Need a refreshing and simple salad featuring Springtime ingredients, and dressed with herbs and citrus? This Quinoa Fennel Chickpea Salad is for you!
While I’ve been obsessed with Spring’s fine fruits lately, I can’t neglect the tasty vegetables that this beautiful season also has to offer. Farmers market stalls display a rainbow of colors that are truly inspiring, which is super helpful when you’re feeling a little stumped in the kitchen. All of that wandering between eye-catching vendors led to the creation of this Quinoa Fennel Chickpea Salad.
I often forget how much I like using fennel in recipes, that is until Mary from Nom Yourself and I teamed up to make a bountiful lunch the other day. Aside from piecing together a delicious pesto bowl, we made a simple puff pastry pizza topped with thinly sliced fennel, onion, vegan ricotta, balsamic glaze and basil. What a way to reinvigorate your motivation to cook!
After that, I knew I wanted to put together a spring-y salad that was light, fresh, and still filling. I even made it gluten-free and oil-free! (not that it’s hard to make the veggies and whole foods the star of this recipe) Another plus is that you can find all of these ingredients easily and it takes less than 30 minutes to put together.
I’m a fan of making this salad ahead, then eating it for lunch for a couple of days. It could be easily transported in jars or tupperware for bringing to work!
Substitutions + Tips:
- Quinoa – I like the white for this because it has just a slightly more mild flavor than red quinoa. If you’re not a fan, brown rice or farro would be great here, as well.
- Baby arugula – this is just how arugula is most commonly found in a grocery store, but full-sized arugula that has been chopped with also work.
- Fennel – now, if you haven’t had fresh fennel, think of how fennel seeds taste a bit like black licorice, but the bulb itself is much more mellow. It’s so good here!
- Hemp hearts – I love the added protein these provide in the salad, but if you don’t have them on-hand, raw sunflower seeds or pepitas are a great alternative.
- 1 cup uncooked white quinoa, rinsed
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb, I used a mandolin
- 15 ounce can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Place quinoa, water, and salt in a small pot or pan, bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover with lid, simmering for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked through and all liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff quinoa with a wooden spoon or fork and transfer to a bowl, place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Once quinoa is has cooled, place it in a large salad bowl. Add arugula, fennel, chickpeas, tomatoes, radishes, green onion and hemp hearts to bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over contents of salad bowl and toss until combined. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Quinoa Fennel Chickpea Salad suggestions:
- I highly suggest that you enjoy this salad with a glass of Boozy Mint Strawberry Lemonade! 😉
- If you can find them, use blanched fava beans instead of chickpeas for an extra-Springy dish.
You can find this salad in my High-Protein Meal Prep for Two menu!