Eggplant and Quinoa Salad with chickpeas and Spinach is not only sound amazing but it also tastes amazing.
I love eggplant, it’s one of my favorite vegetables and in combination with green leafy spinach and protein packed quinoa you have a dish that is a complete meal for both lunch and dinner, and here is why!
As per The World Healthiest Foods, Eggplant is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and copper. It is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate and vitamin K. Eggplant also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid. And as for quinoa, It’s rich in protein and contains almost twice as much fiber, as most other grains and is nutrient dense. Spinach is Low in fat and cholesterol, it is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. Chickpeas, also contain healthy protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. In other word, this salad is loaded with good-for-your-body ingredients!
TIPS FOR SERVING
Buy fresh eggplants as the older an eggplant gets, the more bitter it becomes and that’s something you want to avoid.
Serve the Salad with the dressing on the side and let everyone choose the amount of the dressing they want to put on the salad, this way the salad will stay fresh and won’t get soggy and soft and in case of any leftovers the salad will keep fresh in the fridge for another day.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
- For the Eggplant
- 1 medium eggplant, top and tail removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
For the Quinoa
- ½ cup white quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
For the rest of the Salad
- 400g tin chickpeas in brine
- Generous handful of fresh baby spinach
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- ⅛ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Dressing
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, roasted
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
- 3 tablespoons Aquafaba (chickpea brine)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon or more fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil. Set aside
- Cut the eggplants into small cubes and put them in a big bowl. In a mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Pour the mixture over the eggplant cubes and toss well to combine.
- Place the eggplants on a nonstick baking tray along with the garlic cloves wrapped in aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is softened.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan with a lid, bring the vegetable stock to gentle boil, then add quinoa and bay leaf, close the lid and let it simmer for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat. For better result, follow the cooking instruction on the package.
- Drain the chickpeas using a sieve and a bowl to also keep the brine.
- In a large salad bowl or plate, gently toss together chickpeas, eggplants, baby spinach, parsley and top it up with pine nuts and season slightly with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the garlic is done, place the garlics with all the other ingredients for the dressing inside a blender and mix until all combined and smooth. Pour into a dressing jar/jug.
- Serve the salad with the dressing on the side.
Serve the Salad with the dressing on the side and let everyone choose the amount of the dressing they want to put on the salad, this way the salad will stay fresh and won't get soggy and soft and in case of any leftovers the salad will keep fresh in the fridge for another day.