janet @ the taste space

Easy Cheezy Chickpea Salad (& How I Am Stocking My Pantry)

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on July 25, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Easy Cheezy Chickpea Salad

When I chat with friends from home, I field many similar questions. Have you finished unpacking? YES!!!! How am I finding the heat and humidity? Not that bad… Is Houston friendly for cyclists?  My route to work is actually pretty devoid of cars, so I can’t complain. How is the food… and the veggie selection?  One of my friend was interested in how I triaged the stocking of my fridge and pantry. What did I buy first? What were my perishable and non-perishable necessities?

Since we were without a kitchen for almost a week when we arrived, I continued with my travel-friendly eats: overnight oats with chia seeds and protein powder for breakfast, hummus with carrots and crackers for lunch and snack, and easy eats for dinner once I made my first grocery run. We hit up the closest grocers (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Fiesta Mart) to scope out our new neighbourhood and begin our pantry. See below for what I commonly keep in my kitchen.

After the Zesty Lemon Cilantro Chickpea Salad, this was the next salad I made. This salad is almost too simple. Only four ingredients, or five if you include salt or pepper. Chickpeas, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and leafy greens. Definitely more than the sum of its parts. The lemon juice is tart and the nutritional yeast tames it into a creamy dressing. Marinade the chickpeas and use the extra sauce to toss with your favourite leafy greens. This is also a good travel-friendly meal if you stash nutritional yeast in your bag, of course, along with a knife to cut the lemon. Don’t we all travel this way? HAHA! 🙂

Without further ado, this is my culled pantry list:


Produce: apples, bananas (for Rob), carrots, lemons/limes, green onion, onions, garlic, ginger (cilantro is a common staple, depending on my menu)
Bonus: tofu and tempeh.
Leafy greens if salads are on the menu


canned beans (chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans)
dried beans (chickpeas, black beans, lentils (red, green))

Oats (rolled oats and steel cut oats)
Brown short-grain rice

Chickpea flour (for Rob to make chilla)
Masarepa (for Rob to make arepas)

Chia seeds
Flax seeds
Sesame seeds

Balsamic vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
Rice vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil, for salads
Coconut oil, for cooking
Toasted sesame oil

Raw cashews
Nut butter (peanut butter is Rob’s favourite)

Canned/other foods:
Bragg’s liquid aminos or low-sodium tamari
Nutritional yeast
Mustard (preferably Dijon)
Sweet chili sauce (for Rob)
Sriracha (for Rob)
Tamarind concentrate
Dried fruit (dates, raisins, coconut, cranberries)
Sun-dried tomatoes
Canned tomatoes (I usually only get whole tomatoes and less commonly crushed)
Tomato paste
Nondairy milk
Coconut milk
Agave or maple syrup
Tea/tisanes (coffee for Rob)
Baking soda (also for cleaning)
Protein powder

Herbs and spices (at least):

Cinnamon (sticks and ground)
Cardamom pods (green)
Aleppo chili flakes
Smoked paprika
Thyme (I don’t use this that often)
Basil (I don’t use this that often)
Bay leaves
+ all the ingredients for my veg stock powder (parsley, dill, garlic granules, onion granules, etc)

I have had a much larger pantry in the past but I am trying to keep things limited to what I will consume in a year. What are things that I have missed that you cannot live without?

Easy Cheezy Chickpea Salad

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Easy Cheezy Chickpea Salad
Adapted from Cat’s Kitchen

1.5 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
juice from 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
olive oil, to taste (I omitted)
salt and pepper, to taste (I used a sprinkle of lemon pepper seasoning)
5-6 cups leafy greens

1. In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas, nutritional ywast, lemon juice and lemon pepper. Stir until well combined. Plate on top of your favourite leafy greens. Drizzle any remaining juice overtop greens.

Serves 2-3.

  1. Your pantry and my pantry are probably identical. My fridge… well, it has some meat. 😉 I love that you buy cinnamon in sticks and ground. Totally necessary. Glad oyu’re getting settled!!

    • Thanks, Laura! I know it seems redundant but we definitely have both ground and sticks of cinnamon. Especially now that the cinnamon-cardamom-ginger tea is being consumed at a furious rate. 🙂

  2. My pantry is limited by what I can use – the dried herbs just go to dust so I don’t stock them – my flours have been whittled down to what I really need – in fact I am recently wondering if I need both plain flour and bread flours. It would be interesting to see this against a list of your pantry staples back home (is there one on your blog? I have a feeling I might have seen one)

    I love your simple salad – great for travel as long as you aren’t flying and some nasty customs officer takes your treasured penknife (been there done that)

    • It is funny because the Italian herbs (basil, thyme) get used much less once I had my garden… but I use the cumin/coriander/turmeric all the time. Since I don’t have a garden, I imagine I will be using the herbs a bit more but we’ll see. I actually don’t have a list of my previous pantry, but basically I stocked many more varieties… usually 5 different kinds of nuts, LOTS more beans, more whole grains (I’ve decided to only stock my favourites, basically). I used to have spelt flour but since I don’t want to bake, we haven’t bought flour or sugar. Rob used to use that granola but now we’ll use different ingredients.

  3. Didn’t miss much! We have similar pantries 🙂 This salad looks great, as does the cilantro variety.

  4. Sounds like things are really working out for you in Houston! Great to see what someone else HAS to have in their pantry. We’re all pretty similar though, I reckon.

  5. My pantry does have some rice pasta for Gabby but other than that is very similar!

  6. Looks like a very well stocked pantry to me. It looks pretty identical to mine although in my home kitchen I have more spices and grains, and flours for baking. Oh, and I didn’t see cacao powder on the list?! I need that chocolate fix too….

  7. You had me at easy! This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been making for lunch lately. I keep a lot of the same items on hand too!

  8. I like your pantry list. I also like this salad – it’s the sort of thing I tend to randomly throw together in summer 🙂

  9. I love chickpeas, and this looks lovely. I had a clear-out in the pantry a few weeks back, but it’s stuffed full again now!

  10. What a crisp, simple salad! If you added hemp seeds to your pantry list I’d be all ready to move in! We move into our new place in a week and it doesn’t have a pantry. So I’m going to need to get creative!

    • Hey Heather, YES!! I picked up some hemp seeds, too, and I think I have finally become smitten by them. I am adding them to EVERYTHING! Totally a new food for my pantry. 🙂 Thank goodness for the pantry… it makes the small kitchen seem a lot spacious. I can’t wait to see what you make in your kitchen. Congrats on finding a new place. 🙂

  11. I’m glad to hear you guys are settling in! And I love hearing what you’re stocking your pantry with…for some reason it’s so voyeuristically intriguing. 😛

  12. Fabulous–so great how a few simple ingredients can make such a great salad. You have to love nutritional yeast. 😉 Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  13. […] been more adventurist in the kitchen than me. Rob is cooking up a storm, while I am relishing in my quickie salads, […]

  14. This looks amazing, I love how simple it is and that I always have those ingredients on hand!

    Seems like you have most of the essentials! Although lately I would definitely need some almond flour. Oh and some sea veggies 🙂

  15. I’m all over these super simple salad ideas! I never would have thought of making a salad dressing out of nooch and lemon juice – plain & tasty – I love it =)

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  20. […] It must be because I don’t routinely go to standard box stores. Instead, I scope out cheap, fresh produce at the food market and Trader Joe’s and order random ingredients online. There are a few different websites I like, depending on what I want to buy. Sadly, these food-friendly websites did not really succumb to the “Cyber Monday” craze. In my mind, it is all in the best interest of keeping a mostly minimalist pantry. […]

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  22. […] with them that I bought another 4 lbs when I moved to Houston. With a focus on eating through my pantry yet again, I have been experimenting with mung beans. Bring on more beans, […]

  23. […] as a seasoned vegan (almost 3 years of a whole foods based vegan diet here), I have tried to keep my pantry smaller and thus found it difficult to connect with the recipes. There was a lot of variety, though. Some […]

  24. […] with my (somewhat) minimalist pantry and kitchen, I was mostly to my […]

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