Recipe of the Month – Spring Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Polenta “Croutons”

Our nutritional partner, Alyssa Lovas, MScN, has whipped up a must-try spring salad

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Spring Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Polenta “Croutons”

With spring in full swing, I’m craving more salads! As much as I love a colorful, veggie-packed salad, I also really enjoy simply dressed greens. I don’t always want to do a lot of chopping! For this recipe, I’m adding baked polenta “croutons” and crispy garlicky chickpeas. This is a great way to add some crunch and a gluten-free “crouton” experience and make it more filling with that added fiber and protein. This makes a great lunch as is or topped with some chicken, a hardboiled egg, or my personal favorite, canned sockeye salmon.

Incorporating greens into your diet as often as possible is such an important practice to support your health and your skin. I hope this inspires you to eat more greens. Those greens are your blank canvas - get creative with your toppings! 


Polenta croutons:

  • 1 roll of pre-cooked polenta (like this!
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil (or olive oil)

For the garlicky chickpeas:

  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic granules (or garlic powder)
  • A dash of smoked paprika 
  • A dash of salt

For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard (or dijon)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ¼-½ a lemon, or more to taste

For the salad:

  • Greens of choice


Preheat the oven to 400

Slice the polenta into ½ in rounds, and then cut each round further into “crouton size” pieces; 6ths or 9ths, whatever your preference. The smaller the pieces, the crunchier they’ll be. 

  1. Spread on a large baking sheet and drizzle with about a teaspoon of oil.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and add to a bowl along with the spices and oil. Mix until the chickpeas are evenly coated. Add to the baking sheet with the polenta and try to get everything in a single layer. Alternatively you can use 2 baking sheets. 
  3. Bake the chickpeas and polenta for about 45 minutes, until the chickpeas are extra crispy and the polenta is golden brown. Stir about halfway through baking or more to ensure that everything is cooking evenly.
  4. In the meantime, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together. Adjust flavors to taste.
  5. Once the polenta and chickpeas are cooked, allow them to cool for a few minutes. 
  6. To assemble the salad, fill a bowl with your choice of greens, top with some chickpeas and polenta croutons, drizzle some dressing and toss together. Enjoy!

Store the chickpea and polenta mixture, the dressing, and the greens in the refrigerator separately and assemble as you’re ready to eat them to avoid soggy salads. This is a great meal prep option!

To learn more about Alyssa and her work, please visit Live Free and Thrive Nutrition.