In a medium bowl combine the quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, and tomatoes.
In a small bowl, prepare the dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley (if using), salt (if using), and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together to coat evenly with the dressing.
Note: Here are my easy directions for cooking quinoa. Add 1 cups water and ½ cup thoroughly rinsed quinoa to a small saucepan (many packaged brands of quinoa are pre-rinsed; check the package label to be sure). Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat, take off the cover, and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Makes 1½ cups cooked quinoa (enough for two servings of the salad above).
Tip: Quinoa is considered a whole grain, but it’s actually an edible seed that contains more protein that other starches. Toss in some beans and chopped veggies, and you’ve got a light, fresh vegetarian salad that delivers almost half of your daily recommended amount of heart-healthy fiber.
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