Protein-rich quinoa chickpea salad
Quinoa and chickpeas are plant-based proteins that can successfully replace a meat meal.
Today I would like to introduce you to a delicious protein-rich quinoa-chickpea salad. It’s perfect for lunch and post-workout meals because the salad contains nutrients, wholesome plant-based proteins, fiber, and vitamins.
The protein-rich white quinoa and chickpeas base is filled with cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, fresh parsley, and corn.
This salad is one of my favorites and a great recipe to incorporate into your weight loss diet plan. It will keep you full as it contains a hearty combination of protein and fiber.
Chickpeas are affordable, highly nutritious, and a great addition to a vegetarian diet. They are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
This legume is a good source of the mineral manganese and the B vitamin folate, also known as vitamin B9. The last one helps you avoid DNA mutations that could cause cancer.
I eat this quinoa-chickpea salad as a main meal, usually for lunch with a side of arugula salad.
What are the ingredients for this Protein-rich quinoa chickpea salad?
This Protein-rich quinoa chickpea salad is perfect for wholesome make-ahead meals and meal prep. This salad is gluten-free and vegan if you omit the crumbled feta cheese.
200 g of cooked organic white quinoa (about 70 g of uncooked quinoa)
One can of 400 g organic chickpeas (240 g if drained)
One red onion, finely chopped
Three sprigs of green onions, finely chopped
Ten cherry tomatoes.
3 to 4 tablespoons of organic sweet corn
A good handful of chopped parsley
Two cloves of chopped garlic
80 g organic feta cheese
One teaspoon of sweet paprika
Two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Three tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
For garnish: I used arugula microgreens, but you can use whatever you feel like at the moment
Note: Arugula microgreens (rocket) are the mini versions of the flavorful mature leaves I like growing at my house. These leaves are trendy in restaurants and contain lots of nutrients.
Why is quinoa so good for you?
If quinoa is not yet on your diet, especially if you are menopausal, want to lose weight, suffer from endometriosis, or have other hormone balance issues, now is the time.
This powerhouse of nutrients could be a great addition to your diet due to its high protein content, versatile preparation options, ease of use, and low cost. Quinoa is one of the best plant-based food sources for complete protein.
Quinoa will help you successfully replace some of your meat meals because this tiny grain is a powerhouse that provides your body with various essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids).
Quinoa has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties:
This great seed is a superfood rich in beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols that can help reduce inflammation and protect against health problems. It is a complete source of protein, including the nine essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce independently.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and nutritious:
Quinoa can be beneficial for people who need to follow a gluten-free diet. I do not have a problem with gluten. I have included quinoa in my diet because of its high nutritional profile and gut health benefits. Studies suggest that one serving of quinoa (about 40 grams) gives the body a significant portion of the daily recommendations (RDA) for essential nutrients.
Consumption of quinoa is safe for people with celiac disease.
If you are looking for gluten-free grains, you should include quinoa. It is filling and nutritious.
It can be a good substitute for rice, which is high in carbohydrates.
Quinoa prevents weight gain caused by menopause:
This excellent whole grain is rich in essential nutrients but has fewer calories. Quinoa is a high-fiber food that can prevent menopausal weight gain. Menopausal women must consume enough nutrients to avoid health problems such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
Quinoa can provide your body with all the nutrients you need during menopause. It can also help control weight and even relieve some symptoms of menopause. Whole grains like quinoa and amaranth are part of a healthy diet that can help reduce diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Quinoa supports bone health:
Quinoa is a bone-building powerhouse rich in manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. It can help prevent osteoporosis. Bone loss during menopause can lead to osteoporosis.
The drop in estrogen levels during menopause leads to increased bone loss. Including quinoa in your diet can support your bone health.
Quinoa helps your gut stay healthy.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of our immune system is in the gut. A healthy gut is critical to maintaining your hormone balance.
Quinoa was studied in a 2016 study for its function as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are “fuel” for the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Studies suggest that quinoa may improve gastrointestinal health by balancing the number of good gut bacteria.
Chickpeas and estrogen:
Chickpeas are a good source of phytoestrogen, an estrogen-like plant compound.
Chickpeas and menopause
Menopause is the time in your life when you need to take care of your body a little differently.
Eating a balanced diet of unprocessed or less processed whole foods will help you control your weight and reduce belly fat.
Chickpeas are an excellent addition to the diet of menopausal women.
Chickpeas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of fiber and protein. A diet high in fiber and antioxidants can help reduce the stress your body faces during menopause.
Chickpeas offer a variety of health benefits, such as helping with weight management, improving digestion by supporting bowel movements, and increasing the number of healthy bacteria in your gut.
Protein and fiber work together to slow digestion, which promotes a feeling of fullness. The satiating effect can automatically reduce your food intake.
As you approach menopause, estrogen levels in your body drop rapidly.
Since chickpeas are a natural source of phytoestrogens, they increase your estrogen levels. Eating foods containing phytoestrogens balances hormones counteracts estrogen deficiency, and supports your health.
Chickpeas and endometriosis
Because of their estrogen-like effects, chickpeas can trigger a flare-up of endometriosis if eaten regularly.
Not everyone agrees with this opinion. Some nutritionists believe that the matter needs to be clarified-cut. All the better if you keep a food diary and gain experience.
As for me, I opt for a small portion of chickpeas and eat an arugula salad with it.
Arugula has amazing anti-cancer and anti-estrogenic effects. It also rids the body of harmful estrogen, which is responsible for breast cancer, endometriosis, etc. I always opt for organic arugula to avoid pesticides that harm your hormones.
If you have endometriosis or other estrogen dominance, remember that moderation is the key to avoiding hormonal imbalance, even in healthy foods.
Opt for organic chickpeas, as conventional chickpeas are heavily sprayed with pesticides that contain xenoestrogens that can trigger endometriosis flare-ups.
How to prepare this Protein-rich quinoa and chickpea salad?
Makes four servings
Step 1: Marinate the onions (optional)
Red onion adds a touch of tanginess and a sharp taste to the salad.
Note: I prefer to marinate the red onion because they are too spicy, and I have a sensitive stomach. Marinating makes the onions easier to digest and mellows the onion flavor.
Place the finely chopped onions, salt, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium bowl.
Mix the onions until they are evenly coated.
Let them sit for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2 Cook the quinoa.
A rule of thumb for perfectly cooked quinoa is two parts water to one part quinoa.
Soak the quinoa for at least 20 minutes before cooking to remove its bitterness.
Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse with cold water.
Cook the quinoa
Put the water (according to the ratio) and the quinoa in a pot.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
Bring the water to a boil and then simmer over low heat until the quinoa has absorbed all the moisture. This usually takes about 15 minutes.
Keep stirring the quinoa mixture, so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Once the quinoa is cooked, cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Step 3 Prepare the chickpeas.
Put the chickpeas in a colander, rinse them under cold water, and drain them.
Place a pot on medium heat and one tablespoon of olive oil.
Add the garlic and the chickpeas.
When the garlic has turned a golden color, add one tablespoon of lemon juice and stir.
Add a teaspoon of sweet paprika and stir.
Cook the chickpeas until the water is cooked out. This will take about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Assemble the salad.
Add the hot quinoa and chickpeas to the onion marinade and stir. They will absorb the flavor of the onions.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients: Cherry tomatoes, green onions, sweetcorn, chopped parsley, and crumbled feta.
Toss well, taste, and season with salt and pepper.
Let the flavors infuse for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Garnish the salad with arugula (rocket) microgreens and fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.
Note: If you have endometriosis or other estrogen-dominance condition, try incorporating arugula into your daily salad. Arugula has amazing anti-cancer and anti-estrogen effects. It also rids the body of harmful estrogen, which is responsible for breast cancer, endometriosis, etc. Opt for organic arugula to avoid pesticides that mess with your hormones.
It will keep in an airtight container for about four days.
I suggest adding extra dressing on top the next day for more freshness. A drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil will do just fine.
I do not recommend freezing this quinoa chickpea salad.
I look forward to hearing from you.
If you recreate this Protein-rich quinoa chickpea salad recipe, let me know by sharing your pictures on Instagram and tagging them with the hashtag #healthywomanstyle, or leave a comment below.
Until next time, enjoy your magic moments, delicious salads, and good things,
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