Provencal Chickpea & Quinoa Salad

Chickpea & Quinoa Provencal

It is my dream to visit Provence.  I imagine that I’ll find a quaint little house to rent with a bright blue door and window boxes overflowing with flowers.  The house will sit on a lane just a short walk from town (What town?  I have no idea; does it matter?  This is a dream after all.) and border a lavender farm so every night as I go to sleep with my windows open (blissfully unconcerned about mosquitoes or would-be intruders), the warm air will carry with it the soothing scent of lavender.  Next to my bright blue door, I’ll have a giant rosemary bush and whenever I pass by it I’ll pull off a few springs and stuff them in my pockets, because I have a strange tendency to do that.  I think it’s an excellent plan.  Who wants to join me?  You are extra specially welcome to come if you know French….since I don’t….and it would probably be helpful.  

Chickpea & Quinoa Provencal

There is a Chickpea Salad Provencal that I love, love, love.  Sadly I had an extended hiatus in making it.  Years ago, when I was pregnant with Olive and at the height of my morning sickness, I made the salad because it sounded good at the time.  Not long after, I decided I didn’t want it anymore but we were poor and the idea of throwing out anything that included moderately expensive olives seemed like a complete crime!  So I forced myself to eat it and you can imagine how that went.  I couldn’t even look at the recipe for ages.  Thankfully, I’m over it and I can happily eat it once again.  Recently, I decided that I wanted to bulk it up a bit so that I could take it to work for lunch.  I swapped some chickpeas with quinoa, added some greens, and substituted shallot for the onion and garlic originally called for because sometimes I find they overwhelm the freshness of the herbs.  

Chickpea & Quinoa Provencal

Speaking of herbs, fresh herbs are key here.  It absolutely, positively won’t be the same if you use dried. Go out to your garden, or take your neighbor a beer and raid their garden for a little bit of fresh rosemary, oregano, thyme, and parsley.  The combination of all of them together is so very delightful.   If you don’t grow any herbs, consider trying these 4 in the future. You can even grow them in pots on your front steps or back patio.  I have a black thumb and am incapable of growing just about anything, but these few herbs I can grow.  If I can do it, you can do it!  Rosemary is my favorite so I repot it and bring it inside every winter thinking that I’ll be able to keep it healthy until the spring.  Inevitably, it sits in my kitchen window looking increasingly more pathetic while my husband tries to nurse it along and I lament the fact that I’m not living in a warmer climate that will allow me to have a giant rosemary bush outside my back door (See dream above).  

Chickpea & Quinoa Provencal

I really enjoy the peppery bite of arugula and how it holds up for several days mixed in the salad.  If arugula is not your thing, feel free to substitute spinach and just top a handful with your chickpea mix before you leave for work in the morning.  

NUTRITION INFORMATION:
Makes 4 1 cup servings
Calories:  248     Fat: 7g     Protein: 10.2g      Fiber: 9.1g     Carbohydrates: 37.2g    
Sodium: 471mg      Sugar: 5.9g 

21 Day Fix: 1/2 green, 1 orange, 1 1/2 tsp., 1 yellow

 

Provencal Chickpea & Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
Fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano make for a stellar combination when combined with chickpeas, olives, and quinoa.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  2. 2/3 cup water
  3. 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  4. 1/4 cup chopped nicoise olives (sometimes I substitute kalamata if they are easier to find)
  5. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  6. 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1/4 tsp. salt
  8. 1 T. fresh parsley
  9. 1 tsp. fresh rosemary
  10. 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  11. 1 tsp. fresh oregano
  12. 1/3 cup shallots, minced
  13. 2 cups arugula
Instructions
  1. 1. Rinse quinoa and combine with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat.
  2. 2. Finely chop all of the fresh herbs.
  3. 3. Combine cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and remaining ingredients through shallots. Mix well. Add arugula and stir gently to combine.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Adapted from Cooking Light
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