-quality ingredients. A serving of this salad packs in a good amount of magnesium, which helps control blood pressure and can reduce your risk of heart disease.

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