Spring chickpea quinoa salad

It can be hard to venture out of our comfort zones. This weekend I decided to finally give my dad’s DSLR a spin… and I hated it.

The buttons were all unfamiliar, the view screen was different, and it felt annoyingly large and clunky in my hands. And all my pictures turned out horrible to boot. So after a while I admitted defeat, put the DSLR back in its case, and reverted to my trusty point-and-shoot. Familiar, comfortable, and perfectly fitted for my hands, I breathed a sigh of relief as I snapped away at my latest recipe.

spring chickpea quinoa salad

This is an all-too-familiar scenario in my life – and I’m not talking about cameras anymore. I’ve always loved the security of my comfort zone and have a hard time escaping it. But yet, when I do, I always have the best experiences.

After 12th grade I was a camp counsellor for an entire summer away from my friends and family. It terrified me at the time, but I ended up having one of the most rewarding summers of my life. Later on in third year university I left the comfort of my science degree to pursue nutrition. Again, a scary experience, but one that saved me from a career path I hated.

Now I’m 2.5 months away from being done my dietetic internship and the future ahead of me lies unknown. But I’m going forward with an open mind and the knowledge that sometimes being uncomfortable initially is necessary to thrive.

Anyway, what was my point originally? Oh yeah. I tried to use a DSLR camera for this post and I totally bombed. But at least the recipe is good.

spring chickpea quinoa salad

Spring chickpea quinoa salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A fresh tasting vegetarian salad made with quinoa, chickpeas, feta cheese, and fresh herbs. Gluten free, egg free, nut free.
Yield: 3-4
  • ¾ cup dry quinoa
  • 1 398ml can chickpeas
  • ¾ cup diced cucumber
  • 2 sliced green onions (white and green parts)
  • ½ cup dill
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil, then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa, chickpeas, diced cucumber, green onions, dill, parsley, and feta. Stir in the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.

spring chickpea quinoa salad

Do you have trouble leaving your comfort zone?


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36 Responses to Spring chickpea quinoa salad

  1. this looks fantastic and perfect for spring! i’m going to have to get jonny to get these ingredients so i can make it!

  2. Mmmm dill and parsley together just scream spring! Looks awesome!

    I have such a hard time leaving my comfort zone too which is why I continually force myself to do it. And like you, my best experiences have come from it!

  3. ohhhh yes. Even when said ‘comfort’ can be detrimental. Isn’t it ironic?

    What is with you, davs and alexis going absolutely gaga over chickpeas lately? I must admit defeat though. I just mentioned to D of a potential next challenge after this gelato one involving…chickpeas.

    PS Epic wooden spoon.

    • Chelsea

      I hate to rub it in, but chickpeas are delicious. Have you tried having them in a small amount at a time? Your body might just need to build up a tolerance to handling the fibre bomb!

  4. Finishing school/entering actual adulthood is kind of really terrifying. School IS my comfort zone – I like learning and I like applying myself to what I’m learning…so the thought of being done with that forever (assuming I don’t go back for a PhD, which I have no current plans to do) is a little hard to wrap my head around, especially because I’m not 100% sure where I want to go, job-wise. Bahhhh life decisions are hard.

    • Chelsea

      Totally hear you girl. The idea of job hunting is freaking me out! If only I could figure out a way to live off my blog. :P

  5. I remember not knowing what the future holds. ..In fact I also don’t know where I will be in a few months time. This recipe sounds great, I love dill! I’m looking forward to having it fresh dill once it is warm enough. I don’t think these photos bombed at all!

    • Chelsea

      That’s kind of scary/exciting! On the one hand I’m sure job hunting again won’t be fun, but that’s nice you’ll have the opportunity to try out a new job and learn what is a good fit for you.

  6. Great minds think a like! I literally have almost the exact same recipe to post for WIAW tomorrow!

  7. This recipe sounds so summery and refreshing! I love it!

  8. Yes ma’am haha. Usually takes a good kick to get me going, too, but once I do, I’m usually glad I did :) And this salad looks awesome. Definitely adding it to my must make list!

    • Chelsea

      Exactly! I always need to remind myself how good I feel after experiences where I step out of my comfort zone. It’s getting easier and easier as I do it more!

  9. This entire year of my life has been all about taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone!!

    I promise you, if you stick with it you will get more comfortable with your SLR. I just got a new lens and it’s been so weird getting used to it, but I know in time I will.

    p.s. you are ALWAYS more than welcome to come over to practice with your cam. I can show you the like 3 tips I know lol but it would also be fun to hang out :)

    • Chelsea

      That would be so fun! We could bake/cook something together and take pictures of it. Then eat it of course! ;) I’d so be down.

  10. This sounds SO good, Chelsea! I have been loving the combo of chickpeas with quinoa lately :)

  11. Mmm this looks so fresh and delicious! And DSLR or not, your food pictures never fail to make me drool. ;)

  12. I’m a creature of the comfort zone, too! It’s hard, at least you tried with this. Luckily, I have had many (new) times when I have ventured out of my comfort zone; it just takes a little coaxing. I think I need to get in the habit of doing that more because the longer I stay in my comfort zone, the harder is it to try new things!

    • Chelsea

      That’s so true! Sometimes I’ll go such long periods of time staying in my comfort zone because it just feels so cozy once I’m settled in it!

  13. I remember using my DSLR for the first time… :lol: omg what a nightmare. But now I honestly couldn’t imagine being without it. Everything takes time to get used to, but that time can definitely be uncomfortable. I used to be way less open to taking risks and trying new things, but the more often I do it, the more I find that I thrive on novelty — it keeps life interesting :)

  14. I love this spring quinoa salad! It looks so refreshing! I’m the exact same way, it is hard to step out of my comfort zone, but once I do it is always worth it! I got my first DSLR just a few short months ago and I felt like I was never going to figure it out, it look about 2 months for me to actually figure out how to use it and I’m sure that I still don’t use it to its full potential, but I really could not live without it now, it is my favorite toy! Good luck getting to know yours!

    • Chelsea

      That’s reassuring to hear re: your DSLR. Gives me hope that I’ll get the hang of it eventually!

      • I found a really cheap “Get to know your new DSLR” class on groupon and that is when things finally started to make sense for me! Good luck!

  15. I just made these for the first time this morning, yum!!! “Two double thumbs up !!!” How could a day go bad when you start it with a cookie :)

  16. helloveggy

    I’ve felt the same camera fear; one day I will learn!

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  18. Regardless of what camera you used, this quinoa salad looks delicious. I love the flavors you used.
    I definitely have a comfort zone and I like to keep it wrapped around me like a security blanket, but I’ve been doing some things lately to push me out of that zone, and it’s been incredibly rewarding thus far. It’s good to shake things up every so often.

  19. Love how you spoke about this topic with food and food photography :) I have a pretty hard time going out of my comfort zone and I think that is true for most people. I have been getting better at it though and I think that is because it is something that comes with age. I am guessing you internship has pushed you out of your comfort zone a few times! This recipe is just what I have been craving! Definitely buying the stuff to make it once all of the craziness of going out with friends these next couple weeks is over

  20. Chelsea

    Ohhh yes internship definitely has pushed me out of my comfort zone! Interesting that you mentioned age. I think that may be the case for me, but I know a lot of people who were really good at getting out of their comfort zone at a much younger age. I think it must have a lot to do with personality as well!

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