On a hunt for a simple and easy way to enjoy lunch at the office? Try this gluten free, low GI and portable Mediterranean Quinoa Chickpea Salad in a jar. It’s delicious, nourishing and oh so satisfying – minus the sogginess!
I’m always on the hunt for nourishing lunch ideas, that I can prep ahead of time and take to work. This trick of using mason jars, to make delicious and simple salads has been my new obsession. The jars are the perfect size for one portion and a creative and simple way to get in more veggies.
This recipe was inspired by my quinoa moong bean salad recipe that so many of you loved. You probably know by now, how much we *heart* quinoa; it’s a staple in my kitchen, and shows up in cold and hot dishes. Yay for quinoa; it’s so versatile. It’s one of those foods, that can either be spectacularly flavorful or bland. If you’re used to the latter, then you need to keep reading on, and learn how to make quinoa taste better. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out.
For this recipe, I’ve mixed things up – to bring new ingredients, and a burst of flavor, because lunch should never be boring. And all the fun in mason jars – delightful and creative.
Don’t they look beautiful?
This lunch in a jar contains:
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon Juice
Why quinoa is regarded to be a superfood
Quinoa has been around forever. It has gained considerable traction recently, for being a superfood. Not only this, the UN, declared 2013 as the “year of quinoa”, because of its important role in eradication of hunger, poverty and malnutrition. Quinoa is easy to cultivate, and has a great nutritional profile. Not surprising then, that it won this accolade.
Did you know that 1 cup of quinoa has 8-9 g of protein – the same amount as one cup of whole milk. Regarded to be a complete protein, quinoa has all 9 essential amino acids (building blocks of protein), that your body needs. I think you’d agree that it’s a great plant based source of protein.
As someone who struggles to digest gluten, I rely heavily on quinoa – it’s a life-saver! When I discovered I couldn’t handle gluten too well, and began to omit it from my diet, I would worry that I’d be compromising on important nutrients, like fiber. I had my eyes set on finding recipes that were nutritionally balanced – with ingredients I could tolerate.
Both quinoa and chickpeas offer loads of fiber; insoluble fiber, found in the quinoa, helps to keep you regular and has shown to help reduce the risk of diabetes. Chickpeas, on the other hand, contain both soluble and non-soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to control your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Women aged 19-50 years should aim to get at least 25 g of fiber daily. Remember, you want to increase the amount of fiber in your diet slowly. Increasing your level of physical activity and drinking plenty of water will help to prevent symptoms of gas and bloating.
Watch how to make mediterranean quinoa chickpea salad in a jar
Top tips for creating an incredible salad in a jar
- Make sure all your ingredients are washed, dried and chopped – ready for assembly. This will save you heaps of time
- Your first bottom layer should always be the dressing. This prevents your salad from getting soggy
- The next few layers should be your sturdy ingredients, like your cucumber, tomato and peppers, along with the chickpeas.
- Keep the quinoa near the top – away from the dressing so it stays nice and fresh
- End with your herbs or any types of greens, so they’re crisp and full of flavour
- Store in the fridge for 3-4 days
Have you tried salad in a jar?
If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you!
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