Thursday, May 17, 2012

Make This Tonight!

I've been MIA this week because of a project at work and stress preparations for our upcoming move. But last night for dinner, Brett and I made a salad that was so delicious, I just had to share. And tell you all to make it immediately.

Since Christmas, Brett and I have been vegetarian (more about why we did this and why I think vegetarianism is a feminist issue coming soon). The switch hasn't been hard at all, but Brett and I have both been getting a little bored of our go-to meals. Brett also fears that he isn't getting enough protein and fats, and I fear I'm getting too many fats and that Brett is getting all of his protein and fats from foods that will slowly kill him.

So last night I turned to the happiest, most magical place on the internet, Pinterest, for some recipe ideas. I stumbled upon this Lemon, Quinoa, Cilantro, and Chickpea salad that looked delicious and healthy. We didn't have a few of the items it called for on hand, so we adapted it. And now it is one of my favorite things ever.

                                                                             Source: via Shannon on Pinterest

Here's how to make our version (but check out the original too!):

For the salad
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
3 tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized bits
2 avocados, diced
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tblsp. of lime juice
cumin to taste

For the dressing 
3 tblsp. lime juice
1 tsp. mustard
3 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. cumin
dash of salt and pepper


1. Make your quinoa. I just follow the directions on the box. Make sure it cools before using in the salad. Then pour it into a big salad bowl.
2. Chop your onion, garlic, tomatoes, and avocado. Throw them in with the quinoa.
3. Open your can of garbanzo beans, throw them in with the quinoa.
4. Make your dressing by whisking all the ingredients together.  Pour over salad.
5. Mix until well combined.
6. Add more lime juice to taste. I added 1-2 tblsp. and a dash or two of cumin. You want to use just enough that it complements the other, natural flavors without the lime or cumin taking center stage.
7. Chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
8. Enjoy!


  1. I didn't know you had transitioned to vegetarian! Welcome to the club! This looks awesome... remind me to share some of my standby favorites with you soon.

  2. Yes! We knew we were going to do it for awhile so we phased out meats and fish in the fall and then cut them out entirely by Christmas. That worked well for us. It's been pretty easy. I would absolutely love to have some of your standby favorite recipes on hand. And you should make this. :-) Brett tried one bite, looked at me, and was like "This is crazy good."

  3. Awesome! We also have the same problem of getting bored of our go-to veg meals. And when I don't get enough protein, I have an insatiable desire for a big greasy burger. This looks awesome! Have you ever gone to 101 Cookbooks? Her recipes are my favorite.

    XO, B

    1. Bex, I think you would love this! I'll have to check out 101 Cookbooks. If you go look at the original recipe for this, it looks like she has lots of great ideas. I made her protein power balls last night too and they were delicious.

  4. Update: I made this dish and it is delicious! I made up my own version that combines their original version and your version.
    My changes:
    - Increase proportion of quinoa a bit
    - Add fresh chopped spinach and cilantro, but don't use food processor like they did originally (too much work!)
    - I used your dressing with the limes, because limes > lemons
    - Added some paprika to the dressing for a little extra kick

    Thanks for the inspiration, Shannon!

    1. Robs! I'm so glad you liked it. I want to try it next time with the spinach, we just didn't have any on hand. Also, love the idea of adding some paprika.

  5. Mmm, this looks like just what I need for lunch tomorrow!

    I find that because I've been a vegetarian for so long now (since I was seven, twenty now), I've long stopped thinking in terms of "oh, I can't eat that, it has meat in it" - everything is just so natural for me that I don't even think about meat as a food anymore. I'm sure it will get a bit more like that for you as well!