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Maine's Winning Recipe: Quinoa Chickpea Salmon Rolls with Salad

“Scout began her brainstorming session by listing ingredients native to Maine,” says Scout’s mom, Jessie. “Her list included lobster, blueberries and potatoes. Given the health and affordability requirements of the challenge, she chose to highlight our delicious Maine blueberries in her side salad! We had so much fun collaborating on this project, and it was great to see how enthusiastic she was while fine-tuning her recipe, especially as she worked to get the salad dressing's oil-to-vinegar ratio.”

Scout Bookham, Age 8, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Maine. 


Makes 4 Servings


For the Quinoa Chickpea Salmon Rolls:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ½ pound salmon fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Juice from ½ fresh lemon
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 4 sheets nori or seaweed paper
  • ½ cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Ponzu, for sprinkling (optional)

For the Salad:

  • 1 tablespoon blueberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dash champagne vinegar, or any vinegar
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 4 ounces blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled


  1. To make the Quinoa Chickpea Salmon Rolls: In a large stockpot, bring the broth to a boil over medium heat, then add quinoa, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, place salmon fillets skin side down, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for about 10 minutes, depending on thickness, or until it flakes easily with a fork.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, and mash until chunky. Add in quinoa and stir to combine.
  4. To Assemble: On a nori sheet, spread ¼ of the chickpea-quinoa mash, sprinkle with ponzu if using, then add cucumber and salmon pieces to the edge closest to you. Tightly roll nori sheet away from you. With warm water, moisten top edge like an envelope to seal the roll. (The rolling action can be done freestyle, or with the help of a bamboo rolling mat and clean dish towel.) Cut each maki roll into six pieces with a serrated knife.
  5. To make Salad: In a large salad bowl, combine blueberry jam, oil, and vinegar and whisk. Add spinach and toss. Portion dressed spinach equally onto 4 plates and top with fresh blueberries and crumbled goat cheese.

377 calories 15g fat 38g carbohydrates 22g protein