On a Side Note, Recipes

Chickpea Salad

I once accidentally mashed chickpeas, and I couldn’t get over how much they looked like canned tuna. Not a huge fan of tuna myself, I figured what I actually liked about tuna sandwiches/salads was the dressing and overall mix.

I came up with this chickpea salad, which reminds me of tuna sandwiches and pasta salads at kids’ birthdays. It doesn’t take too long to prepare, around 20 min tops (provided you get your chickpeas in a can), and is super budget friendly!

Let me know if you try it, tweak it, hate it or love it!


Ingredients (2 servings as main, 4 as a side)

  • 400g canned chickpeas
  • 200g canned corn
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of: green olives cut in quarters, OR, cornichons/pickles cut in small pieces, OR both!
  • My Lemon Mayo dressing‘s ingredients


  1. Boil the chickpeas in their water until they become extra soft, and ready to mash.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the dressing, and cut the cherry tomatoes in 1/4s.
  3. Mix all cold ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Mash the chickpeas, let them cool/put them under cold water or in the fridge for a few minutes.
  5. Mix all ingredients together.
  6. Add dressing if serving immediately.


I like serving this with a sprinkle of dry parsley on top!

  • Option to have this with whole wheat tortillas
  • Option to cut the chickpea quantity in half, and serve with pasta


On a Side Note, Recipes, Salty

Couscous Salad

I was feeling down one day and a good friend of mine invited me over for Spaghetti and a Couscous Salad. I liked the salad so much that I asked for the recipe, but never really had the opportunity to make it again in Edinburgh.

As soon as I got home to Beirut and had access to all the wonderful Mediterranean veggies again, I couldn’t resist! Couscous is so soft and warm, that even in a salad, is still comfort food for me.

Here is my own version of what I tasted back in October.

Let me know if you try it, tweak it, hate it or love it in the comments below!


🍁 Ingredients (for 4 servings as a side, 2 as a main)🍁

This is a tricky one; it’s one of those recipes for which the ingredient quantities really depend on your taste. I am therefore listing the ingredients with tentative ratios/quantities that I personally prefer. The quantity listed in the title is based on the amount of couscous I’m using below:

  • 100 g/3.5 oz of Couscous in pearls (they come in packs, bags, or boxes. Keep in mind that what I’m proposing is only an approximation).
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, 2 Mediterranean medium Cucumbers (for European Cucumbers, it would be better to measure this in cups; eg. 1 cup of diced tomatoes for 1 cup of diced cucumbers (1:1 ratio))
  • 1/3 of a (regular) can of Chickpeas (Or, 1.5 the ratio of the veggies)
  • 1/2 a cup of unseeded green olives (Or, 1/2 the ratio of the veggies)
  • 1/4 of a cup raw pine nuts (Or, 1/4 the ratio of veggies)
  • 1 tbsp of thinly cut Parsley (for every 100g of couscous)
  • 1/2 tbsp of thinly cut Coriander OR Mint (not a coriander fan over here), (for every tbsp of parsley)

Optional: Half a cup of pomegranate seeds

I use my Maple Mustard Dressing on this one.

🌱 Preparation 🌱

  1. Prepare the Couscous:
    Best technique here would be to follow the procedure written on the box you bought. In case nothing’s there, here is a technique I had found on google one day and tried. Make sure you “fluffen” up your couscous with a fork once ready, before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Dice Tomatoes, Cucumber(s)
  3. Shred some Parsley and Mint/Coriander
  4. Roast the raw pine nuts in a pan on low/medium heat. Shake the pan every once in a while. Once somewhat golden, take off the heat.
  5. Cook the chickpeas in their water:
    Bring to boil, until they’re soft enough. I always do this with chickpeas in a can; they’re already cooked, but I like mine extra soft.
  6. Once the Couscous is ready and cool, sift the water from the cooked Chickpeas and add both ingredients in a bowl. Mix.
  7. Add green veggies, mix again.

👩‍🍳How to Serve 👩‍🍳

Top the end result with the roasted pine nuts, or add them and mix them in.

If you’re serving immediately, then add the dressing and mix. If not, then add the dressing right before serving time.

🤓 Student Scheduling 🤓

This meal is awesome for meal prepping. It lasts long enough in the fridge, and is great to take with as an in-between-classes snack.

While the Couscous may take some time to cook, the rest is really easy to prepare; especially if you don’t mind the way chickpeas turn out right out of the can, and if you find unseeded olives.

A tip would be to squeeze lemon juice whenever you can, and keep a cup of it in the fridge; that would save time dish washing-wise as well. You will lose some of the vitamins though, so choose your battle!

🇱🇧 Lebanese Shoppers 🇱🇧

This one is especially easy for you guys!

🧘🏻‍♀️ Fitness and the P-word🧘🏻‍♀️

A simple Lemon Mustard dressing would somewhat decrease the amount of calories here. You could also replace the olive oil with half or a quarter of an avocado in the salad. You could also lose the pine nuts for another type of nut with more protein and less fat.

💸 Going Green all the way to the Wallet? 💸

The only expensive ingredients here would be the pine nuts and the maple syrup; they’re both replaceable !

🐄🐔No animal was hurt preparing this dish, وكل ثورة وانتو بخير ✊