Let’s Lunch! Delicata and Chickpea Quinoa Salad

Although I’m always grateful for good, homemade food at lunchtime, it’s the meal I never want to think about preparing. Before I was diagnosed with celiac I would stick to a standard sack lunch: a sandwich and a piece of fruit. My lunches take a little more thought these days, but they are also more interesting and nutritious.

Quinoa salads are a good starting point for lunch because quinoa cooks quickly and is full of protein, which makes it an easy and filling foundation. I was gifted with a couple of beautiful delicata squash from a friend and decided to make a quinoa-squash lunch for the week. I was inspired by two dishes that had enough in common to seem marriageable. The first is Heidi Swanson’s Lemon Scented Quinoa, which is part of my regular lunch rotation. The second is the Roasted Butternut Squash with Chickpeas and Cumin recipe from the Paradiso Seasons cookbook that I posted about a couple of months ago.

roasted delicata squash with chickpeas and cumin

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Both recipes call for chickpeas and chopped fresh cilantro, so I knew those would be going in the salad. I kept the quinoa and tahini dressing from Heidi Swanson’s recipe, but left out the red onion. From the Paradiso version I took some roasted delicata squash and sliced scallions, leaving out the cumin seeds and red chili. The result was an autumnal, protein-rich and colorful salad that held up all week long.

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To make this salad you will need:

1 cup cooked quinoa; 3-4 sliced scallions; 1 bunch chopped cilantro; 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained; 1 delicata squash, sliced and roasted until tender

one batch of tahini dressing from the Lemon Scented Quinoa recipe, link above

Toss the first four ingredients together, then add the dressing to taste. Leftover dressing can be drizzled on top each serving.


If you have gluten friendly lunches that you enjoy, I would love for you to share in the comments!


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