Simple Summer Salad

Quinoa Chickpea Salad

The summer heat is on! For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is here literally and figuratively. In the desert, where we live, the temperature has exceeded 110F several times already with more HOT.HOT, HOT days to come! Cooking meals in the summer not only adds to our external discomfort, but our bodies are already pretty busy trying to manage temperature making digesting a heavy meal a burden no “body” really wants. One way to keep your kitchen cooler (saving some money on expensive air conditioning) and aid your digestive system, is to make meals that don’t require cooking. This is just one of the many awesome reasons a plant-based diet makes perfect sense. There are so many options for plant-based meals that don’t require “heat”.  Here is one very flavorful summer meal that is quick to make, perfect for a picnic or to take to work, and, most importantly, has outstanding nutrition.

Simple Summer Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Simple Summer Salad

This recipe was inspired and veganized from one of my favorite recipe books "Quinoa, The Everyday Superfood 365" by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming. It is fresh and full of flavor - not to mention an excellent source of plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals.


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cooled)
  • 2 19 oz cans chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 Tbsp drained capers
    For Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tsp Eden Organic Yellow Mustard
  • 3 cloves freshly chopped organic garlic
  • pinch of chili powder


  1. Prepare the dressing, blending well, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, parsley, capers and quinoa.
  3. Pour dressing over mixture and blend well.
  4. Let salad sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.


I like to batch cook quinoa and keep in the refrigerator or freezer so it is always handy for a quick meal like this Simple Summer Salad.

Italian Parsley is recommended for this recipe as it is very much more flavorful than curly parsley. Curly parsley also changes the texture - although that is not a bad thing!

I recommend Eden Organic Yellow Mustard because the ingredients are simple and healthier than most other options. Read labels to be sure of what you are consuming.

Capers are very flavorful but do add sodium to your meal. You will not need to, nor do I recommend, adding any additional salt to this recipe.

Chili powder adds a little "zip" to the dressing. If you like things a little spicier, try using a pinch of cayenne instead.

Quinoa RecipesThis recipe book, “Quinoa – The Everyday Superfood 365” by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming, is one of my favorites. While not all of the recipes are Vegan, most can easily be Veganized. The very cool part of this recipe book is that is demonstrates all the incredible ways you can enjoy the SuperFood – Quinoa. Check it out.




Nutrition Information 

Quinoa – 3/4 cup

  • Excellent source of plant-based protein. In fact, quinoa provides all the essential amino acids so it is considered a “complete protein” source. One serving of quinoa supplies 8.14 grams of protein or 16% of DRI.
  • Excellent source of fiber. 5.18 grams or 21%
  • Very good source of manganese and good source of phosphorus, since, magnesium, and copper.

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans – 1 cup

  • Excellent source of plant-based protein. 14.53 grams or 29% of your daily requirement for protein.
  • Excellent source of fiber. 12.4 grams (3.9 g soluble/8.6 g insoluble) fiber or 50% of your daily requirement.
  • Chickpeas are also a excellent source of molybdenum, folate and choline; and a good source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Italian Parsley – 1/2 cup

  • Excellent source of Vitamin K (554% DRI) and Vitamin C (54%DRI)
  • Good source of Vitamin A (14%), Folate (12%) and Iron (10%)


  • Good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, niacin and riboflavin.
  • Excellent source of flavonoid anti-oxidants rutin and quercetin. Rutin is known to strengthen capillaries and quecertin has been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. In fact the quercetin levels found in capers is second only to the quercetin levels found in tea leaves.


Busy? Get Energy from Good Food at Lyfe Kitchen

Lyfe Kitchen – Eat Good, Feel Good

Eating well, nourishing your body with the best food possible, and taking a moment to savor what we consume is important every day. Yet, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season seems to knock us off track so easily. That drive through seems like a good idea when we are rushing from one shop to the other or heading to the airport to pick up family and friends; but we are not doing ourselves any favors by consuming junk food to save time. In fact, you might stave off hunger pains for a few minutes but you will surely replace those with other more unpleasant consequences that could really derail your holiday plans.

Good food to nourish your body can be found many places while you are dashing about. One of my favorite go-to while shopping restaurants is Lyfe Kitchen. Lyfe Kitchen is all about high quality, good for you, delicious and nutritious food. Their portion sizes are perfect too – just the right amount to satiate your hunger and give you the energy you need for the next several hours. Lyfe Kitchen is what I call a #Vegan Friendly restaurant. They have many wonderful choices for we vegans and those seeking a plant-based meal or snack to help power you through your day.

Squash Soup Lyfe KitchenMy quick lunch this week at Lyfe Kitchen was their seasonal soup: a delicious butternut squash that was so tasty and warmed me up immediately. I followed that with one of my favorites: a quinoa crunch wrap. HMMMMM! this wrap is awesome with quinoa tabouleh, crunchy veggies, avocado, and edamame hummus. If you like things “hot” it also comes with a spicy fireman’s hot sauce on the side. It is a little too hot for me but my husband loves it!

Some other tasty vegan dishes at Lyfe Kitchen include: Morning Veggie Wrap, Breakfast Berry Bowl, Sweet Corn Chowder (my husband’s favorite) made with cashew cream, Lyfe Veggie Burger, Kale & Avocado Salad (so yummy), Roasted Brussels & Squash, Ancient Grain Stir-Fry, and Thai Red Curry Bowl with Garlic-Lime Tofu. My favorite beverage is the Hibiscus Beet Lyfe Water. Talk about refreshing!  All their Lyfe Waters are vegan and gluten free, Woohoo! The coffee at Lyfe Kitchen is really smooth – no bitterness here.  You can order it with almond milk or soy milk or just have it black……it is that good! If you are looking for a quick smoothie to power you through the afternoon, Lyfe Kitchen has several excellent vegan choices. And last, but certainly not least, there is dessert. I love, love, love the Banana Coconut Budino or the Chocolate Budino. They are the right size to finish off your meal or for a mid-afternoon treat and taste so decadent you won’t believe they are also good for you.

Choose good, quick food over fast food – your body will thank you for it!

Lyfe Kitchen has 6 locations in California; including Culver City, Irvine, Palo Alto, Tarzana, West Hollywood and Santa Clarita. There are 2 locations in Colorado: Boulder and Lone Tree; and 2 locations in Texas: Plano and Dallas. There are 4 locations in Illinois: 3 in Chicago and 1 in Evanston. There is a location in New York City, NY; one in Memphis, TN; and one here at home in Henderson, Nevada.

Keep It Simple