Colorful Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with ChickpeasYum
For Easter I made a chopped kale salad and this colorful Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, and all that remained of the quinoa salad was maybe half a cup. Kyle liked this quinoa salad so much that he made another batch up for himself the next day. For me quinoa has to be spiffed up with a lot of extra perks, otherwise it’s earthiness can be rather ho-hum to eat. I ordered a quinoa salad last week for lunch and it was one of those drab salads lacking any added color or flavor.
As I mentioned over here …. quinoa is one of the most protein rich foods we can eat. It’s high in fiber and contains all 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa also contains magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and lysine (which is needed for tissue repair). If you want to incorporate quinoa into your diet more frequently, add to soups, salads and sandwiches, and try using quinoa flour when baking. I use quinoa in my tabbouleh in lieu of bulgar wheat.
What’s the difference between red and white quinoa? According to Livestrong – red quinoa has slightly less protein than the pale quinoa with 5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup compared to 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup for the pale (or golden) quinoa. But…. red quinoa trumps the golden quinoa by providing double the amount of fiber per 1/4 cup with 5 grams of fiber, compared to the 2 grams of fiber that the golden quinoa provides.
This colorful Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas is loaded with extras and tossed lightly with my everyday favorite vinaigrette.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Yield: 6 - 8 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups distilled water
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 large red pepper, chopped
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 12-14 heirloom or regular cherry tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 12 - 14 kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
- 1/2 cup vinaigrette
For the Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse under cold water for just a minute.
- Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups distilled water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 15 - 18 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let set in the pan for about 5 minutes then fluff with a fork or spoon.
- Transfer the quinoa to a bowl or cookie sheet covered with wax paper and place in the refrigerator to cool.
- Place all of the prepared ingredients and the cooled quinoa in a large bowl.
- Add the vinaigrette and lightly toss to incorporate.
- Chill before serving. Serve with extra vinaigrette if desired.
For the Vinaigrette
- Place all of the ingredients in a mason jar. With the lid tightly sealed, shake until the ingredients are completely blended together.