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Hearty Chicken, Spinach, Arugula, Chickpeas & Quinoa Salad With Ginger Dressing

Are you looking for a yummy and wholesome salad to enjoy this spring? Then you’re going to love this recipe. 

This salad is delicious and has a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. It’s perfect for those who want to eat a fresh, tasty, and healthy meal that is packed with nutrients and cancer-fighting natural components. 

In general, the AntiCancer 360 approach doesn’t rely on just one anticancer diet. We choose one of five different anticancer diets depending on the case and situation. 

finished recipe with oil and salt and pepper shaker

So today’s recipe will be perfect for those who are following a whole-food diet and want to enhance its anticancer potential. 

Many studies are pointing us in the direction of eating mostly “whole foods” – that is, foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. Eating more whole foods is our best investment for improving our health and preventing disease [1].

This beautiful and balanced salad will keep you full and satisfied for hours. It is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.  

all ingredients laid out

The homemade dressing pulls everything together. It complements every ingredient in the salad without overwhelming the individual flavors. You will love the combination of tangy vinegar, spicy ginger, and sweet honey mustard. 

We found quinoa to be a great gluten-free option to add even more goodness to this recipe. You can also use wild rice or farro instead and it will be delicious too. 

Store-bought cranberries are very high in added sugar. So for this recipe, we chose to use sugar-free stevia-sweetened cranberries [2]. 

chicken, quinoa and arugula in bowl with spoon

Here are some of the great anticancer ingredients that you will find in this flavorful and good for you hearty salad.

  • Arugula: High amounts of erucin and sulforaphane are found in arugula. These two compounds have been identified in studies to help fight breast cancer cell growth and dissemination [3]. Other researchers have found that sulforaphane can inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC) that is involved in the progression of cancer cells [4]. 
  • Chickpeas: Butyrate is the primary short-chain fatty acid produced from the consumption of chickpeas. Butyrate has been often identified to suppress cell proliferation and induce apoptosis, which may reduce the risk of colorectal cancers. Other dietary bioactive compounds found in chickpeas, such as lycopene, biochanin A, and saponins have also shown the ability to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers [5].
  • Cranberries: Cranberries are rich in bioactive constituents noted to improved immune function, decrease infections, reduced cardiovascular disease, and more recently cancer suppression [6]. The main source of cranberries potential for cancer prevention comes from its phenolic compounds [7].  A review of cranberry research targeting cancer showed positive effects of cranberries against 17 different types of cancers. Mechanisms of cranberry-linked cancer inhibition included cellular death induction via apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy; reduction of cellular proliferation; alterations in reactive oxygen species; and modification of cytokine and signal transduction pathways [6].
  • Onions: When compared to other vegetables, onions have a high anticancer potential. This may be especially true for the chartreuse onion because of its high quercetin content. Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that shows potential in blocking cancer metabolism pathways and for preventing the spread of various cancers [8],[9].
  • Quinoa:. Both quercetin and kaempferol compounds are also found in quinoa in high amounts [10]. These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-depressant effects [11]. Quinoa is also gluten-free, tasty, easy to prepare, and goes well with many foods.
  • Spinach: The natural substances found in spinach, may prevent macromolecular oxidative damage, modulate the expression and activity of genes involved in metabolism, proliferation, inflammation, and antioxidant defense. By inducing the secretion of satiety hormones, it can also reduce food intake. All these biological activities contribute to the anti-cancer, anti-obesity, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic properties of spinach [12].
  • Walnut: Special compounds found in walnuts such as the ellagitannins, melatonin and gamma-tocopherol may each work through different routes to reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and gene expression that can lead to cancer [13]. Researchers have also identified other biochemicals found in walnuts, such as omega 3 fatty acids, tocopherols, β-sitosterol, and pedunculagin, that have cancer-prevention properties [14]. In a study comparing different nuts and their anticancer effect, walnuts presented the highest total antioxidant activity. The proliferation of HepG2 and Caco-2 cancer cells was significantly inhibited in a dose-dependent pattern after exposure to the extracts of nuts, with walnuts exhibiting the highest antiproliferative activity [15].

Enjoy this nutritious and tasty salad for lunch or dinner. It comes with different textures and it is bursting with flavor. 

Finished recipe in bowl with oil and salt and pepper shakers

This large salad also makes great leftovers, so be sure to store the salad and dressing separately so you can enjoy this meal for another 2 or 3 days.

If you can get all the ingredients in organic form, that would be ideal. But, if not… You should get ingredients like spinach and apples in organic form since it’s known to be especially high in toxins if bought in the conventional form [16].

Hearty Chicken, Spinach, Arugula, Chickpeas & Quinoa Salad With Ginger Dressing

This salad is delicious and has a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. It's perfect for those who want to eat a fresh, tasty, and healthy meal that is packed with nutrients and cancer-fighting natural components.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 2
Calories 1243 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 oz chicken shredded
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup apple diced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 5 oz baby arugula
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced into small rings
  • 1/3 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger finely grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl combine spinach, arugula and the shredded chicken together.
  • Stir in the chickpeas and the spring onions and set aside. 
  • In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, grated ginger, and salt and pepper to taste until thoroughly combined. 
  • Toss the salad with the dressing and sprinkle in sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
  • Serve and enjoy. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2gCalories: 1243kcalCarbohydrates: 94gProtein: 28gFat: 89gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 115mgPotassium: 1276mgFiber: 14gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 3299IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 236mgIron: 8mg
Keyword Gluten-Free, Plant Based, Whole Grain
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