Quinoa, Chickpea, Pear and Arugula Salad with a Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Well that was a bit more of a hiatus than I had been planning on.

Lots has been going on and, to be honest, I have been struggling to keep up. There was Christmas and all of the holiday stuff that was somehow a bit overwhelming this year. Usually I am very happy to embrace the crazy madness of the holiday season; the parties and baking, the hosting of dinners, the together time with family and friends. This year, however, there seemed to be a few more bumps in the road, and somehow my holiday agility was just a wee bit off. It all sent me for a bit of a loop well past New Years’s and I feel like I have been playing catch up ever since.

By mid January I knew that I needed to make a few changes to help me get back on track. Nothing earth shattering, just the little things we know we should be doing everyday but somehow don’t. Things like getting out for some daily exercise, drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep and spending some quiet, contemplative, alone time. And maybe most important of all, eating some healthy, soul satisfying food. Here is where this salad comes in…

I first spotted this salad over on the Food52 site and I made it a lot over the holiday season. In its original form it had arugula and romaine, pears and goat cheese. I dropped the romaine added some feta cheese and decided to add some quinoa and chickpeas to take this from a first course salad to a main course meal.

Add in some pomegranate seeds alongside the whole grains, legumes and leafy greens and you end up with a salad that packs a pretty decent nutritional punch and is fresh and delicious to boot. The perfect salad to give you some energy for when the chips are down and the stakes are running high. It’s great for lunch and could easily be paired with some grilled chicken for a satisfying and healthy dinner.

I’m not sure if I can give sole credit to the amazing healing powers of this salad but thankfully, since the beginning of February I have been feeling the winds of change. My body feels fit, my mood is bright and I’m excited to get back to my food centric ramblings around here. Not only have I been spending lots of time in the kitchen and have a bunch of new recipes to share but I’m also working on a few improvements for this site.

I am hoping to streamline the look, change up the logo and add a menus section that will highlight some of my favourite meals from the cooking classes and dinner parties that we host around here. While I may have lots of ideas I am basically computer illiterate. Lucky for me I have a very smart, very sweet, very patient friend named Miles who is handling all the technical programming changes for me. He has a job that is unrelated to web design/programming and a brand new baby and he still finds the time to work with me with good grace and humour. Thanks Miles, I couldn’t do it without you!

We will be rolling things out slowly over the next month or so. Let me know what you think…

xo J

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12 Responses to Quinoa, Chickpea, Pear and Arugula Salad with a Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  1. Sheryl says:

    I think this looks like the most delicious, co-incidentally yet delightfully gluten free dinner! I can hardly wait to get home to make it! I missed Kitchen, glad to have you back!

    • I have been thinking about you a lot and hope that you are doing well. I promise some more gluten free recipes coming soon, just for you.

      • sherylmcdougald says:

        Well, you know me – never do anything the easy way… I’m not running through the fields yet, but I did make a Sheryl version of this salad and it was delicious – everyone loved it! I will try to bring back a little fruit of the vines for you to try…

  2. Bonnie says:

    Welcome back!
    I too have had some trouble getting over the holiday hoopla…I have started an online Whole Foods workshop and I think this salad fits the bill nicely! Lately I have been craving salads…must be that almost-Spring thing.

    Is there a decent substitute for pomegranate molasses if I don’t have any, and don’t have a chance to pick some up before attempting this recipe?

    • Hi Bonnie,
      Was so pleased to check out your site. I need some help planning my garden this year and I am going to be coming to you for advice!
      You could always leave out the pomegranate molasses and it wouldn’t be the end of the world but if you have a chance to pick some up it adds a real depth and sweet/sour flavour that is highly addictive. Gourmet Warehouse carries it in a smallish bottle as does the Mediterranean market on Commercial Drive…

  3. gail monteen bourne says:

    It all sounds natural and normal—sometimes the best medicine is exactly what you did…however you were certainly missed. Oh and come to think of it weren’t you traveling cross country during Thanksgiving and almost Christmas??? Soooo glad to have you back…now where is MAX??? xoxo

  4. Lisa Host says:

    Nice to see you back.. Love the look of this salad.

  5. Tracy says:

    Can’t wait to see the updates…now I must make a grocery list for one lemon curd olive oil tart…

  6. cathy says:

    Hi Julie so glad to see you back- have missed your lovely stories and beautiful food.
    Yummy healthy salad to get me through the long days of mollys chicken pox!
    talk soon cathy xox

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