If you can find a way to make a little food go a long way and make your tummy happy in the process, you win. If you can do the same things for a fairly inexpensive price tag, you win again. Make it flexible for almost everyone to enjoy, well, I think you get the idea.
This “salad” came about out of a lack of time, a few pantry staples and hungry bodies sharking about in the kitchen.
This is a great way to get lots of bright coloured veg into people who may not like eating cucumber spears, or pepper circles on a regular basis. Add in the healthy fat in the avocado oil, some protein and boom!
Now, chickpeas or garbanzo beans have bean/been known to contribute to a rather gassy factor for some folks. They may not be strict Paleo but lots of folks eat them without suffering ill effects. Think of hummus. Same goes for quinoa. Not strict Paleo but, some rules are meant to be bent. Food shouldn’t be dogmatic.
When you open a can of garbanzo beans, one thing you will notice is an outer hull that resembles dead skin or fingernails. Not overly appetizing to look at. You can gently slip the skin off. Yes, this will add some time to your food prep, but trust me, your salad will look far more appealing. My grade 8 Home Economics teacher would be proud I gave visual presentation any thought whatsoever.
So, let’s poke around in the fridge and the pantry and get “cooking”.
Quinoa, chick pea and chicken salad:
- 1 can of cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans, (really well rinsed, drained and skinned)
- 1 can of cooked chicken (I like the ones from Costco, or leftover cooked chicken)
- 2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (the seeds make everything too wet)
- 1 red pepper, diced (by all means, use yellow, orange or green instead if you like)
- 1 cup feta (optional)
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (extra virgin olive oil is another choice)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Throw everything together and mix well. Add the dressing just before serving.
If you eat gluten, paint the inside of a pita pocket with tzatziki, hummus or baba ganoush (or all three) and stuff this inside. I opt for a gluten free wrap or a just a bowl and spoon. (to get every drop of the dressing)
Vegan? Skip the chicken and feta and it still is pretty darn tasty.
Strict Paleo? Skip the garbanzo beans and quinoa, and well, the dairy is up to you.