When my whole family ate meat, I knew that e.g. on hot days I could prepare meat and two-three salads, and we would have a balanced and nutritious meal.
I grilled or roasted the meat and often served it cold. The salads sometimes were very simple like a tomato salad, cucumber tzatziki or even lettuce with a delicious dressing.
However, when you are vegetarian, and you want to have balanced and nutritious but plant-based meals, you have to plan them better.
Simply, you don’t get some nutrients from plant food as easily as you do from animal products. Proteins are one example: even though many plant-based products contain them, very few of them include all nine essential amino acids.
When I came across the original recipe for this salad; I straight away knew I was going to exchange the couscous for quinoa.
And it is not that I am not keen on couscous, in truth I like it a lot. But using the quinoa ensured this vegetarian salad contains complete proteins as quinoa is one of the plant sources of all essential amino acids.
Chickpeas are also key ingredients of this dish. They are a good source of iron and zinc, other nutrients that should be specially considered by vegetarians.
But this Quinoa and Chickpea Salad is not only healthy but also delicious. It has the sweetness of raisins, nutty taste of chickpeas and saltiness of feta cheese.
It also contains coriander in two forms: whole seeds that give a crunch and leaves that give a pleasant fragrance. Additionally, you can prepare this Quinoa and Chickpea Salad in the evening and enjoy it for lunch at work or school the next day.