Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Spinach, and Avocado

Let’s talk about my carnivorous husband for a bit. His favorite food groups are bacon and sausage, with hamburgers and lemon desserts tied for next place. When I told him I wanted to start eating more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, and less meat, he was a bit reluctant, to say the least.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Spinach, and Avocado - yummy healthy

Here’s the awesome part though. This guy loves me so much, and is so very good-natured, that he was (grudgingly) willing to give it a go. He has even helped to plan meals, made healthy breakfasts for the kids when I go running in the morning, and truly enjoys almost every food we’ve tried since making this dietary change.

But he still teases, “You know what this needs? Bacon!”

Teasing aside, the carnivorous husband has been very open-minded about trying new foods. However, his open-mindedness was put to the test the first time I put a bag of quinoa in the grocery cart. I got it from the bulk section of WINCO Foods, so it was labeled with nothing more than a bin number. When he saw the bag, he looked at it, confused, and said hesitantly, “What is this? Birdseed?” It took some effort to convince him that it was actually something for us to eat.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Spinach, and Avocado - yummy healthy

When I later bought a bag of chia seeds, he said, “Now I know this is birdseed. We used to give this stuff to our parakeet when I was growing up!”

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Spinach, and Avocado
Makes 8 servings
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups packed spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 can olives, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed, roughly chopped

Dressing:
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp each salt, onion powder, and garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions. While it is cooking, chop vegetables, and assemble all salad ingredients except quinoa in a large bowl.

Once quinoa is cooked, toss gently with fork and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Add to salad and mix gently.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add to salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately, or chill for a couple hours before serving.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Spinach, and Avocado - yummy healthy

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