Monday, December 28, 2009

Recipe: Garbanzo & Avocado Salad

As many of you know, I've had a rough couple of months, physically. Well, let me rephrase that: this entire YEAR has been tough on me when it comes to ye olde bod! It's partly due to general bad luck and partly because I'm accident prone klutz, but it's made it so that I couldn't really get in as much exercise as I would have liked in '09. I was doing Billy Blanks Ultimate Bootcamp workouts 4 times a week and then I messed up my elbow and my toe; started a serious walking regimen and sprained my ankle & got walking pneumonia, etc, etc. Needless to say, it's been tough to keep moving, which is the only way I can stay svelte because I have the slowest metabolism EVER! I'm not one to let that get me down, though; all December long (until last Wednesday, in fact; I have no power over homemade baklava), I have not only resisted the mountains of chocolate and baked goods that have been all over my office - not to mention the results of the bake-off Mom and I had over Christmas weekend - I have also gotten a jumpstart on the New Year workout craze despite my messed up ankle by rediscovering Pilates. I used to do Pilates daily for years and the results really showed, so I figured it was the best & quickest way to get back into the swing of things without further injuring my foot. This month I've already lost a total of 2.5" from my waist & hips because of my dedication to Pilates and can't wait to see even more results now that I'm completely addicted again!

Anyway, I figured since I'd indulged in a bit too much cheese due to my gorgeous new cheese board set and in the results of Mom's baking prowess over the weekend (why does Mom food always taste better?), I would be a very good girl this week, especially since I hope to enjoy plenty of champagne on New Year's Eve. I also thought it would be nice to bring you all along with me so that you, too, can get a jumpstart on those weight loss goals EVERYONE seems to have during the New Year. Why wait until January, right? Today's recipe is another super easy dish that I whipped up at work with the few ingredients I managed to throw into my bag before my ride left me this morning (Mondays are hard enough; Mondays after a 4-day Christmas weekend - even worse!). Sure, this probably seems more like a summertime recipe, but again - why wait 'til next year to have something light, healthy and completely delicious?

As with most of my bean salads, this is quite easy to prepare and will go nicely atop a generous amount of your favorite greens. This dish is packed with protein & fiber to keep you full and energized for hours, and you'd never know it's good for you by the flavor. With a sweet & slightly spicy dressing, this festive looking little salad tastes just wonderful and nothing like a "healthy" dish. And everyone can enjoy this: it's gluten-free, vegan, low carb, low cal, and all that jazz. And did I mention it's just under $2/serving?

Garbanzo & Avocado Salad (makes 2-3 servings; total cost per serving: ~ $1.85)

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 small Roma tomato, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 large avocado, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
Small handful of cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

Juice of 2 medium oranges
1 T rice vinegar
1 t olive oil
1 T honey
1/8 t salt
Couple pinches of cayenne pepper
A very generous amount of ground black pepper

Prepare the dressing by whisking all dressing ingredients together until completely combined. Combine the beans and all the veggies in a medium bowl and toss together with the dressing. Garnish with extra black pepper if you like, serve over plenty of fresh greens or by itself, and enjoy!


  1. This looks delicious and I'll definitely make it. Just curious about your pilates workout. Are using a video?

  2. I'm also interested in what type of pilates you have been doing... any recomendations?

  3. This recipe looks really good--like all the recipies you post. However, I too am interested in your pilates workout. Do you use DVDs or take classes?

  4. Wow. I'm not sure whether I'm inspired or just jealous that you've managed to LOSE inches this holiday season while I've gained too many to admit. Good for you! This salad looks and sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it. Did you actually pack up a nice bowl and placemat for picture-taking at work? You rock!

  5. I love these kinds of salads. Inexpensive, healthy and delicious!

  6. I have a near ridiculous obsession with avocados. And garbanzo beans/hummus/etc run a close second. Will definitely try this, thanks for the dressing idea for sure!

  7. There's nothing wrong with avocado obsession in my world!!! :)

    For those wondering about my Pilates workouts, I use the Winsor Pilates video series in the comfort of my own home. Depending on how much time I have (and how inspired I am), I will do 2 of the 15 minute targeted workouts about 5 times a week - for now. I definitely plan on bumping that up to the 3 a day I used to do daily (that explains why I was a size 4 for years!). I wouldn't recommend plunging into it in this manner unless you've already trained in Pilates a bit; though I'd been out of the daily routine for several months, I still trained a couple times a week here & there, so I'm quite used to this (even though it kicks my ass).

    I could go on for days about workouts & proper diet for weight loss, as I lost & kept off 70 lbs for about 5 years before the car accident and have tons of advice to give, but I won't bore you with it now. Who knows, I may start a separate blog just for that! :)

  8. I tried your salad recipe last night - wonderful!!!

    I would love to hear your advice on keeping 70 lbs off for 5 years. I've lost 25 lbs and am struggling to lose the last 15! Any little bit will help!

  9. looks perfect for my attempt to eating more fiber. love salads all chopped like this! great site !

  10. This looks refreshing and delicious! Can't wait to try it.

  11. I'm going to be off work for a while and this looks like the perfect lunch at home for me. All my favorites!

  12. I've eaten this for lunch for the last three days--it was best today b/c after marinating in the dressing for so long, it really aborbed the flavors from the dressing. And the orange juice totally kept the avocado from discoloring. Next time I make it, I will let it sit in the fridge for a day or two, stirring once or twice a day, before eating. If I can wait. :) Thanks for sharing! Oh, and I would totally be interested in your weight loss strategies, tips & info.

  13. i love both avocado and chickpeas. Lovely salad!

  14. i just discovered your site! I'm frugal and love good food too! ahh the simple, affordable pleasures.

    I'm making this salad for the first dinner party that I've thrown least a decade!

    rock on,


  15. Love your site and I love this recipe! I didn't have any tomatoes or peppers, but I added feta and quinoa. Delicious!

  16. My meat and potatoes boyfriend even liked this. He said it tasted like salsa!

  17. Will this survive in my fridge in a container for at least 24 hours, or will it turn mushy?



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