gluten-free lunch salads sides vegan vegetarian

Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

September 7, 2014

People think that food bloggers eat very well, and on some level this is true but on certain days there’s a descent chance I’d get kicked out of the club. Breakfast I’m usually pretty good about and dinner is whatever is in season or on sale at the market but lunch, well lunch and I have some issues.

Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea SaladBecause I spend most of my day in the kitchen cooking and taste-testing, I often find myself skipping lunch in lieu of lots of nibbling. A brownie here, some steak there, a handful of chickpeas here and before I know it I’m full and somehow forgot to eat any veggies (besides the ones hidden in the brownies…).

Even though I’m not a huge meal prepper, I could use a little help in the lunch department. I think if I had some healthy food on hand, I might save that brownie for dessert instead of eating 4 and calling it lunch. In fact, easy lunches (and hidden veggie recipes) is the most requested recipe suggestion I get. So it was due time I take a page from my own book.

Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad // thehealthymaven.comI took myself back to my college days where 19 hour days in the library were completely normal. I went to McGill where we work hard and play hard! I used to bring breakfast, lunch and dinner to the libs. And yes, I looked nomadic. I tried to minimize as much stuff to carry as possible by making meals that were veggie, carb and protein loaded without 15 different tupperwares. For lunch this often meant grain-salads on a bed of lettuce or soup and bread.

Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad // thehealthymaven.comEven though I no longer have to trudge through the snow with my 50lbs of books and food, I still think I could benefit from the forethought I used to put into my meals. So from now on I am going to attempt to create more veggie and protein packed meals that can serve as easy lunches.

Not surprisingly, this was the inspiration behind this Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad. Filled with protein, carbs and topped on some greens for a bigger veggie-punch, I was pleasantly surprised by how much better I felt when I sat down to a real lunch. And managed to only eat one brownie for dessert 😉


Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

  • Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, chickpeas, grated carrots, dates and pistachios.
  2. Top with olive oil and vinegar and give it a good stir to coat.
  3. Add in spices and stir until well combined.
  4. Serve warm or cold.*
  5. Will keep up to one week in refrigerator.


*Can eat immediately, but gets better as it sits and the flavours meld together.


  • Serving Size: 6-8

Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad // thehealthymaven.comAre you a meal-prepper? What are your go-to lunches?


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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    September 7, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Let me know if you need some direction of where to get meal prep ideas.

    I have to be a meal prepper for work sometimes, otherwise it all goes out the window. Wednesday’s post will be a good reference point.

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    September 7, 2014 at 5:35 am

    I am not a major meal prepper but I always have the right foods that I need on hand to throw together to make a quick breakfast, lunch and dinner. I usually hate lunch because I am never in the mood for anything but lately still love mashed chick peas and avocado either on toast or on top of a salad. I live on chickpeas and am never without them in the house. Quinoa I just remembered I need more of so thanks for the reminder lol.

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Positively Amanda
    September 7, 2014 at 7:13 am

    yummy! Normally I’m not a meal prepper. I tried it before, it’s just not for me.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Yum! I go through phases where i prep food to bring to work or buying lunch. I have the will power to make healthy choices (most of the time), but it gets expensive buying lunch! This looks great! Will have to try it. And, I don’t think Jeremy will ever eat a brownie that I bake again unless he’s sat there and watched every ingredient that goes into the bowl.

    I’m impressed that you did all that planning for food when you were in college. I certainly didn’t. I only had to deal with Philly winters (I went to Univ of Pennsylvania). Our worst weather was the wind in the residential area called super block which killed many an umbrella.

    Great post!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    September 7, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Love this, especially with dates and the pistachios. I bet the dates give the savory salad the perfect sweetness and the pistachios a great crunch. Will be trying for sure!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish
    September 7, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I love all the ingredients in this “salad”… YUM!!! I’d like a bowl, stat.

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    September 7, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I’m planning to make applesauce and granola bars today and it’s probably the most ‘meal prep’ I will have done in months. I’ve noticed that I’ve been snacking through lunch lately too…but what can you do, it’s easier that way. And now I want pistachios…

  • Reply
    September 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I try to plan dinners so that I’m not a crazy person every evening but lunch is never planned. Chris takes leftovers unless he’s flying and then it is a sandwich. I do left-overs if I’m home otherwise I tend to skip lunch.

  • Reply
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors
    September 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I saw the name of this post and went ohhhhyum! The ingredient list delivered and I’m saving this recipe now! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    September 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    This is very much my life right now — snacking the day away and never really making any real meals. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had a bowl of cereal for dinner or a bag of chips and guac for lunch. Whatever works, right? That being said, sometimes it gets old and I start craving a real meal which is when quinoa and chickpeas are all sorts of magic.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I’m terrible with lunches! It’s my least favorite meal of the day. I do have good Greek couscous recipes: couscous, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, feta, mint, onion with lemon juice and olive oil. I also like quinoa with pitted cherries, shallots, goat cheese and chickpeas. This type of meal looks like the perfect solution for me!

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    September 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    My lunch today consisted of Wheat Thins, sunflower seed butter, an apple, and mixed nuts. It worked! That’s how it’s probably going to be for the rest of this semester for the most part because all my classes run straight through lunchtime!
    But ohhhhh my gosh this looks amazing. Missin’ the kitchen.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I loveee grain salads. I forget that I love them until I’m eating them. Moroccan Quinoa ones are sooo addictive. I can’t believe you spent 19 hours in the library. I spent maybe 19 hours a semester in the library. I would always bring some loud snack like carrots or an apple and get the dirtiest looks. #sorryimnotsorry for my produce intake.

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    September 8, 2014 at 12:44 am

    I like the idea of adding pistachios to a quinoa chickpea salad! I’ve been all over cashews lately and I think I need some pistachios back in my life.

    For lunch I often will do a smoothie, yogurt bowl, or big bowl of fruit with a protein bar.

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    September 8, 2014 at 4:59 am

    I am a massive quinoa fan.. but I have never made a salad with quinoa before. I definitely need to recreate this recipe, it looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    September 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Oh gosh, I remember those days of packing all 3 meals to take to campus and hauling around 3 huge bags containing my school stuff, my food, and my gym stuff. It was such a workout I didn’t even really need to go to the gym!

    I was a big fan of prepping grain and bean salads back then too – and during internship! But sometime when times were just too busy to cook during internship I would resort to chopped veggies, hummus, crackers, and cheese for lunch. Simple, but so satisfying!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    September 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    i have been really good about meal planning, not that im bragging but it has been making my life so much easier. I try to spend 2 hours or so every week in meal planning ( a batch of granola/muffins etc, 1-2 soups/stews, cut/chop veggies, cook quinoa/couscous to throw in salads, and a dough for pizza because….pizza nights are MUST) this salad looks sooo good and all that flavors-yum!

  • Reply
    Kristen B
    September 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Just made a batch of this for dinner tonight and it is delicious! Thank you for the wonderful recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    September 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Oh man I was the same way! I carried 3 meals and snacks + books and a laptop everywhere almost everyday in school. It was insanity and now I barely do any of it! I have been trying to get better especially since I’m in full time school again. I’ll have to keep this one in mind 🙂

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Now this is right up my alley. I can make this on a weekend and then feast on it all week long. Hell I might even share some with the Hubby. He’s such a lucky guy.

    By the way, I’m sad you spent 18 hour days in the library back in college. I think I saw the inside of that place maybe five times in my four years, and mostly because I worked in the computer lab there the first week. That didn’t last long.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      September 11, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Can I just say that I had a shitty day but waking up to a massive inbox attack from you definitely helped make it a little bit better. Now if you could convince the weather to go backwards and repeat summer I would be even happier! Alternatively we could just move to Australia…

      Also I regret working so hard in college. I graduated with a great GPA which means absolutely nothing when you blog full-time. I think my parents are wondering why they ever bothered to invest in my education…

      • Reply
        September 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

        I’m thrilled I was there for you in your time of need. See – I got your back, and you can tell your parents college taught you disciple and how to work hard, whether it be in a library or in your pajamas (hell it was college, I suspect you were in your pajamas in the library) which are valuable life lessons but also extremely useful skills for a full time BUSINESS women, whose business just so happens to be blogging.

  • Reply
    ellie | fit for the soul
    September 12, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I love to eat healthy for the most part, but meal prepping, well…prepping anything in general is not my thing. Haha! Lunch is never a full on meal like I would have for breakfast or dinner, as it usually winds up being a bunch of stuff combined in the same plate. 🙂 And this quinoa salad sounds delish! I used to eat the stuff all the time but have gotten out of the habit. Must start fresh!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2015 at 6:23 am

    I just made a single serving of this and it tasted so awesome, really! I will definitely make a week-meal-prep of this soon, but with quinoa instead of millet. I used millet today and it still was delicious, but very mushy and dense. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Jen Kracoff
    August 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Made it tonight – we loved it!! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      August 21, 2015 at 7:17 am

      That makes me so happy, Jen! It’s actually on the menu for us tonight 🙂 Hope all is well, lady! xo

  • Reply
    December 22, 2017 at 5:45 am

    healthy and delicious recipe…loved it..i would like to try this at home

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