Power Hour Salad

Alright, listen up. You have a limited income (probably, if you’re a college student suffering from a broken lending system that we can’t escape even with bankruptcy LOL FUN), and you may not eat very healthy all the time because of it. That’s okay though, we are going to change that.

Making this salad is just another little step you can take to eat healthy and be a little less broke at the same time. It is vegetarian, but it’s packed with protein and the good stuff (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 tasty 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 (or 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, chopped and seeded if that’s your thang
  • 1 spoonful of hummus, whatever you like (I love this hummus, it’s magical)
  • 2-3 spoonfuls crumbled feta cheese

Optional Salad Dressing**:

  • 1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt
  • Juice of half a lemon (use the other half for tea or lemon water. Be creative, not wasteful)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper (to your liking)

Instructions:

  1. **If you’re new to this: Before you do anything, read that ingredients list and prepare everything! Cut and prep everything so it doesn’t take you forever.
  2. NOW, DO THIS NOW; cook your grains. It’s going to take awhile. Pick something like quinoa and read the package for cooking times. Usually, it will take you about 30 minutes. 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 maybe?), 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 Greek yogurt, 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 spices. 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

**I also think this salad is great with tzatziki, which is a lot like the salad dressing above, as it’s a yogurt sauce that is so delicious. It’s a little expensive though, and if you’re not a big fan you could end up wasting it.

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