Chickpeas Watercress Greens A Simple Lunch


When it comes to crafting a healthy, delicious, and satisfying lunch, simplicity often yields the best results. One such combination that ticks all the boxes is chickpeas and watercress greens.

This duo is not only easy to prepare but also packs a punch in terms of nutrition, flavor, and versatility. Whether you’re a busy professional, a student on the go, or someone looking to add more plant-based meals to your diet, this chickpea and watercress greens lunch is a fantastic option to consider.

The Nutritional Powerhouses: Chickpeas and Watercress

Chickpeas: The Versatile Legume

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple in many cuisines around the world. These small, round legumes are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent addition to any diet. Here are some of the key nutritional benefits of chickpeas:

  • Protein-Rich: Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, providing around 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. This makes them a great option for vegetarians and vegans looking to meet their protein needs.
  • High in Fiber: With about 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, chickpeas help promote digestive health, keep you feeling full longer, and support healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Packed with Vitamins and Minerals: Chickpeas are a good source of several essential nutrients, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and folate, which play vital roles in maintaining overall health.
  • Low Glycemic Index: The low glycemic index of chickpeas helps in managing blood sugar levels, making them a suitable choice for people with diabetes.
Watercress: The Nutrient-Dense Green

Watercress is a leafy green that often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. This peppery-flavored green is a nutritional powerhouse, offering numerous health benefits:

Rich in Antioxidants: Watercress is loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and flavonoids, which help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

High in Vitamin K: A single cup of watercress provides over 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health and proper blood clotting.

Boosts Immunity: The high vitamin C content in watercress supports a healthy immune system, aiding in the prevention of illnesses.

Supports Heart Health: Watercress contains compounds that may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

A Simple and Delicious Lunch Recipe

Now that we understand the nutritional benefits of chickpeas and watercress, let’s dive into a simple and delicious recipe that brings these two ingredients together. This chickpea and watercress salad is easy to prepare, requires minimal ingredients, and can be customized to suit your taste preferences.


  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of fresh watercress greens
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional for a vegan version)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs (such as parsley or mint) for garnish


Prepare the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, combine the drained chickpeas, watercress greens, red onion, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes. If using feta cheese, add it to the bowl.

Dress the Salad: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine all the ingredients, ensuring they are evenly coated with the dressing.

Garnish and Serve: Garnish the salad with fresh herbs such as parsley or mint for an added burst of flavor. Serve immediately and enjoy your simple, nutritious lunch!

Variations and Additions

One of the best things about this chickpea and watercress salad is its versatility. You can easily adapt the recipe to include other ingredients or suit different dietary preferences. Here are a few ideas:

Add Grains: Incorporate cooked quinoa, bulgur, or couscous to make the salad more filling and add a different texture.

Include More Veggies: Add roasted red peppers, shredded carrots, or avocado for additional nutrients and flavors.

Protein Boost: For extra protein, consider adding grilled chicken, tofu, or hard-boiled eggs.

Nutty Crunch: Sprinkle some toasted nuts or seeds, such as almonds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds, for a crunchy texture and added nutrients.

Health Benefits of Regularly Including Chickpeas and Watercress in Your Diet

Regularly consuming chickpeas and watercress can offer numerous health benefits beyond the nutritional advantages mentioned earlier:

Weight Management: The high fiber and protein content in chickpeas can help with weight management by promoting feelings of fullness and reducing overall calorie intake. Watercress is low in calories but nutrient-dense, making it an excellent addition to a weight-conscious diet.

Digestive Health: The fiber in chickpeas supports healthy digestion by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Watercress contains compounds that may help protect the digestive tract and improve gut health.

Bone Health: Both chickpeas and watercress contribute to bone health. Chickpeas provide magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, which are essential for bone strength, while watercress is rich in vitamin K, crucial for bone density.

Heart Health: Consuming chickpeas can help lower cholesterol levels due to their fiber and antioxidant content. Watercress, with its high levels of vitamins C and K and other antioxidants, supports cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation and improving blood vessel function.


Chickpeas and watercress greens make for a simple, nutritious, and delicious lunch that can easily become a staple in your meal rotation. Their combined health benefits, versatility, and ease of preparation make them an excellent choice for anyone looking to eat healthier without compromising on flavor or convenience.

By incorporating this chickpea and watercress salad into your diet, you’re not only treating yourself to a tasty meal but also investing in your long-term health. So next time you’re wondering what to make for lunch, give this combination a try and enjoy the delightful flavors and benefits it brings to your table.