Power Hour Salad

Alright, listen up. You have a limited income (probably, if you’re a college student and literally go around singing about not wanting to check your bank account), and you may not eat very healthy all the time because of it. That’s ok though, we are going to change that.

Making this salad is just another little step you can take to eat healthy and not be broke at the same time. It is vegetarian, but it’s packed with protein and good shit (I want to stress that a protein-packed vegetarian meal is not an oxymoron. It’s absolutely a thing). So, to not bore you further, here it goes, the Power Hour Salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of cooked grains such as quinoa, barley, etc.** (I used the “Super Grains” blend from Whole Foods, it’s pretty dope and relatively cheap)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and DRIED!! with a paper towel**
  • A few slices of a red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 handfuls of mixed spring greens or baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup (of handful) of cherry or grape tomatoes (I really love zima, they are orange and sweet and ugh so good)
  • 1/3 of a large cucumber or 1 baby cucumber, seeded and chopped (explanation at the bottom)**
  • 1 spoonful of hummus, whatever you like (I love this hummus, it’s magical)
  • 2-3 spoonfuls crumbled feta cheese

Optional Salad Dressing**:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, the greener the better
  • Juice of half a lemon (use the other half for tea or lemon water. Be pretentious, not wasteful)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, really to your liking
  • Black pepper, again whatever you like

Instructions:

  1. Just to help you out if you’re new to this, cut your red onion and your garlic right now. All the other veggies can be cut later, but if you want to you can cut them now. It saves you a lot of time if you follow the directions in the ingredients list first.
  2. Make sure you do this first or ahead of time; cook your grains. Pick something like quinoa and read the package to tell how long it will take to cook it. Usually, it will take you about 30 minutes to  cook them from start to finish (aka from putting the pot on the stove till the point you let them sit). If you do choose to cook quinoa, try to make sure you rinse it through a fine mesh strainer before cooking. So, get that water boiling before you do anything else.
  3. Once you have begun cooking your grains, get a frying pan, heat it to medium-high heat, and add the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Next, add the onion to the pan and cook until they have a slight yellow look to them (but not browned).
  4. Now to add the garlic and chickpeas! Stir it on up and cook for another two to three minutes. Take off the heat and place into a bowl.
  5. If you didn’t already, cut your veggies!
  6. Take out a large bowl and add the salad greens you are using. Start to assemble everything by adding the tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas and onions (not all of them, save some and make a pita wrap!), the cooked grains, hummus, and feta cheese.
  7. If you would like to add a simple homemade salad dressing, keep reading. Otherwise, mix it all up and you’re good to go!!
  8. For the salad dressing: Get a small bowl. Whisk together the oil, lemon, and honey. Next add the oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix it all together and there you have it! You may choose to add other herbs or maybe vinegar if there wasn’t enough lemon juice. It’s really whatever you prefer.

Side Notes:

**It may be easier to make a whole cup of cooked grains and reserve the rest for another recipe!! That’s what I do.

**You need to make sure whenever you fry anything with oil that you limit the amount of water in contact with the item. Please make sure after you rinse the chickpeas, you dry them too to prevent yourself from being burned

**To seed a cucumber, you cut it in half lengthwise, or hot dog style as we said in like second grade. Take a spoon and scoop out all those seeds you see in the center. The, place each half flat side down and slice. They should look like little half moons or smiley faces I guess? Maybe frowny faces if you’re that kind of person.

**I also think this salad is great with tzatziki, which is like a yogurt sauce that is so delicious, but it’s a little expensive and takes awhile to make at home. I prefer it though.

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