Quinoa has to be one of my go-to grains with brown rice a close second. I always keep a large bag from Costco in my pantry for whenever I get a craving for quinoa, which happens more than you think. Since quinoa cooks relatively fast, I like to always have some on hand to make quick and easy lunches. Lately I cannot get enough of grain-based salads and quinoa makes a perfect base for a salad. This Curry Quinoa Chickpea Salad makes a light and healthy lunch option and I think you are really going to enjoy it!
To start the salad, we first cook the quinoa until it is light and fluffy. When I first made the salad, I only used 1 cup of dried quinoa and I didn’t think it was quite enough for the dressing. It was too oily for my taste so I upped the dried quinoa to 1 1/2 cups and it is the perfect amount. To achieve light and fluffy quinoa, I simply add the rinsed and drained quinoa to a pot and add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. You want to cook the quinoa until all of the liquid has been absorb, 15-20 minutes. I like to turn off the heat and let the quinoa set for 3-5 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, prep the dressing and veggies. The dressing is so easy you are going to love it! It starts with unsweetened non-dairy yogurt; I like to use So Delicious. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is added in to the mix along with curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper. Now, this salad dressing isn’t spicy at all since we are only using 1 tsp of curry powder. You just get a hint of curry with the salad and it isn’t overpowering at all. If you want a more pronounced curry flavor, you can always add 1/2 tsp more or to taste.
In this dressing I used my new favorite extra virgin olive oil from California Olive Ranch, Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has a really great fruity and butteriness to it. I have been loving this olive oil in salad dressings since it is fresh, pure and with notes of fruit. Let me know if you have tried this Olive Oil before. I am also a big fan of their Everday Olive Oil. So good!
After the quinoa is done cooking add it directly into the dressing, making sure to coat all the quinoa. Adding the quinoa while it is still warm helps it absorb all flavors of the dressing.
For the Curry Quinoa Chickpea Salad add-ins, I like to use chickpeas because they add protein and make this salad a little more filling. I also like to add in my favorite Michigan Dried Cherries for a little sweetness, carrots for color and a little crunch, and almonds for some extra texture and nuttiness. You can enjoy this salad warm, room temperature or chilled. I personally enjoy the Curry Quinoa Chickpea Salad served warm or cold.
If you make this recipe, let us know by tagging us on Instagram #thymeandlove! We’d love to see your creations!
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