QUINOA AVOCADO CHICKPEA SALAD

John and I decided to try out being vegetarians for a few weeks. Because we do our grocery shopping one day per week now, I decided to make a simple meal plan. That way we could make multiple dishes, with similar ingredients, so fresh fruits and veggies wouldn't go bad before we could get to the market again. (We live a block away, and tended to go everyday- which is great for having fresh food- but we wasted so much time!) This week we had dishes that included tomatoes, cilantro and basil. We created a 5 week plan, so I'll share a few recipes from each week, and at the end of the plan I'll share a printable file of the plan so you can try it out too! Last night's dish was this salad, it was filling and I loved how the lemon dressing brought out all of the flavors of the veggies.


Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 avocados diced
2 cups spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup onion
2 small cloves garlic

For the dressing:
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar or similar sweetner
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste



Directions:
1. Make your quinoa first. Add quinoa to the water and turn on the heat to medium high.  Let the quinoa come to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer. Cook quinoa for about 15-20 minutes, until the water is absorbed.  Remove it from the heat, but keep the lid on.  Set it aside.

2. Finely chop your spinach and cilantro. Add the greens to a bowl, and set aside.

3.  Next take your onion and garlic and finely dice those, and add to the greens mixture. Next add your chickpeas and diced tomatoes.

4. Dice your avocados, and add them to the bowl. I like to cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and slice them while they are in the skin (it's a lot less messy). Then stir in quinoa, and mix all of the salad ingredients.

5. Make your dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. Pour over salad, and mix until combined. I like to put it in the refrigerator for about 10 min. I think it tastes better slightly chilled.


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