Recipe: Summer Quinoa and Chickpea Salad



Say hello to your new 'best friend salad'!! It is easy and quick to make, it is super healthy (remember quinoa is a very slow release energy sustaining food and a great source of plant based protein), it travels really well and it is pretty delicious too. It will keep in the fridge for a day or two so works well for leftovers.

If you are travelling, this salad is a winner. Just pop in a mason jar and away you go. This is ideal for me as very often eating out is a challenge. Restaurants are definitely improving in the whole area of healthy options, but it's great to be able to bring this salad with me and know I don't have to worry about finding something suitable to eat or else compromising and eating something that will leave me feeling sluggish and bloated.

This salad can be eaten on its own and is also a great side for a more substantial meal or even as one of a selection of salads if you are entertaining or throwing a barbecue.


Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa

1/2 cup of chickpeas

1/2 cup of spring onion, chopped

1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup of cucumber, chopped

2 cups of baby spinach

1/2 cup of coriander

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, minced

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season

Method:

1. Rinse the quinoa well in a sieve. A colinder won't work as the holes are too large and the quinoa will drain away with the water. Add the quinoa to a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the water absorbed. Keep an eye on the pot in case this happens quicker.

2. In the meantime, prepare your vegetables by chopping them into small pieces. Finely chop the coriander and add to a bowl with the vegetables.

3. Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a jar and shaking it well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and set to one side until the quinoa is ready.

4. When the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and roughly break it up with a fork. Allow to cool for about ten minutes before adding it to the vegetables and tossing it well. Your salad is then ready to serve.



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