Heart-Healthy Mediterranean Couscous Salad with Chickpeas


1 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups green or purple grapes, halved
3 green onions (about 1/4 cup), chopped
1 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added or low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons dried parsley, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese, crumbled


1) Prepare the couscous using the package directions, omitting the salt.

2) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the cucumbers, grapes, and onions.

3) Using a fork, fluff the couscous. Stir into the cucumber mixture. Stir in the chickpeas, olives, parsley, oil, and lemon juice.

4) Sprinkle with the feta.

You don’t have to sacrifice flavor in order to eat heart-healthy! This meatless and savory salad from the American Heart Association is an excellent option for those looking for a quick and easy dinner that also improves your heart health. This recipe serves four. To make this recipe even more heart-healthy, substitute ingredients with low-sodium or no-sodium alternatives. Oftentimes, the extra salt in our diet is a result of processed or canned foods that already have salt added rather than a heavy hand with the salt shaker. If you can’t find low-sodium alternatives, don’t worry! Try washing canned products with water and drain them to remove excess sodium added during the canning process.

For more heart-healthy recipes, check out the American Heart Association’s recipe collection.

Gale Pearson

About Gale Pearson, MS, RDN, CDCES

Gale Pearson, MS, RDN, CDCES is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with over 25 years of experience working with patients on dietary and nutrition wellness planning. Gale received her undergraduate degree from Hampton University and her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Howard University.

With extensive experience in nutrition counseling, Gale works with her patients to develop strategies to improve their eating habits and lifestyles, in turn helping them to manage their weight and medical conditions. She credits witnessing her patients’ symptoms and overall health improvement as a result of the lifestyle changes as one of the most gratifying and rewarding aspects of her career.

At TPMG Nutrition Services in Newport News and Williamsburg, Gale provides one-on-one consultations, nutrition and weight management counseling, and diabetes education.

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