Sunday, October 9

Iron Chef Challenge: Smoky chickpea, feta and quinoa salad

Just what I needed-- a challenge and inspiration! The secret ingredient for the first Vegan MoFo Iron Chef Challenge was chickpeas. We spent the weekend at the coast, so I knew I'd have to make something quick for dinner when we got home Sunday evening. Nothing new there. On the car ride home I developed a craving for feta. A salad seemed in order, and a filling, nutritious base of quinoa seemed perfect. The flavors came together beautifully-- tart feta, smoky seasoning, sweet tomato sauce, and hearty chickpeas make a light but filling meal.

Smoky chickpea, feta and quinoa salad

Smoky chickpea, feta and quinoa salad

vegan, gluten-free

serves 4


  • 1 C vegan feta (I used this recipe, without the rosemary)
  • 1 C uncooked quinoa
  • 1 C vegetable broth
  • 1 C water
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe's South African Smoke Seasoning or smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 stalks of green onion, thinly sliced
  • spinach or salad greens of your choice


  • Make the feta.
  • Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander. I like to toast it by dumping it-- still damp-- in a pot over low heat, shaking it every few minutes until it dries and starts to turn golden and release a toasty fragrance. Add the broth and water, raise heat to bring to a boil, cover tightly, and turn heat to low. Let simmer for 15 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid.
  • Mix tomato sauce, spice and salt into the quinoa. Add chickpeas and green onions.
  • To serve, spoon quinoa mix (about a cup) over a bed of spinach (or other greens) and top with feta to taste (about 1/4 cup). It's delicious warm or cold!


  1. This looks fantastic, what a great vegan & gf meal!

  2. What a wonderful looking dish! I can't wait to try it myself. Thanks.


Photos, original recipes and text © Susan Kelley 2012. All rights reserved. Please credit me and link back to this site, or ask first.

Always read ingredient labels carefully (and re-read periodically) to make sure that products actually are vegan and/or gluten-free.