Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Avocado

Guess who still hasn't had a chance to go to the grocery store?!?!?  I'm still getting creative with dinners, since I have to use what I have.  I have some quinoa that I need to use up, so that's why this is a quinoa salad instead of a pasta salad.

Just like pasta salad, there's probably a million different ways you can make this.    I made mine with avocado and tomato because I had some that I needed to use before they went bad.  Wasting food drives me crazy and I do it more often than I'd like to admit.  If you don't have any herbes de provence, it's probably fine because I didn't really even taste it.  I would have liked pepperoncinis and black olives in mine, but not everyone in my family likes those things. That's why they're on the side!

Ingredients
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups quinoa
1/2 tsp. herbes de provence

1 cup raw baby spinach, chopped, stems removed
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced  ( I used 1 1/2)
1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 oz. of cheddar cut into small pieces

1/2 cup olive oil
3 1/2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar (1st vinegar I could find)
juice from 2 small limes
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika

Heat chicken broth and water in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  You could also use 4 cups of chicken broth instead of half broth and half water.  If you use all chicken broth, you might consider leaving the salt out of the vinaigrette.  Bring the broth/water to a boil.  Add the quinoa, turn to low, cover pot and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Put tomatoes, chickpeas, avocado, garlic and cheese in large bowl.  Mix together.  

Make vinaigrette by mixing olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt, pepper and paprika.

When quinoa is cooled, add to tomato avocado mixture in the large bowl.  Mix well.  Pour vinaigrette over quinoa mixture and mix well.  Mix in chopped baby spinach.  

Quinoa salad can be eaten at this point or chilled for a cool salad.

Enjoy!

Do you use quinoa in recipes?

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