Thursday, December 22, 2011

Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

I love a nice big salad that's both delicious and filling. And that's exactly what this salad is. There's a grain - okay a seed (quinoa), protein (chickpeas), and lots of vegetables (lettuce, onions, roasted mushrooms). This is all tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. It's so simple and such a great base salad to add whatever you have around or are craving. The balsamic dressing was good but my favourite balsamic dressing is the one from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, with a few modifications.

I went to Manning Park for work yesterday which was really exciting because I got to see lots of snow! And practically froze my toes off. Note to self, do not wear rain boots in the snow. Snow is my favourite so I was so happy to get to be around it if even for a short while! I love how trees look covered in snow. Snow snow snow.

I had to take a quick photo with my iPhone!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Autumn Panzanella
Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, DIll and Lemon
Portabello Salad with Mustard Dressing
The Diva Salad

Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction

Serves 4

4 cups mushrooms, halved
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
8 cups chopped or torn romaine lettuce
2 cups cooked chickpeas
Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 425F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the mushrooms with the olive oil and spread out evenly on the baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on how roasty you like your mushrooms). Ideally you want to time it so the mushrooms will be warm when you eat the salad.

If you will be eating the whole salad in one sitting, mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. If not, keep the ingredients separated and use 1/4 of the ingredients for 1 serving of salad. Just before serving, add the dressing and toss to coat.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction

1/4 cup raw cashews
1 small shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
A few grinds of black pepper

Place the cashews, shallot and garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse to chop them. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend for at least 5 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides often, until completely smooth. It's really important that you blend for the full time, otherwise your dressing may be grainy. Transfer the dressing to a container and chill until ready to serve.


Sasha Mitchell said...

oooh this looks divine! I love a hearty salad. Thanks!

janet @ the taste space said...

I have been meaning to try this recipe from AFR! Balsamic makes the world taste great, for sure. Have you posted your favourite balsamic dressing on your blog yet?

janet @ the taste space said...

Oh - and you have way more snow than I've seen here this year!!

Johanna GGG said...

that snowy park looks wonderful - lucky you to go there for work - have a great christmas

Amy said...

What a lovely winter salad!

Joanne said...

Aww it's a winter wonderland!

I love a good big salad also, especially one filled with so many delicious components!

Jabba said...

This looks super hearty, I like a hearty salad too! Brad and I have a bunch of salads like this that we make and eat them (and only them) for dinner. Is that weird?!
Roasted mushrooms...yum.

Dara said...

Two of my favorite things: Chickpeas and Quinoa! Love the recipe. It's always great to have something that's light and filling after the holidays.

XL @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Looks so fresh and healthy! I love mushrooms especially. I'm not big on quinoa so maybe I can substitute with millet.

Kevin said...

Nice looking salad! I like using quinoa in salads like this!