Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon-Tahini Dressing

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quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahiniI’ve always been prone to rather severe hangovers, but they’ve gotten increasingly terrifying with age. I mean, in college I could at least drag myself to Sunday brunch after a big night (usually still wearing the previous night’s fancy outfit, but whatever), maybe go to the movies, and potentially even get some studying done. At the ripe old age of 26? NOT A CHANCE.

It pains me to inform you that anything more than a single glass of wine is enough to induce at least a mild headache and nausea the next morning, so you can imagine what a night of sipping cocktails until the wee hours of the morning does to me these days. If you’re having trouble visualizing the horror, I will briefly describe the intense misery I endured this past weekend.

I woke up on Sunday morning at 8am. This was approximately 5 hours after I had gotten home from a friend’s particularly rowdy surprise party and face-planted on my bed. My roommate’s snoring (which was probably no louder than normal) sounded like a thousand raging bulls charging through an echo chamber, and it felt like those bulls were kicking me in the head, and occasionally, the stomach. I was life-threateningly thirsty, but climbing over Logan to get to the water on his side of the bed seemed about as possible as running a marathon while wearing a scuba suit filled with cement. Plus, I wasn’t even sure whether the full Nalgene of water on his bedside table was real or simply a hangover-induced mirage. It was hot in the room, so hot, and I was starving. Long story short, it was the end of days. I tried to roll Logan over to stop the godforsaken noises coming from his face area, while whispering, “I love you,” just in case it was the last time.

When Logan finally woke up, I was intensely relieved. Misery loves company. However, much to my chagrin, Logan was fine. Sure, he looked a little puffy, but he was able to walk and talk, which was more than I could say for myself at that moment. Considering the fact that he is four years my senior and had easily consumed twice as much alcohol the night before, I found this to be incredibly unfair. Some people are just #blessed, I suppose.

quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-2It’s very lucky that Logan was a functioning human being this past Sunday, as I’m not sure what I would have done if he hadn’t been able to venture into the world and gather food, while I waited anxiously in the dark and watched an entire season of Parenthood. Things must have looked pretty grim because he let me roll around eating a bacon grilled cheese in bed, under the covers, and Logan is very much against crumbs in the sheets. True love.

If you’re thinking that my condition improved over the course of the day, you are wrong. It got worse. That hangover was of the time-release variety, and as the hours slowly passed, I died a thousand tiny deaths. When Logan told me we had to leave for the Super Bowl celebration at Hill Country, I couldn’t do it. I was forced to call out from my cocoon of darkness and pillows, “Just leave me! I’m not gonna make it. But can you bring me some barbecue in case I’m still alive when you get home?”

In the six hours that my roommate was gone, I did manage to crawl out to the couch to watch the Beyoncé-less halftime show and crush some delivery tacos, which was quite a feat. I wasn’t remotely hungry when Logan finally returned bearing six pounds of barbecue, but I managed to make a decent dent in it before promptly passing out. Everyone got the meat sweats Sunday night.

Needless to say, yesterday was rough. My booze hangover was replaced with a food hangover, and the latter wasn’t much of an improvement. I needed antioxidants, a liter of coconut water, and several pounds of greens. It was probably a good time for a kale salad, but I really wasn’t in the mood. (My relationship with kale is still very much love-hate.) Instead, I made myself a Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon-Tahini Dressing.

quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-3This bowl was a revelation. Spinach, cucumber, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and crispy chickpeas tossed with quinoa and a bright lemony dressing makes for some seriously flavorful healthy goodness. Packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and a whole host of essential vitamins and minerals, this vegan miracle meal will make you feel like a god/goddess almost immediately. Just looking at it is practically a cleansing experience.

While there are a lot of badass things going on in this detoxifying quinoa “salad,” the crispy chickpeas kind of steal the show. Roasting chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil, smoked paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper transforms the fiber-rich legumes into crunchy, spicy little wonders that add amazing flavor and texture to the goddess bowl. You should maybe double the amount of chickpeas for the recipe and keep some on hand as a nutritious snack. Just a thought.

crispy-roasted-chickpeasDespite the 40 minutes that you need to roast those chickpeas, whipping up a Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl is a breeze. It makes an amazingly satisfying lunch or dinner, and you can easily prep it in advance and then add the avocado and crispy chickpeas right before serving. I highly recommend eating this for dinner and taking leftovers to work with you, since it’s pretty much the definition of a sassy desk lunch.

As always, please feel free to modify this recipe according to season and/or personal taste, friends. You can always throw some grilled chicken, shrimp or cheese (feta and goat are good choices) into the mix if you want to bulk up your bowl. You could also swap tomatoes for mango, citrus, pomegranate, or any other fruit that floats your boat, and if you prefer a creamier dressing, try this yogurt-tahini option. Creativity!

I took down two Quinoa Green Goddess Bowls yesterday, and I woke up feeling significantly more goddess than Kesha this morning, which was glorious. If your Super Bowl Sunday was anything like mine, I suggest you get on the god(dess) bowl train immediately. Peace out.

Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon-Tahini Dressing: (Serves 2 very generously)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup uncooked quinoa
½ seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups packed spinach, finely chopped (You could also use kale or arugula if you prefer.)
1 avocado, diced
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons warm water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced (I like to use a microplane to grate the garlic so that it mixes smoothly into the dressing)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Fresh Ground Pepper
For Garnish: (optional)
Lemon wedges
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Preparing your Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon-Tahini Dressing:

-Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

-Start with the chickpeas, friends. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place them between two paper towels. Gently pat them dry. When you do this, you’ll notice that some of the “skins” on the chickpeas will come loose. That’s a good thing. Just pick off the loose skins and discard them.

quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-1-Place the chickpeas on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with the smoked paprika, salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Toss to coat.

vegan-quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-2-Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy, stirring once after about 15 minutes. The cooking time will vary a little bit depending on the size of your chickpeas, so make sure to check on them after 30 minutes.

vegan-quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-3-While the chickpeas are roasting, cook the quinoa. Pour the quinoa into a small pot with 1½ cups of water and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, still covered, for five minutes, then fluff with a fork and turn it out into a larger bowl to cool to room temperature. (I like to pop the bowl in the fridge to help it cool faster, but I’m impatient like that.)

vegan-quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-4-Moving on to the dressing! In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini and warm water until smooth.

vegan-quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-5-Add the lemon juice, garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne and olive oil to the tahini and whisk until well combined. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

vegan-quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-6-When the quinoa has cooled, add the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, spinach, avocado and half of the cooked chickpeas to the bowl.

vegan-quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-7-Pour the dressing over everything.

vegan-quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-8-Gently fold all of the ingredients together. Taste and season with a little extra salt if necessary.

vegan-quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-step-9-Serve in bowls topped with the remaining roasted chickpeas and scallions (if using) with lemon wedges on the side.

quinoa-green-goddess-bowl-with-crispy-chickpeas-and-tahini-5NOTE: If you’re preparing the your Quinoa Green Goddess Bowls in advance, wait to add the avocado and chickpeas until just before serving. You don’t want the avocado to brown or the chickpeas to get soggy. Duh.

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  1. Kelc on March 27, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Wow! I’ve never met anyone that also gets that sick after not drinking much. Do you also not get drunk easily? I’ve had to go to the ER multiple times from severe dehydration from being so sick. It’s awful! Beer is and wine aren’t as bad but liquor is just a no.

    • Serena Wolf on March 29, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      I actually get drunk pretty easily, but I’ve always been prone to miserable hangovers, so I’ve just reined it in in my old age ;). Sorry to hear you’re in the same boat. It’s THE WORST.

  2. lizandrsn on August 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Your delicious “hang-over cure” is due to the tremendous amount of food based magnesium, in the quinoa, avocados, chickpeas and tahinni. Not that that’s a bad thing!

  3. Tess Danesi on April 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    As I continue to cook my way through your site, we just had this for lunch and it was really wonderful. I love the richness smoked paprika adds along with the spicy cayenne and creamy tahini. It reminds me that I used to make spiced roasted chickpeas for snacks but they are really fab in this salad. Tonight, I’m doing your scallops and spring risotto. I should actually use my extremely neglected blog and write about cooking from yours 🙂

    • Serena_Wolf on April 10, 2014 at 9:06 am

      You are on an INCREDIBLE roll, and I love it. So glad this was a hit, and that you dug the crispy chickpeas. Also psyched to hear that you made perfect scallops!! xo

  4. jennp421 on April 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I discovered your website when looking for a quinoa cranberry salad (I’d never tried kale before, but really enjoyed that recipe when I prepared it). I made this last night and really enjoyed it – I couldn’t believe how filling it was.

  5. Catherine on March 31, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Made this for dinner last night with the boyfriend. It was AMAZING! Seriously, A+

    P.S. Thanks for the vegetarian recipe! I am used to modifying your recipes, but if you had made this with some sort of meat, I would have never thought of those roasted chickpeas! They were amazing!

    • Serena_Wolf on March 31, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      SO thrilled to hear this was such a success!! Oh, and I’m mildly obsessed with the roasted chickpeas too. I’ve been putting them in almost all of my salads lately. I’m also going to try and up the number of vegetarian recipes on the site in the coming weeks (you know, lightening up for spring), so stay tuned!

      • Catherine on April 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm

        Yay! Looking forward to it!

  6. Lisa Clawson on February 21, 2014 at 11:42 am

    The quinoa was heavenly!! We had grilled salmon with it, and the entire family loved it!! Thank you thank you:) Here’s a link with how I eat my quinoa for breakfast. Maybe it’s just the roasted pears that make everything taste better. http://clawsonlive.com/2012/03/roasted-pears-for-brekky.html

    • Serena_Wolf on February 24, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Just got around to checking out your breakfast quinoa, and I can’t WAIT to get involved. Those roasted pears look insanely delicious! So glad the quinoa was a hit with the fam. xo

  7. Lisa Clawson on February 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    This looks so good!!! I can’t wait to try it:) In fact tonight! I love quinoa, but I always eat it for brekky. I’m going to try the savory route. Thanks so much!! I think I love your guts!!

    • Serena_Wolf on February 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Whooop! Hope it was a huge success! I am intrigued by your breakfast quinoa…

  8. heo on February 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    This salad is so delicious! I’ve made it twice. The first time with spinach, and the second time using arugula, red quinoa, and adding cilantro. Both time I used Whole Foods 365 Tahini dressing

    • Serena_Wolf on February 16, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks, Heo! Love to hear this, and the cilantro addition was genius. Oh, and I’m a big fan of the 365 Tahini dressing as well!

  9. Jennifer on February 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was AMAZING. Added in some goat cheese to pump it up. SO good!!!!

    • Serena_Wolf on February 12, 2014 at 11:40 am

      So happy to hear this!! Good call on the goat cheese.

  10. Dixya Bhattarai RD on February 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I know the feeling and I crave greasy stuff esp curly fries from Jack in the Box. I am glad you are feeling better. Roasted Chickpeas sounds delicious in the salad.

    • Serena_Wolf on February 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks, Dixya! Oh my god, I can’t remember the last time I had curly fries, but next time I’m in that condition (hopefully never?), those are going to be at the top of my list.

  11. Nicole on February 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    My bf is also extremely against eating in bed. What’s with that? Eating goldfish crackers in bed might be one of my favourite things ever.

    What’s your policy on people redoing your recipes? I’d love to do a tweaked version of this on my blog. I will definitely write it in my own words and credit back to you if you’re ok with it!

    • Serena_Wolf on February 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      I LOVE to eat in bed, and the fact that Logan is so against it is mildly heartbreaking. Why wouldn’t you want to be reclined and comfortable while eating?

      As long as there’s a link, I’m thrilled when peeps re-work my recipes, and I’d love to see what you come up with!!

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