We traveled to Georgia last weekend for a wedding. We had
too so much fun – seeing old friends, eating and drinking lots of delicious food and drink, basically pretending like we were in college again. After a weekend like last week’s, I needed a few days of eating “clean,” so I whipped up one of our favorite easy veggie (and vegan) meals to last us for a few days in hopes of making up for three+ days of fun.
So anyway, the recipe below has become one of my go-to recipes throughout the year. It changes based on what grains/beans/vegetables I have on hand or are in season, but the basic framework below stays the same.
Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
Ingredients – Salad
1 pound quinoa (a delicious, gluten-free grain that’s high in protein)
1 pound cooked chickpeas (another excuse to use the pressure cooker)
Several stalks of broccoli, roughly chopped
Handful of green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup snap peas
Several handfuls of spring mix
Ingredients – Dressing
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp orange zest
2 cloves garlic, chopped
A few mint leaves, chopped roughly
2 green onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook quinoa and chickpeas according to directions.
- While the quinoa and chickpeas are cooking, make the dressing – combine the ingredients listed above into a ball jar and shake to thoroughly combine.
- Set aside the broccoli and green beans in a mixing bowl. Pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil over the broccoli and green beans and add your favorite seasonings – I used salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Once the oven is preheated, spread the veggies on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about eight minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, add the quinoa, chickpeas, onions, snap peas and dressing to a large bowl and mix ingredients together.
- When the broccoli and green beans are finished roasting, add them to the remaining ingredients and stir together, briefly.
- Serve finished salad over a large bed of spring mix and garnish with mint leaves.
- This recipe is ripe for creativity and substitutions based on what you have laying around. I love to use farro instead of quinoa for a chewier texture. I love radishes in place of snap peas. You don’t have to roast the vegetables at all – you can leave them all raw. I like the sweetness that the roasting brings out in contrast to the crunchiness of the other raw vegetables, but do whatever you like. Split peas or cannelloni beans make a great variation in place of the chickpeas.
- Feta or parmesan cheese makes a wonderful addition to the dressing, but I was trying to lay off the dairy products for this version.
- It tastes even better the next day after the dressing has really soaked all of the ingredients, so I make a big batch that lasts us for a few dinners and lunches.