Meet my favorite lunch.
A few weeks ago I was craving a traditional caprese salad, which is mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil. This fabulous trio screams summertime to me. I wanted to kick it up a notch and add something hearty and protein-y, so I added quinoa and chickpeas. Chickpeas are the answer to everything for me. 😉 And quinoa… I’ve been adding that to almost every lunch lately. I’m sure that my husband is cringing as he reads this because he’s not a fan of quinoa. Not at all. He can even detect the smell of it cooking from the next room.
You can use a variety of dressings to top this salad. Today, I shared a lemon and oil dressing which is light and just coats everything. If you like a lot of dressing then you may want to make more than what the directions call for. A balsamic vinaigrette dressing would also be a delightful option because balsamic vinegar is a great compliment to the tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil combo. I also like to use Ken’s Steak House Lite Caesar Dressing if I don’t feel like making a homemade dressing.
I’ve been eating this salad like it’s going out of style so I finally decided that I had to share it with you. I’ve also enjoyed this salad with a meat twist by adding sliced deli turkey and it’s equally delightful. I’m sure grilled chicken would be a great alternative too. I usually tend to go for the vegetarian option most of the time. However, I wanted to give you options because variety is the spice of life, right? I think so, especially when it comes to lunch friendly options because I’m always on the hunt for the my new favorite make-ahead lunch.
Chickpea Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe
Ingredients for Salad:
- 1 cup dried quinoa (I used a combination of white and red quinoa because I didn’t have enough of either one.)
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
- about 20 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- sprinkling of fresh basil, chopped
Ingredients for Lemon Dressing:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh if you got it)
- 1/2 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of pepper
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (dried) oregano
Directions for Salad:
- Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package and then set it aside to cool.
- In a big bowl, add the cooked (and cooled) quinoa, chickpeas, chopped mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and chopped basil, and gently mix everything together.
- Pour the lemon dressing on top and gently mix everything together again.
- Add additional salt or pepper to taste.
Directions for the Lemon Dressing:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, pepper, salt, and oregano.
Source: Tina’s Chic Corner