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

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook quinoa and chickpeas according to directions.
  3. While the quinoa and chickpeas are cooking, make the dressing – combine the ingredients listed above into a ball jar and shake to thoroughly combine.
  4. 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.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, add the quinoa, chickpeas, onions, snap peas and dressing to a large bowl and mix ingredients together.
  6. When the broccoli and green beans are finished roasting, add them to the remaining ingredients and stir together, briefly.
  7. Serve finished salad over a large bed of spring mix and garnish with mint leaves.

Variations

  • 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.
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