Power Protein Salad with Quinoa, Mango, Cashews, and Chickpeas

power protein salad

A few weeks ago I enjoyed supper at The Root Cellar, a wonderful gem of a cafe and eatery in London, Ontario. They have such a wealth of delicious, inventive food options that include locally-sourced foods and plenty of vegan options (including the best vegan cinnamon buns around – a dream come true, let me say).

I ordered the Power Protein Salad and then knew I had to re-create it at home. This salad is an amazing blend of flavours and superfood nutrition: baby spinach, quinoa, chickpeas, pickled red onions, mangos, and toasted cashews, all drizzled in a tangy and savoury apple cider & curry vinaigrette.

That’s a lot of delicious business in one bowl.

power salad with chickpeas, quinoa, and curry dressing

And, the beauty of this salad is that one afternoon of cooking prep (making your quinoa, pickling a red onion, dicing up mango, opening a can of chickpeas, and whisking together the dressing) makes a whole swath of meals. I plan to eat this for lunch every day this week.

Can I also just say how much I love salads that cover all the different lunch needs in one bowl? I mean, should I list all the stuff again? Because I’ll do it…

Spinach, chickpeas, mangoes…okay, you get the point.

Try this salad. Really. It’s so unique and so healthy and so delicious – and once prepped, can make your lunch life easy for the week, which is an added bonus. Enjoy!

power salad with chickpeas, quinoa, and curry dressing

Power Protein Salad with Quinoa, Mango, Cashews, and Chickpeas

  • Author: Backyard Owl, based on original menu item from The Root Cellar
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, high in fibre, good sources of protein & fibre, packed with deliciousness

What You’ll Need:

  • Mangoes – ripe and diced into cubes or slices
  • Quinoa – cook 1 cup (or as much or as little as you want) quinoa according to package directions (usually 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water) until light and fluffy.
  • Cashews – toast lightly, typically under a broiler in your oven (watch closely!) or in pan on the stovetop.
  • Chickpeas – basic regular ol’ garbanzos, rinsed and drained from the can juices
  • Baby spinach – washed and ready to go
  • Pickled Red Onions: in a glass jar, shake together 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon cane sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt. Add one cup water, and one thinly-sliced red onion. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or in theory, as long as you want.
  • Apple Cider Curry Vinaigrette – in a glass jar, whisk or shake together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or to taste; I like my salad zippy), 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon curry powder.

To Prepare Salad:

On a bed of baby spinach (2 cups or more), scoop 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1/4 cup diced mango, 2 to 3 tablespoons toasted cashews, and 2 to 3 tablespoons pickled red onions. Drizzle with curry dressing and dig in!

© Backyard Owl 2015

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