Its no coincidence this recipe is being posted on the first day of summer - it is a fresh, cooling and super healthy meal.
I am a firm believer in eating for balance - as the days get hot and heavy, our bodies crave cooler, lighter foods.
However a basic salad consisting of only greens and veggies probably isn't going to cut it in the 'feeling full' or 'balanced nutrition' world. So, I did what I love to do - souped up my veggies. Like 'Fast and the Furious' but for salads ;-)
The quinoa and chickpeas combined offer tons of clean, cholesterol lowering protein and iron. The Hemp Hearts and avocado are full of satiating healthy fats that also help you absorb more of the nutrients and vitamins from the veggies.
The peppery arugula is the perfect base and the red onion and bell pepper add nice colour (and plenty of antioxidants and vitamin c).
The perfect summer salad: Simple. Healthy. Delicious.
serves 4 as a side or 2 as a meal
You can easily prepare this salad ahead of time and keep the dressing and avocado separate until ready to serve.
This can also be made into a portable mason jar salad by putting the dressing on the bottom and then the chickpeas and quinoa on top of that and then the veggies and seeds in last. Turn it upside down in a bowl to eat.
You can make the quinoa in advance and keep it in the fridge so that it is cool for the salad. It also works at room temp if you don't have time to prep ahead of time.
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool it down. The quinoa can be made earlier in the day or the day before so it is completely cooled down before adding it to the salad, although it is fine at room temp as well.
In a small bowl or glass jar with a lid, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic powder, oregano and salt and pepper. Whisk (or shake if using the jar with lid) to combine.
In a large salad bowl, add the arugula, red onion, bell pepper, chickpeas and cooled quinoa. Top with the dressing you made in the previous step (you may not use it all depending on how you like your salad dressed) and toss to combine.
Top with hemp hearts and avocado to serve.