Cilantro, Avocado, Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

avocado chickpea and quinoa salad

“Feeling like a seedless avocado
Crowd screaming
“Bravo! Bravo!” -Blu

“What do you think would happen if you cut out ALL junk from your diet? What if everything you ate was pure and clean?” These are the questions I ask myself every day. Every day I wake up feeling like “today is gonna be the day… no junk food.” But then I get overly hungry and I see the organic blue corn chips from Trader Joes staring back at me and there’s no turning back. Those chips along with a whole avocado sprinkled with pink himalayan salt – it’s my favorite snack.

It’s not the worst, but it’s definitely not the best. On those rare occasions that I’m able to avoid the processed goods, it’s because I already have something nutritionally better prepared. I’ll be the first one to say that nutritionally better isn’t always as satisfying – I’m addicted to crunch – but I have this urgent feeling that if I cleaned up my diet even more, I’d be in a better place.

This salad is an attempt to save myself (except that I LOVE to eat this as a dip with those damn corn chips!). Still, it’s chock full of cilantro – an excellent detoxifier – and spinach and AVOCADO.

cilantro

It helps to have a food processor for this, but it isn’t critical. Cilantro gets chopped up finely with spinach and combined with tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, quinoa, avocado and a simple lemon dressing.

Grub it as a meal, or as a snack. Also, try to make the chickpeas fresh, if you can.

avocado, cilantro and chickpea salad

Cilantro, Avocado, Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
from The Diva Dish

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1 can garbanzo beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 avocados, diced
2 cups spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup onion
2 cloves garlic

Juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Process:

Cook the quinoa first by placing it in a medium saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Allow it to cool.

Process the spinach and the cilantro in a food processor until they are finely diced. Or dice them by hand. Add the greens to a bowl and set aside. Finely dice the onion and garlic by hand or in a food processor and add them to the cilantro mixture. Add the chickpeas and stir until combined.

Make the dressing by whisking the lemons, lemon zest, olive oil, agave, cumin and salt and pepper together. Pour over the salad and mix until well combined. Add the avocado and tomatoes and stir again. Set in fridge for about 15 minutes before serving so the flavors can set.

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