It seems I have finally reached my limit with my daily cookie intake, and am ready to eat greens once again. I have been making this crunchy quinoa power salad in various forms, every other day and can’t get enough of it. The best part about this dish, is that it is completely customizable, you just need a couple pantry basics, then use whatever fresh veggies you have on hand.
The crunch in this crunchy quinoa power salad comes from roasted chickpeas. Not only do they make excellent croutons, but they are a fun, protein-filled snack. I usually use two cans of chickpeas, with whatever spices sound good at the time. They take about 45 minutes to make, so I get a tray going a good hour before I want to eat, so they have time to cool.
Quinoa is one of my favorite grains because it has all the essential amino acids, which is great to bulk up any meal. The natural nutty flavor is brought out in this crunchy quinoa power salad by roasting it after it has cooked, with slivered garlic and nutritional yeast.
Crunchy Quinoa Power Salad
Yields 2-4 portions
3 cups mixed greens or kale- chopped
3 stalks celery- diced
2 carrots- shredded (I used rainbow)
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1 date- pitted and chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa (I like to make a big pot and use it throughout the week)
2 cloves garlic- slivered
1/2 t. nutritional yeast
1 t. olive oil
1/4 t. garlic powder
2 cans chickpeas- rinsed
1 T. avocado oil
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. chili powder
1. Begin by making the crunchy chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and drain two cans of chickpeas very well, taking care to shake out as much liquid as possible. Pour the chickpeas onto a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the avocado oil. Use your hands to rub the chickpeas around to evenly spread the oil.
2. Bake the chickpeas 45 minutes, shaking and rotating the pan every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. I found that seasoning towards the end of the bake keeps the chickpeas from burning.
3. For the quinoa, add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add to the oven after you spice the chickpeas to bake for the last 15 minutes.
4. Chop, dice, grate the veggies according to your preference. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and add the quinoa and chickpeas once they have cooled.
5. This salad is so hearty, I keep my dressing light and use olive oil, lemon, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.