Arugula Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and 4 Ingredient Vinaigrette

How is everyone doing? I’m sure the broken record is going around but I cannot believe that it is March. And that almost a year ago quarantine started, I lost my job, and moved back in with my parents where I thought I would be for maybe a month. Fast forward a lot of months later.. I was able to go back and forth between NYC eventually last summer but let’s just say it has been a LONG year. I’m sure everyone is feeling similar sentiments in their own way. I feel that I’m finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and am more than ready for the next chapter.

Maju and I are officially moving into a new apartment March 30th in Boston! I’m so excited for our new place and just for a much needed change of scenery. It’s been a long year of limbo and not knowing where our next move would be so it feels good to have a concrete plan. My job situation is still a bit up in the air..lol..but at least we have a really nice apartment to move into?! 😉

We have started the packing process and since I love to procrastinate I thought that making a “clean out the pantry” salad for lunch was a great idea. So out of this idea was born..

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and 4 Ingredient Vinaigrette

The alternative title to this salad could be “Cleaning out your pantry and fridge grain salad!” That is really the idea behind it. I used what I had on hand to build a nice mixture of textures and flavors, but please substitute whatever you have on hand!

My clean out pantry/fridge items that I chose to add to the salad party: thinly sliced red onion, pimento pearls (you can find these near the olives section), toasted pepitas, feta cheese, dates, and cherry tomatoes.

Then I made my simple 4 ingredient vinaigrette which is a great simple, go to dressing to have on hand:

I love to make dressings in a mason jar because it’s a perfect vessel to shake it up and also store in the refrigerator. The 4 ingredients (ok, ok, 6 including salt and pepper) are olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

Next up was making some crispy chickpeas! You can also buy these at the store but I had some chickpeas to use up so I made my own. All I did was toss some cooked chickpeas with tumeric, smoked paprika, onion powder, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roasted at 425 for about 25 minutes until they are nice and crispy, tossing half way through.

Yum! Now it’s time to build the salad. Again, really use whatever you have on hand. I think the more colors and textures makes for a more interesting salad. Grain salads are the perfect item to have on hand for a quick, satisfying, and healthy lunch.

Arugula and quinoa as the base. I actually was wanting to make this salad with farro but alas quinoa is what we had to use up!

Red onion, tomato, feta

Dates, pimento pearls, pepitas. I love the slight sweetness and spiciness of the pimento peppers. You can also just get regular sized pimento peppers and cut them up! They have that delicious pickled quality to them that goes great in salads.

Add the crispy spiced chickpeas

And toss to combine with the dressing! This salad was so good you guys! This post is more of an inspiration to use what you got to make a delicious and healthy salad. But below is the recipe with what I used if you would like to give it a try! I really loved the combination of all these flavors and textures. Simple, but so satisfying!

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Crispy Spiced Chickpeas and 4 Ingredient Vinaigrette 

Serves 4:

Ingredients:

For the Salad: 

  • 4 oz arugula
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 4oz crumbled feta
  • 5 dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup pimento pearl peppers 
  • 1.5 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup toasted pepitas 
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper 

4 Ingredient Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425. On a baking sheet place the chickpeas and toss with seasonings (onion powder, smoked paprika, turmeric, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, tossing half way through. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together your vinaigrette. Season to taste and set aside. 
  3. Assemble the salad with remaining ingredients and chickpeas. Toss with desired amount of dressing, season to taste, and serve at room temperature. 

Note:

  • This salad will hold up well in the fridge for about 1 day with the dressing mixed in, or 4-5 days without the dressing mixed in. Feel free to substitute any ingredients you have on hand, the concept is all about using what you already got!

This would be a great salad to bring to an outdoor gathering! I mean just look at all those colors. I love to assemble it like this solely for picture purposes hah

I hope everyone is enjoying their week!

I’m planning to host some more virtual cooking classes soon, so be on the lookout for that 🙂

XX Chelcie

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