This delightful quinoa salad with chickpeas will delight your tastebuds with the textures and flavors of cucumber, pickled onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and more. Top with a flavorful and easy-to-make rose balsamic vinaigrette, (vegan) feta cheese, and avocado, and you will be wondering where this flavorful crunch salad has been all of your life!
¼cuprose balsamic vinegarcan substitute white balsamic
Rinse the quinoa before cooking. This is a step you should not skip. (See blog post above.) In a small saucepan, add the rinsed quinoa and water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil on high.Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Keep the lid on and let stand for 5 minutes till the water has all absorbed. Drain any excess
While the quinoa is cooking, drain the chickpeas, mince the mint leaves, and shell the pistachios (if not already). Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and bell pepper. Measure out the pickled onions and feta cheese. Set the feta aside separately. Save dicing the avocado till just before serving.
Place the cooked quinoa in a large salad bowl and allow to cool somewhat.
While the quinoa is cooling, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the rose balsamic, olive oil, minced garlic, agave, salt and pepper.
Place all the ingredients except for the feta cheese and diced avocado into the salad bowl along with the cooked quinoa. Toss together with the vinaigrette.
Add the vegan feta cheese and diced avocado right before serving. See notes.
You will need to plan ahead for the pickled onions and vegan feta cheese.My recipe for Pink Onions is fabulous in this recipe. It's best to make it at least 6 hours before serving. Suggestions for vegan feta cheese are in the blog post above. If you are not vegan, then of course use any feta you'd like. If you are making your own feta cheese, plan for the time to make it according to the recipe directions for the recipe you choose.Not all vegan feta cheese is made the same. Some may not stand up well to sitting in a salad long-term. I suggest waiting until just before serving to add the feta cheese. If you are making this for meal prep then save the feta in little containers and add right before serving. I personally am not a fan of "old" avocado. I dice mine right before serving.