Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

15 Apr

We made this on Friday night and it was sooo good. A huge hit with the whole family. It’s easy to make (with a little advance preparation), easily changed (switch your grain, switch your lettuce, switch your beans, etc) and the dressing is incredible – and oil-free which, I think, is a huge thing because it still tastes rich and thick and creamy. Anyone who thinks they’ve grown tired of balsamic dressings has not tasted this one. Cannot recommend this recipe highly enough and it’s definitely going into the regular spring-summer rotation here.

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Makes 4 servings

Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa **
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 (15 ounce) can no-sodium added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Optional add-ins: roasted garlic, baked tofu or tempeh, grape tomatoes, avocado, shredded carrots, sprouts
1 recipe balsamic vinaigrette (below)

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup cashew pieces (soak for at least an hour in water to soften if you can)
2 Tbsp chopped shallot
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt
few pinches freshly ground black pepper

Place the cashews and shallots in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to get them chopped up, then add everything else and blend till smooth, scraping down the sides a few times. Blend for a full 5 minutes to get it smooth and creamy, otherwise it might be grainy. Comes out thin so chill for at least 5-10 mins before using. The original recipe callsĀ  for 3/4 tsp salt and we cut it down to 1/2 and didn’t notice a difference.

Nutritional Information per serving (without add-ins and based on 1/4 salad with 1/4 dressing): 290 calories, 12 g protein, 11 g fibre, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 49 g carbohydrates, 493 mg sodium

** Easy-Peasy Quinoa

This will make roughly 4 cups. It will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in a air-tight container. Mix 1 cup of uncooked quinoa (rinsed in a fine-meshed sieve for 2 minutes to remove the bitter coating) with 2 cups water, bring to a boil then lower heat and cook uncovered for roughly 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the grain is tender and water’s been absorbed.

From Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

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