While we were in Iowa a few weeks ago, my sister Sarah brought this delicious quinoa chickpea salad to a BBQ at my mother-in-law's house and I immediately asked her for the recipe. It was my first time eating quinoa. I learned that it is delicious, healthy, and pronounced keen-wa NOT key-no-ah. Since tasting and learning about quinoa, I've found several recipes I want to try, but first let's tell you about this one! The tangy dressing amazingly has NO oil. I was very skeptical of this at first but you couldn't tell at all. It was delicious! This recipe also has a lot of crisp veggies and creamy chickpeas, making it the perfect healthy summer salad! If you haven't tried quinoa yet, or if you are looking for a new recipe with quinoa, try this one! You will love it! Even my husband gobbled it up!
Quinoa = Keen-wa
The colorful veggies and chickpeas!
Don't worry, the dressing is much more tasty than it looks!
The finished product! Mmm...so good and guilt-free!
For the salad:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 small red onion, diced
4 cups baby spinach
1-15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
For the dressing:
1/4 cup cashew pieces
2 T. chopped shallot
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar
3/4 tsp. salt
a few pinches freshly ground pepper
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. One cup dry quinoa will make two cups cooked. Cool the quinoa. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing before serving. Keep chilled in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.
For the dressing, place the cashew pieces and shallot in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for at least 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend until completely smooth.
Note: Feel free to use different veggies. You could also use Israeli couscous instead of quinoa.
***slightly adapted from Shutterbean