Hi everyone – so yes, my lunchbox series kind of came to a grinding halt earlier this week. My job got insanely busy, to the point where all I could do was take a picture of the lunchbox in the morning and promise myself that I would post it eventually.
I usually do 5 lunchbox posts a week, and was planning to only do 3 next week for Thanksgiving week, but I will post two more lunchboxes this week and then next week post an extra one, so that between this week and next week, you still end up with 8 lunchboxes. I finally caught up on posting last week’s lunchboxes and I actually think I might take the lunchbox series on hiatus for Thanksgiving week.
In the meantime, winter appears to have settled in. The older I get the less happy I am about winter – not just the cold, but the lack of light and local produce really get to me. This recipe for Chickpea Quinoa Salad is complete comfort food and is made with ingredients easily available in winter (fortunately, I can get local parsley year-round where I live) but the mixture of lemon juice and fruity olive oil and salt is so bright and happy it tastes like summer. Pasta used to be comfort food for me, but since switching to a gluten-free diet, I have noticed I do best when I limit some grains and eat more pseudo-grains like quinoa (which is actually a grass), so instead of gluten-free pasta (which while brown-rice-based and gluten-free, is still heavy on straight grains), quinoa has become my comfort food of choice, particularly with chickpeas. I am submitting this recipe to No Croutons Required, hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen this month. The theme of the event is quinoa, so of course I had to participate. This salad tastes indulgent and is gluten-free so I am also submitting it to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. and The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesday.
Chickpea Quinoa Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Soy-Free)
Serves 2-4 people, depending on whether it is a main or side dish
- 1/2 quinoa
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (I cook dried legumes in my rice cooker)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsps fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil, preferably a fruity one
- 2-3 Tbsps chopped parsley
Cook quinoa according to package directions (I like to use 1 cup of water per 1/2 cup of quinoa and use the quick-cooking setting on my rice cooker). Combine chickpeas, salt, lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl and pour hot cooked quinoa over the contents of the bowl, then stir immediately. That approach seems to heighten the combination of flavors. When well combined, allow the salad to cool and stir parsley in before serving.