Food + Drink Main Courses Meatless

Glazed Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas for #SundaySupper

Did you know that the month of October is Vegetarian Awareness Month (and October 1 is World Vegetarian Day)??? Oh, the joy of vegetables!!!! The entire month of October, why don’t we celebrate a bit by going meatless with some meals? Ok, I realize that is easier for some people (such as myself) seeing as I AM a vegetarian!!! Today the Sunday Supper family is sharing an array of vegetarian dishes to celebrate, and I have a glazed carrot and quinoa salad with crispy chickpeas to add to the table!

Glazed Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

I’ve been a vegetarian for years now, and I am used to getting quite a few questions about my diet. Some of the most common are:

“How do you get enough protein?” – Funny enough, a lot of us are under the impression that we need a ton of protein in our daily diet, but it just isn’t so. Since I am a very active person, I have a slightly higher intake, but you can get quite enough protein in your day to day meals by eating things like lentils, quinoa, beans, chickpeas, edamame, nut butters, and the like. Green peas are one of my favorites as well – 1 cup contains about the same amount of protein as a cup of milk!!!

“You must eat a lot of tofu, don’t you?” – Goodness, no. It’s not that I dislike tofu, it’s just that it has to be prepared well (in my opinion). I actually avoid it most of the time, and I really don’t even look at the “faux meat” products out there. I just really love vegetables!!!!

“But your husband isn’t a vegetarian, doesn’t he have a hard time? Do you have to cook two separate meals?” – Nope. Here’s how it works in our household: I create vegetarian meals every night. Most everything that I make would be complemented by a meat option (top with grilled chicken, shrimp, etc.), and he absolutely has the option to do that if he feels like it! When I first became a vegetarian, he wasn’t excited about eating vegetarian meals all of the time, so he would grill a batch of chicken, get a rotisserie chicken, or something like that, and portion it all out to use over the course of the week. Then, over time he either got lazy about it…or realized that the dishes were truly great on their own and he didn’t miss the meat…and somehow he has transitioned into eating vegetarian meals about 4-5 days a week. He’ll order meat dishes when we go out to dinner or when we eat with family/friends and they are serving meat.

Glazed Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Of course, the most common comment I get from people when they finish asking me about being a vegetarian is that “oh, I wish I could do that, but I could never give up meat.” And hey – I totally get it. It’s a bit of a mindset change. It’s an adjustment. I don’t really even think about it anymore, but I know at first when I made the decision to go vegetarian it was something I really had to consider. And here’s the thing – you don’t have to become an all out vegetarian!!!! I honestly would love to encourage everyone out there to make meatless meals more. If that means you start with one meal a week…do a meatless Monday! Maybe 2 times a week over time.

Glazed Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

I think one of the best things about becoming a vegetarian for me was that it truly made me more creative. I have tried new spices, new combinations of ingredients, explored different ethnic cuisines…and realized that there is a world of meatless dishes out there that are SO good! It got me out of my comfort zone and made me more curious in the kitchen. And that leads me to this glazed carrot and quinoa salad with crispy chickpeas. You guys – I could eat this every day of the week. I love it.

Glazed Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

I’m really obsessed with grain bowls/grain salads, and I’m always looking for new ways to change up the veggies and spices I use. I honestly must have been living under a rock for years, because I only discovered how amazing harissa paste is early this year. Where has it been my entire life?!?! I’m now making excuses to use green harissa paste in so many dishes, and this recipe definitely incorporates it. You get your spice from the harissa, sweetness from carrots and dates, a creamy tang from a Greek yogurt sauce, and the oh so satisfying crunch from the roasted chickpeas. When I made this dish the first time, I literally was licking the bowl and cursing myself for not making a larger batch. I love the addition of zucchini in this dish, but you could even double up on the carrots, or add a different squash (butternut squash could be good in the fall perhaps! Can you tell that I’m already plotting another serving???).

So, if you’re looking for a vegetarian meal that is vegetarian approved, try this bad boy on for size. And thank me later!

Glazed Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

5.0 from 1 reviews
Glazed Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cans - 32 ounces chickpeas
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used tri-color)
  • 4 carrots, sliced into 2 inch long chunks
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced into chunks about the same size of the carrots
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 ounces dried dates (about 8)
  • 2 tablespoons green harissa paste
  • 7 ounces Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then spread them on paper towels and gently roll the chickpeas to release most of the skins. Discard the skins and pat the chickpeas dry. Place in a single, even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chickpeas are crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Add the quinoa and 2 cups water to a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons over medium high heat. Add the carrots and season with salt and pepper - saute for about 4 minutes, then add the zucchini. Cook an additional 4 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Then, add the dates, ½ cup water, and harissa paste (add more or less depending on how spicy you would like the dish to be). Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the ingredients are combined and the water has cooked off. Remove the pan from heat.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt with the juice of ½ a lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly.
  5. Off of the heat, add the cooked quinoa to the glazed carrots and zucchini. Add the juice of the other ½ of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Divide the mixture between 4 dishes. Sprinkle with the roasted chickpeas, and top with a few spoonfuls of the Greek yogurt. Serve, and enjoy!

 

And if that wasn’t enough veggie goodness for you, make sure you check out all of the other delicious options being shared today!!!!

 

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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