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Saturday, October 28, 2023

Quinoa Chickpea Salad- High In Protein

quinoa salad in a bowl

If you are looking for a simple healthy meal, this high protein salad is perfect. It's filling and satisfying without being heavy and high in fat. It's a crowd pleaser that everyone seems to like! 

Free Quinoa Grain photo and picture

Have you ever made quinoa?

It's easy to find in a bag in any supermarket (near the rice section) and cooks up light and fluffy!

 Quinoa is a non-animal protein with 8 grams per cooked cup and 5 grams of fiber.  In addition, quinoa provides valuable nutrients and antioxidants and is naturally gluten-free. It has a unique mild nutty flavor and pairs well with just about anything (except pasta). It's worth giving it a try! The Instant Pot makes perfect quinoa every time. 

Did I mention that we are transitioning to Florida for the winter right now? 

Free Highway Traffic Jam photo and picture
All the snow birds are driving to Florida from all over and traffic can get bad
especially with construction

After driving for 20 hours over 2 days, we finally arrived in Florida around 5:00 PM on Wednesday. It was a long ride and we were tired and yes there is always traffic near Miami Beach.

Free Food Dishes photo and picture

We unpacked the few items we bring quickly and then, as exhausted as we were, we went out for dinner because we had skipped breakfast or lunch that day (we had some snacks in the car such as gf pretzels, apples, and nuts to tide us over until dinner).

Free Fruit Market photo and picture

The next day on Thursday, we did some light grocery shopping mostly for fruits and vegetables. I'm always surprised that the Florida produce is more expensive than the produce in Pennsylvania.

We leave staples in the condo such as cans of chickpeas, quinoa, rice, pasta, olives, olive oil, and other things that won't go bad during our 5 month absence. So, I ran to the store to get some fruit, salad fixings, and vegetables. 

For tonight's meal I cooked quinoa and then mixed it with canned chickpeas, diced tomatoes, diced cucumber, fresh spinach leaves, lemon juice, and fresh lemon zest. I wanted to keep the recipe low in fat-  but you could add olive oil and slivered almonds for additional taste and richness. 

Free Miami Usa photo and picture

We are settling into our beach condo and reuniting with our friends- some of our friends are also snowbirds; some live here all year. 

So far, we have received three invites for dinners over the next 2 weeks! It's so much fun and so much socializing in our Florida home. 

Of course when we are invited, it's expected that we will contribute to the meal with a side dish and bring our own wine- so it's sort of a potluck. 

This salad is my contribution for tonight's invite! I must confess that I am the only vegetarian and gluten free person in our group, so they always ask me to bring something I can eat. We will be 10 adults. 

quinoa with spinach leaves in a bowl, vegan,

Author of the blog: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 8-10 for a side dish (especially if there are other sides)
      or 4 for an entree. 

3 cups of cooked quinoa (1.5 uncooked)
1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (from a can works)
1 1/2 cups of diced cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of diced Kirby cucumber
1/2 cup of chopped parsley or cilantro ( I like cilantro)
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach (stems removed)
Himalayan Salt, freshly cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon of freshly zested lemon zest (I use organic lemons)
Juice of 1 large juicy lemon (1/2 cup of juice)
Optional: slivered almonds and olive oil 

In a large bowl (I like a flat wide bowl) add cooked quinoa, cooked chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and seasoning. Mix well and serve.

Other interesting quinoa recipes: 

Asian Quinoa Slaw  (perfect for a pot luck)

Quinoa Lover's Salad (an elegant dinner salad)

Quinoa Tabouleh  (a lemony treat)

Quinoa With Pine Nuts ( a delicious hot quinoa dish)

Moroccan Quinoa ( one of my favorite hot quinoa dishes)

My Notes: 

1. I like to make this salad and serve it at room temperature. It can be served cold too, but I prefer it at room temp. 

2. It's a great side dish for everyone or an entree for vegans since it's high in protein and fiber.

3. Quinoa comes out perfectly light and fluffy every time when  quinoa is made in the Instant Pot ( link to recipe)  

You can look at the Instant Pot by clicking on this Link 
Instant Pot 6 quart (affiliate link on Amazon) 

4. Dried chickpeas cook soft and creamy in the IP too.  make your own dried chickpeas in the Instant Pot too. (Link to recipe)

🙏🙏🙏🙏 Still praying for peace in the Middle East  🙏🙏🙏🙏

Instant Pot 6 quart (affiliate link on Amazon) 

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  1. I've made various salads with chickpeas but never considered adding quinoa. Thanks for expanding my salad ideas.

  2. I am glad that you arrived safe and sound. The salad sounds good!

  3. I will have to try some of your quinoa recipes. I love it.

  4. Judee this looks delicious! It will be fun to see your posts from Florida! Have a great time, it's always fun to reunite with friends.

  5. Man this recipe looks good!

    I always cook my beans in the Instant Pot-2 pounds at a time, which I freeze in smaller portions. I've never tried doing quinoa, though.

  6. I love Quinoa, and chick peas, and, and! Have fu in Florida. Happy weekend, hugs Valerie

  7. Hello Judee, I have several friends who also moved to Florida. It looks beautiful there. You have a gorgeous beach house. I do love quinoa and add it to salads and soups.

  8. We have quinoa at least once a week, mixed with roasted veg.

    Glad you arrived safe after such a long drive. Enjoy your Florida time!

  9. I'm a huge fan of quinoa both hot and served as a salad. And I also like it room temperature.
    from Tandy I Lavender and Lime https://tandysinclair.com

  10. Sometimes my quinoa gets lost in the bin, and this is a good reminder to bring it out. Especially for a delicious cool salad. The weather here is still pretty warm. Enjoy your time in Florida!

  11. It sounds like you are settling in nicely! I have only used quinoa a few times for things like chicken/quinoa soup or as a substitute for rice in other casserole/soup dishes but never in salad.

  12. I always love the idea of potlucks. You get to taste different dishes without any stress on the host. Your protein rich quinoa looks wonderful and so tasty.

  13. Looks good and refreshing! I can imagine the traffic in Florida is crazier than normal right now!

  14. I was surprised by how much more produce was in Florida when visiting in-laws, crazy. This looks wonderful, colorful, and healthy.

  15. Such fun.. enjoy your friends and all your dinners. The salad looks great.

  16. Enjoy your time in Florida.
    The salad looks good.

    All the best Jan

  17. It looks delicious!....enjoy Florida!........Abrazotes, Marcela

  18. Happy to hear you arrived safely!! Enjoy your time there.

  19. This looks so fresh and delicious, Judee! I would like to try that Asian Quinoa Slaw. Your condo life with friends sounds fabulous. I hope you thoroughly enjoy the season. Happy November! xoxo

  20. So great that you made it with only a minor traffic issue. All those dinner parties sound like fun.
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  21. I'm so glad that you reached Florida safely! And I too am surprised that produce costs more in Florida than here in the Northeast. Still, it sounds like you had a lovely potluck. Here's to sunshine all winter long! 🌞


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