This week has been all about quick meals. With the extra hour of daylight, Anguel and I are eagerly tackling what's felt like an ever-growing to do list. Things like re-committing to regular weekday exercise classes and getting a little extra home décor on just for fun (like this, and hopefully making our own version of this). So despite the extra daylight, we still needed to take some shortcuts in the kitchen – because there's still only so much time in a day, and we're only human after all.
Thankfully, these curry potato and chickpea pitas have made our meals this week a total breeze. I whipped up a big batch of chickpea salad at the beginning of the week, so that come meal time, all we needed to do was tuck it in some soft pita. And when putting a meal together takes all of five minutes, it means lots of time to do, well, everything else.
Looking back on this recipe, it all started with the yogurt. We don't often have yogurt in our fridge, but last week my mom picked up a container at the market. Anguel and I were up in Whistler skiing with our friends for the day and she knew how bummed I’d be about missing out on our weekly farmers' market haul (it's only open one day a week). So she took the solo trip and picked us up some produce. And yogurt. Then she dropped it off into our fridge before we returned home. Best mom ever, right?! When someone so kindly brings by groceries, you do the right thing: honor that food to your best ability. And enjoy the crap out of it. In our case, that meant stirring in some fragrant Indian spices and adding it to a bright, flavorful sandwich filling. The yogurt helps bind the mixture together – keeping it moist for days stored in the fridge – no mayo required. And if you've never had yogurt paired with Indian spices, you're definitely in for a treat. I used dairy yogurt, but I'd imagine you could substitute for a dairy-free yogurt of your choice (just make sure it's unsweetened and unflavored).
A combination of chickpeas and potatoes help to make the filling both energizing and satisfying. Chickpea salad sandwiches are no strangers to the vegan / vegetarian sandwich world. But I like to go one step further step further and add a bit of potato. The steamed potato cubes will get a bit mashed up when you combine all the ingredients together. And this is exactly what you want – it helps make the filling feel creamy and decadent. Kind of like a potato salad, but a million times better.
The apple slaw provides a crunchy, fresh element that pairs really well with the curried chickpea and potato. I encourage you to tuck in a generous serving, so you get a bit of apple in every bite. It's great contrast. And thankfully it's super simple to throw together: just slice up some apple and toss with lemon juice and cilantro. The lemon juice also prevents the apple from browning, so you can keep extras in the fridge for a day or two. If you still have leftover pita filling after that, simply make yourself an extra batch of slaw. We most definitely make extra, because we can't help but snack on it by itself or toss it in our salads.
You can feel free to stuff the pita with any other fresh vegetables you'd like. We almost always just tuck in a piece of lettuce for a bit of extra greenery, but you can feel free to get more creative. And, if you're feeling ambitious, you should try your hand at baking your own pita! Like this homemade spelt pita recipe (so good, but heads up, it's not gluten-free). Or, you could substitute the pita for your favorite bread or tortilla wrap. And, if you want to keep things even lighter, you could instead use lettuce leaves for the 'wraps'. Now that's a lot of options for one seriously yummy filling!
Curry Chickpea Salad Pitas with Apple Slaw
Curry Chickpea Salad Pitas
- 1 lb yellow potatoes, cubed (½-inch)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- ½ cup red onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¾ teaspoon Madras curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (see note 1)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 (15 oz/14 fl oz/398 ml) can chickpeas, rinsed
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- ¾ cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 scallions/green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 pitas (gluten free if needed, see note 2)
- 6 leaves lettuce
Apple Cilantro Slaw
- 2 apples, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Cook potatoes: Add a steamer basket to a small saucepan and fill with water until it's ½-inch below the basket. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and steam until soft when poked with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
- Cook onion and spices: Meanwhile, warm oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add cumin seeds, cook for 1 minute. Add curry powder, coriander, and turmeric. Cook stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Mix: Transfer the onion and spice mixture into a large bowl. Whisk in yogurt and lemon juice. Add chickpeas, celery, bell pepper, scallions, and potatoes. Stir well to mix. Season with salt.
- Make slaw: In a small bowl, toss apples, cilantro and lemon juice.
- Assemble: Tuck a piece of lettuce into each pita, then scoop in filling. Top with apple cilantro slaw.
- Vegan option: If you have a neutral-tasting vegan Greek yogurt substitute you love, use it here. If the yogurt is on the runnier side, start with half and add more if needed. Vegan mayo could also work.
- Pita substitute: You could also use bread, large tortilla, or lettuce cups instead of pitas.