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Chickpea Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese

Looking to stay on top of your dietary goals? I'm sharing this easy salad that is fresh and tasty while full of necessary plant fibre and protein. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll notice I've been focusing on prioritizing protein in my diet. There is so much great science about the benefits eating more protein, particularly as we age, and as a lifelong vegetarian, I've never paid it quite enough attention.

That has all changed the past few years! In addition to protein, fibre and water have also become my non-negotiables, as someone who is prone to slow digestion, I've spent the last few years very intentionally becoming aware of my body's needs for support in this area. While traveling the last few weeks, I was able to tackle two tricky areas that have plagued me in the past. Two things that I don't think are talked about enough, but that studies show are topics more of us should be discussing, since it's estimated that 80% of middle aged women are constipated. This is a bit of a shocking statistic, but it makes sense.

The first problem I was adamant I would solve: travel related constipation! Long flights are so dehydrating! Plus the shock to the system of having your body out of routine with time zone changes is not helpful either. The second is, how do you travel to foreign, less than vegan / veggie friendly destinations as a vegetarian? For my vegan friends, I definitely found my self thinking about how difficult it would be to go that route in France especially, and I’m sure with commitment and craftiness it could be done. But as a vegetarian I already find it limiting and tricky.

It’s exciting to try pastries, eat all the cheese and bread, and enjoy wine too if you’re into that. But just a few days of ignoring the needs of your body can wreak havoc on your regularity, not to mention your dietary needs of protein and fibre.

This trip I was able to stay on top of things. It made a huge difference to prioritize water, fibre and protein on the road, while still enjoying all the food and drink I love so much while on holiday {it helps to have a kitchen to cook in 1000%, hotels are much tougher!}. Here’s one of the lunch salads I made with a few ingredients. The raw veggies were key, and of course there are the usual suspects here as well.

Chickpea Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese

2 cups cooked Flourist Kabuli Chickpeas (about 3/4 cup dry)
1/2 English Cucumber, chopped 
8-10 raw Asparagus Spears, chopped 
Fresh chopped herbs: parsley, mint, chives are all great options 
1/2 cup Dijon Vinaigrette 
50g Goat Cheese (about 1/4 cup crumbled)

Dijon Vinaigrette 
1/2 cup Olive Oil 
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp salt 
2 tsp Dijon Mustard 
2 tsp sugar or honey 

Toss all of the salad ingredients, except for the goat cheese, together in a bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a cup or a jar, and add to the salad. Serve topped with goat cheese, chopped fresh herbs and additional salt and pepper. 

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