A simple 15 minute Moroccan inspired quinoa, carrot, and chickpea salad for busy days. Healthy, vegan, and ideal for packed lunches or a quick dinner.
My sister has been asking for quick and easy dinner or easy to pack lunch recipes, and this vegan Moroccan quinoa, carrot, and chickpea salad fits the bill. Her biggest sticking point is no soaking and I imagine a lot of you are in the same boat with that – when you’re trying to figure out dinner at 5PM, it’s frustrating to read a recipe that calls for ingredients to be soaked ahead of time. This super filling salad is made with canned or pre-cooked chickpeas, quick-cooking quinoa, and there’s no oven time needed. If you have leftover quinoa already cooked it’s just minutes to make, and even if you have to cook it you’re only looking at about 15 minutes from start to finish for the whole thing. Not bad for a weeknight!
If you’re looking for lunch recipes, or something that’ll last in the fridge for 2-3 days, this is a great one. If you don’t mix the greens in then the salad can be refrigerated for several days with the dressing mixed in and you can add them just before eating. You have two things to chop here, and the dates can be switched out for raisins, so if you’re thinking “she says it’s 15 minutes but she’s full of it” (I’m sure some of you do think that, hah) I promise, anyone can make this in no time. It’s very little effort for a pretty impressive and tasty dinner/lunch. If you’re big on meal prepping this is a good recipe to add into your rotation.
Maybe you’re looking really closely at these photos and noticed some drops on the plate and background – I took the pictures in my front hall today with the door open and rain was blowing in on me/the food, hah. Ridiculous! I always feel like an idiot shooting out there because it faces a busy bike street and people can (and do) see me. And judge. Anyway things got a little damp and my parsley kept blowing away.
So about soaking. A lot of my recipes do need things to be soaked in advance, but here’s what I do. On the weekends, I do batch cooking and soak beans, lentils, and grains overnight. Then instead of cooking everything, I freeze soaked red and brown lentils, rice, and sometimes other grains. These are frozen in jars in 1-cup servings for my go-to weeknight recipes, like my lentil and potato stew or carrot, red lentil, & spinach soup. Most times it’s soaking optional (except for these red lentil patties, for example) and it’s just a bit easier on your stomach, really, and reduces cooking time.
BUT this one doesn’t need to be soaked, so go make it!
Moroccan Quinoa, Carrot, and Chickpea Salad
- 280 grams / 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 250 grams / 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 200 grams / 1 cup carrots shredded (packed)
- 60 grams / 1/4 cup dates chopped
- 60 grams / 2 cups rucola or other baby greens
- 40 grams / 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 40 grams / 1/4 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds
- 1 handful / 1/2 cup parsley chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced*
Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette
- 60 ml / 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of a lemon ~3 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and top with the vinaigrette. Mix well, until fully combined, and serve. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or longer without the greens mixed in. It can be served cold or at room temperature and is best after sitting for at least an hour.
To make the vinaigrette, add all of the ingredients to a jar or small bowl and mix until combined.
• If the quinoa is very hot, try to let it cool for a few minutes before mixing it with the other ingredients, especially the greens, as they'll wilt.
* If you're very sensitive to raw garlic, try subbing roasted garlic in its place or leave it out.