I had planned to make my husband and I a big salad with fresh veggies and some rotisserie-seasoned carved chicken breast for dinner last week . . . but then that morning, I had a craving for something heartier and with some bold Mediterranean flavors. We both love burrito bowls, taco salad, egg roll in a bowl, chicken salad, really any one dish meal 😉 And we love food packed with flavor and fresh veggies and herbs.
I started off with quinoa that I cooked with spices and chicken bouillon to make it pop with flavor. Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic, lemon juice.
After the quinoa was done cooking, I transferred it to a bowl to let it cool for a bit.
Then, I added a can of drained garbanzo beans to the quinoa, added a splash of red wine vinegar and some herb-infused olive oil and tossed it together.
*Let me just say – I always use a good quality olive oil and have found that that makes a huge difference in the final taste of any dish. We have a local shop called The Enchanted Olive that carries so many different infused oils and vinegars! Some of my favorite oil flavors are the Tuscan herb, the Herbs de Provence, and the olive wood smoked olive oil. I also prefer to put their vinegars on my salads over a pre-made, store-bought vinaigrette that has added sugar and other ingredients. Some of my favorites are the Cranberry Pear White balsamic, the Espresso balsamic, and the Traditional balsamic.
After I mixed the quinoa and garbanzo beans together, I added all my chopped veggies and herbs. When it comes the veggies in this, you can add or skip whatever you want. But I highly recommend the veggies that I used – cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, and a tiny bit of celery for some crunch. I didn’t add any onion to mine because I didn’t want the onion to overpower the other flavors in this dish. But you could definitely add some purple onion if you wanted (I would suggest not adding more than a quarter of an onion or that’s all you will taste).
I had gotten a container of this Hillshire Farm carved chicken breast to add to salads and wraps and such so I decided to use that for the protein in this salad. (If you want to go vegetarian, you can definitely skip the chicken or add seasoned tofu.)
*If you keep shredded or chopped cooked chicken in your freezer, you can pull that out and use it.
I had some feta cheese and crumbled goat cheese that I combined to use in this salad – the goat cheese made this dish such a creamy texture and the feta added a wonderful flavor. My husband loved the earthiness and creaminess of the goat cheese 🙂 But if you don’t have or don’t prefer goat cheese, you can just use feta.
I combined everything together until the quinoa salad looked nice and evenly combined – I added an extra bit of olive oil and added a splash more of lemon juice, and seasoned with salt and pepper.
I dished this yummy, hearty quinoa salad for my husband and I, and drizzled some tahini and olive oil over it after I had dished it up. So so delicious!
*My favorite tahini right now is the Mighty Sesame brand squeezable bottle of tahini. I put it on sandwiches, wraps, salads – it’s perfect!
We eat this as our entire dinner, but it could easily be made for a side if you omit the chicken and keep it just loaded with veggies.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 2 tbsp each dried parsley, Italian seasoning, chopped garlic, lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp oilve oil
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- handful of fresh basil, chopped
- 10 ounces chicken, cooked and cubed
- 1 small tub crumbled feta and/or goat cheese
- toppings - tahini and oilve oil
- 1. In a small pot on the stove, combine the quinoa, water, spices, chicken bouillon, and lemon juice. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the quinoa has absorbed the water. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cool quinoa for at least 15 minutes.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine cooked quinoa, beans, vinegar, and oil. Toss until the liquids have coated the beans and quinoa.
- Add chopped veggies, herbs, chicken, and cheese. Combine until well mixed.
- Let sit in the fridge for a couple hours before serving.
- Serve with a drizzle of tahini and olive oil on the top.