When it comes to eating out, I’m a sucker for places like the Whole Foods hot bar or the salad bar at Jason’s Deli. It’s a little dose of sensory overload, with all the amazing (and often healthy) foods to choose from. Perhaps as a food editor I shouldn’t admit this, but I would much rather eat a healthy, basic, meal any day of the week rather than to sit down at an upscale restaurant.

I don’t exactly have time to make ten different whole grain salads and chop dozens of veggies for dinner every night. But just because I can’t make an entire salad bar at home doesn’t mean the same effect can’t be recreated at home with a whole lot less effort.

Enter, the Chickpea, Kale and Quinoa bowl! Sorry, I find it hard to contain my excitement about this dish. It’s a deliciously salty combination with the perfect mixture of crunchy and chewy. It’s packed with protein from the chickpeas and quinoa and vitamins A and C thanks to the kale.

Although Joe and I ate this dish hot, I could see someone enjoying it chilled for lunch. Either way, it’s sure to be delicious. 

Chickpea, Kale and Quinoa Bowl
Ingredients
*1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
*2 cups water
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon butter
*1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
*1 teaspoon fresh thyme
*1 recipe Spiced Roasted Chickpeas 
*1 recipe Roasted Kale (recipe below)

Instructions
* In a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat, combine the quinoa, water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. Simmer for 13 to 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat. Fluff lightly with a fork. Add butter, balsamic  vinegar and thyme to the quinoa and stir until evenly combined.
*Spoon the prepared quinoa into three or four bowls. Place some of the Spiced Roasted Chickpeas and Roasted Kale into the bowls with the quinoa. Serve immediately. Makes 3 to 4 servings

Roasted Kale: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss together 4 cups chopped kale leaves (stems removed), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until kale is wilted and slightly crispy around the edges. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

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  • http://chipchiphooray.wordpress.com/ Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray

    This looks fantastic–I really need to work more nutrient-packed (and often meatless!) meals like this into my diet. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Emilie

    whole foods salad bar is our friday night date spot and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I would take it (most) any days over a fancy sit down restaurant too!

  • http://www.tiptopshape2.blogspot.com/ Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    I love making things like this!! Quick and nutritious — it’s the best! I don’t typically use roasted chickpeas, and that is such a fantastic idea. Great recipe!

  • http://twitter.com/justinelorelle justinelorelle

    Ohhh the Jason’s Deli salad bar…THAT is the number one thing I miss about living in Des Moines.

  • Chelsy Ethridge

    I know how you feel about the whole foods addiction…oh, and jason’s deli…there roasted red pepper hummus is to die for! Love the salad bar there!