Warm Quinoa Chickpea Salad

It’s official: I’m starting to feel like a human being again.  After nearly five days of not changing out of my pajamas, I finally put on real people clothes this morning and even dragged myself to work. I do feel sort of sorry for my colleagues, who are giving me a wide berth.  I promise…I’m packing Purell.

Feeling human again started with making this salad.  There are so many strong flavors in here you can’t help but wake up the taste buds.  And let’s face it: when you start tasting again – you start feeling and thinking again.  Or at least I do.  Recipe inspired by Food and Wine, but really, you can do this with anything you have in your fridge.

IMG_3179Warm Quinoa Chickpea Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 bunches bok choy, chopped
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • olive oil
  • 2 oz feta cheese (goat also works)
  • 3-4 scallions, chopped
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • a large handful parsley, chopped
  • simple vinaigrette – I like a dash of olive oil, balsamic, garlic powder, cumin, lemon juice, salt, pepper, crushed reds and just a splash of apple cider vinegar, whisked together
  1. Rinse quinoa well; cook according to directions.
  2. While quinoa cooks, prepare and chop all of your vegetables.  Whisk together your vinaigrette and set aside.
  3. With about 3-5 minutes to go on your quinoa, heat olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan.  Add minced garlic and chickpeas, cook about 2 minutes, or until chickpeas are warm.  Add bok choy and cook for a minute, then turn off the heat.
  4. In a large bowl, add all of your ingredients together – quinoa, veggies, chickpea, etc.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the salad. Add the vinaigrette last and serve warm.

IMG_3190

The Verdict:

This is the perfect meal.  It’s healthy, delicious, and oh-so-easy to make.  And the Husband, no quinoa lover, had TWO bowls.

Quick and Easy: Mexican-style Quinoa With Corn and Black Beans

A few days ago, my (new) sister-in-law sent me the below recipe, from Damn Delicious.  On my continued quest to empty our refrigerator and still cook healthfully before we leave this weekend, I decided last night was the perfect time to give it a try.  Almost everything in here comes straight from the pantry – and the best part: it all cooks in one pan!  (I think the Husband, on clean-up duty, appreciated that.)

Mexican-style Quinoa With Corn and Black Beans

  • olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno (I didn’t have on hand, so I used a can of green chilis and of course, some crushed red pepper)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can corn, drained and rinse
  • a big handful of chili powder
  • a good dash of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 1 lime
  • toppings: cilantro, avocado, cilantro, grated cheese
  1.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic, the crushed red peppers (if you’re using them).  Also add your other “heat” factors – jalapenos, chilis, poblano pepper.
  2. Stir in quinoa, broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 20-25 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice, and serve with your choice of toppings.
nonstop cilantro in our house
nonstop cilantro in our house…

The Verdict:

This was good, if not knock-your-socks-off.  Fresh ingredients – fresh jalapenos, fresh corn, fresh tomatoes – would really bring this up a notch.  And I’m not sure how I didn’t notice the lack of onion in the ingredient list – I’ve never met a recipe to which the addition of onion didn’t make it better!  Overall, though, this was quick and easy, a good way to use up the leftover ginger and cilantro sour cream mix from the other night, and it provided us with some great leftovers for lunch.  I might try this again in the future with more of a Mediterranean twist – I’m picturing garbanzo beans, sundried tomatoes, onions, garlic, tahini – tossed with fresh parsley and cucumbers?  Maybe the next time we need to clean out the pantry.