If you want to start cooking meals for yourself but don’t know where to start, I’d encourage you to try this one! It doesn’t require any advanced kitchen skills or tools and the ingredients are affordable and easy to find at any grocery store!
Salt (½ tsp)
Pepper (1 tsp)
Paprika (1 tsp)
Cumin (1 tsp)
Cinnamon (½ tsp)
Chili powder (½ tsp)
Spinach (3 cups)
Garlic (3 cloves)
Parsley (4 tbsp)
Lemon (Juice of ½)
Tomato (1 whole tomato)
Chickpeas (1 whole 15 oz can)
White or Rainbow Quinoa (1 cup dry)
One large knife
Two large mixing bowls
One cutting board
Measuring cups (1 cup, 1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon)
- Start cooking the quinoa.
Today I used rainbow quinoa, but I have also used white quinoa — it doesn’t make much of a difference.
Combine 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover for 15 minutes.
- Measure and chop the spinach.
This step isn’t totally necessary, but I prefer to chop my greens to make them easier to eat with a fork. I have doubts that anyone really knows how to gracefully eat a salad with giant leaves, but maybe I’m just incompetent.
- Prep fresh ingredients.
Finely mince three cloves of garlic.
Dice the tomato.
Finely chop the parsley.
Slice the lemon in half (I prefer to slice the half lemon into smaller pieces for easier juicing).
- Make the garlic-hummus sauce.
In a separate large mixing bowl, combine:
– 4 tbsp of hummus
– ½ cup of water
– 1 tsp pepper
– ½ tsp salt
– 1 tsp paprika
– ½ tsp chili powder
– The juice of half a lemon
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Toss spinach in half of the sauce mixture.
I like to do this to infuse some of the flavor of the sauce into the spinach and soften it.
Here is where I want to argue that soggy salad is the best salad. If I want crunch, I will add something crunchy, but the soggier it is, the more flavorful it is, and the easier it is to eat. I am fully willing to debate with anyone on this topic.
- Season and heat the chickpeas.
Drain the chickpeas and add to a large mixing bowl.
Season with the garlic powder, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste.
If you want to be classy, you can roast these in the oven. If you want to be like me (impatient and classless) you can put them in the microwave for two minutes, stirring halfway.
After the chickpeas are heated and seasoned, add them to the bowl with the spinach.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss.
Once the quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat and add it to the bowl.
Add tomatoes, parsley, and the other half of the sauce.
Once all the ingredients have been added, toss it like any other salad. Personally, I find it easiest to just use my hands for this part.
- Divide into servings and store! (Or serve immediately.)
I usually make this recipe as a “meal prep.” Altogether, if divided into three meals, this recipe will have around 440 calories and 17 grams of protein per serving. Depending on your appetite, though, you can adjust the serving size as needed!
Obviously, if you are making this for yourself and others, fresh, serve it while it’s hot!