Community Cooks: Chipotle Chickpea Salad is one way to make fiber delicious

First photo caption: Chipotle Chickpea Salad
Courtesy of purely planted

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

First photo caption: Chipotle Chickpea Salad Courtesy of purely planted

In her new book, “The Fiber Effect: Stop Counting Calories and Start Counting Fiber for Better Health” (Hatherleigh Press, $15), Nichole Dandrea-Russert makes the case that, together, fiber and water can help regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and create a healthy gut.

A registered dietitian nutritionist, Dandrea-Russert also had a plant-based chocolate company, Nicobella Organics, in Atlanta for 10 years. During a recent phone interview, she surprised me by explaining that one of my favorite treats, dark chocolate, is not only healthy, but also contains a good amount of fiber.

“Counting calories is such a restrictive mentality, and it comes with a lot of guilt,” Dandrea-Russert said. However, adding high-fiber food to your diet “can be so good, because you’re adding things that are really good for you, and make you feel good.”

Nichole Dandrea-Russert is a plant-based dietitian. Courtesy of Ricky Russert

Credit: Ricky Russert

icon to expand image

Credit: Ricky Russert

Now a plant-based dietitian, she creates recipes in her full-time job at Food Revolution Network, an organization that promotes healthy, ethical, sustainable food for all. And, she has a wellness blog, Purely Planted.

Though her diet is 100% plant-based, Dandrea-Russert advocates at least adding more fruits and vegetables to what you eat, including things like soups, salads and sandwiches. One of her favorite recipes in “The Fiber Effect” is Chipotle Chickpea Salad, which also can be made into a wrap or sandwich.

“When I first went plant-based, I was looking for something simple to make, because I worked a lot of long hours, and I wanted something I could take on the run,” she said. “It has lots of spices, because I think that’s the key to so many delicious meals.”

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