Kitchen Challenge: Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad

SHOCKING, I know!!  I’m posting on a weekend!! EEEE – well in recent light, I have some additional items I need to share, and quite frankly I’m running out of days in the week. 🙂

At the end of 2011, I wrote a blog post about the resolutions I would like to accomplish this year. However, the hardest part is staying ACCOUNTABLE!! And to be honest, I don’t think I’ve done a very good job with these Kitchen Challenges, IE #10 on my resolution list.

Remember how a few days ago I posted the cute little dessert for my co-workers baby shower??? Not only did I need to do a little research on a dessert , but also a side dish. So, what did I do?? You guessed it, went to my trusty Google…I mean Pinterest! I wanted something that was cost effective, quick to make, and healthy.

In enters the:

Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad



Let’s get a close-up:


LOOK AT ALL OF THAT GORGEOUS COLOR!! Best part, it tastes SO GOOD!! So good in fact, every woman who attended the party wanted a copy of the recipe. So, I’m sharing with you lovely folks.

Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad

Adapted from: The Diva Dish and of course, found on Pinterest.


  • ½ C. dry quinoa
  • 1 can garbanzo/chickpea beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 C. spinach
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 C. shredded carrots
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • For the dressing:
  • Juice of 2 lemons (or 1 large one)
  • zest of 1 lemon (be sure to zest the lemon before you juice it. I learned this the hard way!)
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard (I think honey mustard would change the dressing a bit, but would be a nice variation!)
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. honey or 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp of paprika
  • dash of salt and pepper


  1. Cook your quinoa according to the packaged directions. Set it aside, and make the rest of the salad.
  2. Make sure to wash you greens.
  3. Dice your spinach into small slices. Add however much you want, but I used 2 cups!
  4. Pick and pluck as much cilantro as you want. I added it until I could smell the cilantro; approx. ¼ bunch
  5. Add the greens to a bowl, and set aside.
  6. Next, add in your shredded carrots to the greens mixture
  7. Next add your chickpeas and stir until everything is combined and coated. If the quinoa is cooled, you can add it to the chickpea mixture next.
  8. Make your dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. Pour over salad, and mix until combined. Add in avocado and mix. Set in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes before serving so the flavors set.

Extra additions: You can add in onion, cherry tomatoes, and/or mushrooms. I didn’t because I know others don’t care for those items.

Bonus: Make the dressing in large amounts! I definitely will be doing this for other summer salads.


WILL YOU BE TRYING THIS RECIPE?? Do you have any favorites you’d like to share? Let me know. I’m always looking for great salads (especially since that’s #4 on the resolution list!)!


Much Love,

If you’re a newbie here, welcome!