As soon as the first signs of winter started appearing in late November, I started craving cooked food. By mid-December, I realized that my consumption of fresh raw greens was almost non-existent. Quinoa and chickpeas were the first warm ingredients I considered adding to my greens, but after many failed attempts to copy my favorite restaurant's quinoa salad, I decided that maybe I should just keep it simple. Simple is definitely not tasteless, though! I take about 40 minutes eating one of those, just for the comfort of it and the taste.
I usually have this after a long day of work because it literally takes me 10 minutes to put together and let’s be real, most people don’t have time to spend an hour everyday cooking a good meal, but you can definitely have it quick without compromising on the taste and quality of your food!
Now, I honestly never prepared quinoa without cherry tomatoes; even better roasted cherry tomatoes… yum, but more on that later. So while the chickpeas and quinoa are cooking and cooling down, I get all the raw veggies ready. Put everything all together; add the dressing and then I relax with a big bowl of salad. It is certainly filling but it digests fast enough so you don’t go to bed feeling heavy.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
For the salad
1 head of romaine lettuce
2 small-medium tomatoes or 1/2 a cup of cherry tomatoes
1 small avocado
½ a cup quinoa
2-3 tbsp chickpeas
1 tsp of olive oil
For the tahini dressing
It’s the same as here but I usually add a bit more water to get a lighter consistency.
Step 1: Cook quinoa according to package contents.
Step 2: Coat the chickpeas with the olive oil and lightly roast them in a pan on in the oven. It takes 5-7 minutes to get them slightly browned.
Step 3: While the chickpeas cool down, go ahead and prepare the base of the salad by chopping the lettuce, cutting the tomatoes and the avocado into big chunks.
Step 4: While normally you’d toss everything together at that point, for this one I go with a structured salad. I add the lettuce to a big bowl and then in I imagine the bowl in quarters, adding each of the tomatoes chunks, avocados cubes, quinoa and chickpeas into one of the quarters.
Step 5: Prepare the dressing and drizzle over the salad. Garnish with any fresh of dry herbs and serve. I love using fresh cilantro on most quinoa salads. Enjoy!