Welcome to my new favorite meal.
A meal that is suitable for lunch or dinner, hot or cold, and easily packed to-go.
This 5-ingredient, lemony-basil dressing is about to become your new go-to dressing. It’s easy to whip up at the beginning of each week and pour over meals like this or traditional leafy-green salads. It’s a simple dressing that can be adapted with your favorite fresh herbs or no herbs at all.
Once you start making dressing at home you will never go back to store-bought. I can guarantee you that.
Pro tip: If you don’t want to dirty a blender smash 1 garlic clove [with the flat side of your knife] and set it aside. You want the garlic clove to still be somewhat held together so it’s easy to remove. Smashing the clove will help release the flavor into the dressing without overpowering it. Shake all other ingredients in a jar until fully combined. Place the smashed clove in the jar and give it a few shakes. Let sit for 15-20 minutes and then remove the clove. Use as directed below.
I was recently hired by Earthbound Organic to create and photograph a recipe suitable for dinner and easy to pack up for lunch the next day. I immediately thought of making a hearty salad packed with protein from quinoa and chickpeas and loaded with green veggies.
The bright + flavorful dressing is what really makes this meal pop and will keep you coming back for more. The olives and sun-dried tomatoes add an extra layer of flavor and chew.
You can find easy lunch packing tips on the Organic Bound blog!
Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad
gluten-free, vegan // yields 4-6 servings
- 1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed well and drained
- 2 cups water
- 2 broccoli heads, chopped
- 2-3 cups lightly packed baby kale, or chopped lacinato kale
- 1, 15z can [1 3/4 cups] garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, blotted
- 1/3 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil, melted ghee/safflower/sunflower/etc.
- salt and pepper to taste
- feta or goat cheese, optional
Lemon Basil Dressing
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons honey/agave
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 400* F.
Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once hot place quinoa in the pot and stir for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly pour in the water and stir occasionally. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid. Simmer for 15-18 minutes until water is absorbed. Keep the quinoa at a constant simmer but do not stir or uncover while cooking. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cover to keep hot.
While quinoa cooks toss broccoli with 1 tablespoon of oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Add garbanzo beans to the broccoli pan in the last 5-7 minutes of roasting to warm.
While the quinoa and broccoli are cooking place all dressing ingredients in your blender, starting with 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Blend until fully combined. Taste and add more olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time if it’s too acidic. Add more salt and pepper if desired and be sure honey is combined [shake in a jar if needed]. Let sit on the counter for flavors to develop. Shake well before using.
Combine quinoa, roasted broccoli, garbanzo beans, kale, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. Kale will wilt from the warmth of the other ingredients. Top with cheese if desired.
notes: Use agave instead of honey in the dressing for a vegan version. Store leftover dressing store in a sealed jar in the fridge for 3-4 days. Refrigerate quinoa leftovers for 3-4 days in a sealed container. Add more dressing if desired as some will absorb as it sits. To add more flavor to the quinoa cook in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth.
It’s so easy to find reusable lunch boxes nowadays. From the stainless steel varieties [just found this one + love it!], to cloth bags for sandwiches + snacks, to plastic containers like the one you see here. I found this container at World Market for FIVE bucks. It’s BPA-free and dishwasher/microwave safe. I love the having 3 compartments in 1 container. There’s less cleaning, less juggling of containers, etc.
And the portable utensil set?? I’m kind of in love. Even though I work at home this will come in handy for car meals, camping trips, mountain adventures, etc. It even includes chopsticks [!!] and was also $5 and BPA-free.
[Both are shown as sets of 4 on the World Market website but I was able to buy singles in-store. You can also find them on amazon for a few extra dollars.]
Be sure to head over to the Organic Bound blog to read all of my lunch packing tips, including how to easily wrap this salad up in a collard leaf. Extra crunch, extra veggies, win-win!
[not a sponsored post]