Meatless Monday: Carrot, Spinach, Pepper and Chickpea Quinoa Salad

It’s just a few days before the holidays, and amidst all the heavy meals, treats, and so on, we’re all in need for a healthy, light, yet comforting and satisfying alternative. Enter: quinoa. I love quinoa. Quinoa in my granola, quinoa as a side dish, quinoa as a stuffing for zucchini or squash, quinoa in soup, quinoa on my salads, etc (seriously, see all the quinoa I enjoy). Quinoa is filling, healthy and is a great starting point for any vegetarian meal.

I’ve been back in NY for the holidays and my mom let me make this dish for her and my dad. She pretty much had all the ingredients on hand, and it was great to be able to help her with dinner, especially as she’s been busy cooking, cleaning, baking, shopping, and so on in preparing for the craziness of the holidays.

Looking for a simple, healthy dish to make in less than 30 minutes that’s sure to please your family (even your parents)? Here you go. You’re welcome :)

Carrot, Spinach, Pepper + Chickpea Quinoa Salad - i crashed the web

Carrot, Spinach, Pepper and Chickpea Quinoa Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable (or chicken if you’re not a vegetarian) broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup chickpeas

Here’s what you do:

  1. Warm up the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the chopped shallot and cook until softened and appears translucent. And smells delicious :)
  2. Turn down the heat to low and add in quinoa. Toast quinoa (continue to stir so it doesn’t burn) for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in vegetable broth and thyme and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil. Cover quinoa, turn down heat to low and let simmer for about 6 minutes.
  4. Add in the chopped carrots. Cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes, adding in finely chopped pepper after about 5 minutes so it softens. When all broth is absorbed, turn off the heat, add the tomatoes and spinach, and continue to stir until the spinach is wilted. Just before serving, add in chickpeas and give it a final stir some everything is evenly distributed.
  5. Enjoy! Makes 4-6 side dishes or 2-3 main meals for a vegetarian dish.
Carrot, Spinach, Pepper and Chickpea Quinoa Salad - ingredients

some of the ingredients – not pictured, chickpeas and spinach

Carrot, Spinach, Pepper + Chickpea Quinoa Salad - i crashed the web

look how colorful it is!

 

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! (yes, mom – that really is a thing)

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