Summer is almost here – and we all want to make the most of the weather rather than being stuck in the kitchen.
This recipe is a perfect filling, yet refreshing salad you can whip up in no time.
It’s easy to make and doesn’t use any crazy ingredients. It’s also super easy to make ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator.
Whether you want a filling lunch or dinner, this salad is full of simple nutrient dense foods.
Health Benefits — Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is one of the most popular health foods — and for good reason.
It’s one of the only plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
It’s perfect for vegans and people reducing their meat intake who struggle to get all the amino acids.
As a bonus, it’s gluten-free and has a low glycemic index. This is important for keeping blood sugar levels low.
Quinoa is also high in fiber and contains important minerals. These include magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron Many of us don’t get enough of these particular minerals.
There aren’t many studies that look specifically at quinoa. However, one study found that eating quinoa instead of gluten-free breads and pastas dramatically reduced blood sugar and triglyceride levels (1).
There are also plenty of other good foods in this recipe. Chickpeas are another great food to eat regularly even if you’re a meat eater.
They are high in protein and contain almost all the essential amino acids, except for methionine.
They’re also rich in fiber, healthy unsaturated fats and a variety of minerals. These include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
In one study, those who ate chickpeas regularly were 53% less likely to be obese. They also reported lower body mass index and weight circumferences (2).
Another study found that people who ate chickpeas daily felt fuller and ate less junk food, compared to those who didn’t (3).
And we could go on…
- Spinach contains lots of vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and, calcium
- Parsley is a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C
- Almonds have been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol and help weight loss…
In short – you’ll be eating a lot of good, nutritious foods.
Want to Make it Your Own?
As I’ve mentioned, this salad is really versatile.
If you’re not a big fan of quinoa, try it using with other grains, like brown rice or bulgur wheat.
Most cooked grains work instead of quinoa, so go experiment!
If you pack for lunch, it may be worth having extra oil or balsamic vinegar on hand in case the quinoa soaks it all up. But it’ll still taste great without the extra splash.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Chickpea Quinoa Salad
For the Dressing
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
For the Salad
- 185 g cooked quinoa
- 90 g cooked chickpeas
- 15 g mint, copped
- 15 g parsley, chopped
- 40 g spinach, chopped
- 25 g feta cheese, crumbled
- 25 g toasted almonds, chopped
Craving more delicious salads? Here are a few more: