Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

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The search for a better lunch continues, and this time I whipped up a vegetarian option: Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing. If you have read the past couple articles I’ve posted, then you know how sick of lunch meat sandwiches I have gotten. If not, catch up with all the latest gossip here (bonus is you get to see my Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe).

I have been a quinoa fan for as long as I have been able to pronounce the word correctly. So about 3 years. Those who eat it know that while it is extremely healthy, it can be a little bland. I had also been hearing great things about Tahini, which I found out 6 days ago is just ground sesame seeds. Who knew? It has a great nutty taste (some say it’s bitter too, but I honestly didn’t pick up on that) and combining quinoa and tahini (along with a handful of other ingredients) made for a fresh and healthy lunch. I actually added some Simple Soy Sauce Basil Chicken to my lunches this past week to pack in a little more protein.

Oh yea, and the chickpeas, I almost forgot. Chickpeas are great in salads and ground up as a dip (aka, hummus), and they also go great in this “salad” and add some welcomed texture and protein.

I am pretty proud of the simplicity of this recipe too. I did not need to cook anything except for the quinoa. Besides that, it was just a fair amount of chopping and mixing.

Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad Quinoa

If you need a pot to cook quinoa, then I am surprised you are reading a food blog, but below are two links to solid pot options and if you click either and buy then I will make a small percentage of the sale from the corporate machine that is Amazon.

Economical Option:

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I also like to use fresh basil when I can. It’s actually much more affordable than buying the dried spice if you buy the whole plant. It takes a little bit of nurturing to ensure the thing doesn’t die, but lucky for me my wife has a green thumb and takes care of all the herbs in our window cill.

Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad Basil

Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

Alright, let’s take a look at the nutrition in this Basil Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing (6 servings):

  • Calories: 249.4
  • Total Fat: 9.6 g
  • Total Carbs: 33.6 g
  • Protein: 8.7 g
  • Total Sugar: 2.2 g

All around, this is another healthy recipe from the nutrition label perspective. The calories are coming from healthy fats (feta + olive oil), wholesome carbs (chickpeas + quinoa) and sustaining protein (quinoa + others). The sugar is super low in this dish, which is awesome because sugar is a tough thing to avoid when eating. Plus, you’re getting some vegetables from the spinach that is included here.

Let’s get economical with this Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing:

  • 1 cup quinoa – $2.40
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (finely chopped) – $0.65
  • 1 cup chopped spinach – $0.99
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz) – $1.49
  • 1/3 cups feta (crumbled) – $0.99
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (raw or toasted) – $0.50
  • 3 tbsp olive oil – $0.70
  • Juice of 1 lemon – $0.99
  • 2 tbsp tahini – $0.43
  • 1 garlic clove – $0.10
  • Salt and pepper

The grand total is $9.24. This breaks down to about $1.54 per serving assuming you get 6 servings out of this recipe.

I know the list of ingredients looks long at first, but when you break it down between the salad and the dressing, it’s only 6 ingredients for the salad and 4 for the dressing. If you want to cut a couple of things to make this cheaper/easier, I’d leave out the spinach from the salad and the garlic from the dressing (although I really do think both bring some great flavor to the dish!).

Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
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Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing makes for a fresh and healthy lunch.

Ingredients

    Salad:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz)
  • 1/3 cups feta (crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (raw or toasted)
    Dressing:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Prep the quinoa as instructed on the bag (add your quinoa and 2 cups of water to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes).
  2. Chop the spinach and basil.
  3. Prep the dressing: Finely chop the garlic and add it to a small bowl or dressing container. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and tahini. Salt and pepper to taste. Shake/stir everything to combine.
  4. Add the quinoa to a bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then add the spinach, basil, chickpeas (drained), feta and pumpkin seeds. Pour in the dressing and stir to combine.
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I hope you enjoy this Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing!

2 thoughts on “Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

  1. Does a garlic clove really cost ten cents? What is the world coming to? And people now need pot in order to make quinoa? Since when is quinoa a medical condition? But i digress. Your salad sounds as healthy as it surely is delicious.

    1. Well, I may be rounding up a bit. A bunch of garlic costs me $0.99 and I’m assuming 10 cloves per bunch, which is probably low if anything. Don’t give those folks in Cali and CO too many ideas!

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