Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Quinoa-Chickpea Salad

Ohh, this was so good.  My friend Suzuko made this for our Vegan Gluten-free Food Fest and said that it's usually served hot, but this worked so well as a cold salad that I think I might make it cold next time, too! This dish is packed full of goodness; quinoa is one of the oldest grains in the world and packs a punch with complete protein, calcium, iron, fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants. It is an excellent alternative to wheat grains like couscous, and can also substitute for rice. Plus, it looks a little like confetti when it's fully cooked. How perfect can a grain get?? It comes in several different varieties, including the one shown here, which is Inca Red. You can purchase quinoa at any health food store, including Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Chickpeas (or Garbanzo Beans) are extremely nutrient-dense with high protein and fiber content as well. This dish is incredibly healthy for you, and tastes delicious, too.

Quinoa-Chickpea Salad

Serves 4-6

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. crushed coriander seeds
several pinches ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup quinoa (any variety will work; Suzuko used a red heirloom variety)
2 cups cooked or 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth

In a small stockpot over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil for about 7 min. Add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes.

Add tomato paste, coriander, cumin, black pepper and salt. Sauté for another minute. Add quinoa and sauté 2 minutes.

Add chickpeas and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, lower heat to very low, cover, and cook for about 18 - 20 min., or until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Stir occasionally. Fluff with fork and serve hot, or chill to serve as a salad.

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