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

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Moroccan
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 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 tbsp 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.

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


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  • 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
    [email protected]
    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
    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
    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
    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 @ 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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.

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