Friday, July 27, 2012

Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Beets and Peppers

Quinoa, Chickpea and Beet Salad.
Linda Watson one of my favorite food bloggers, Cook for Good, always has such different and interesting and healthful recipes and all are vegan. We're not vegan, but we do like to try new things.  When I saw this recipe I didn't actually know what Quinoa was. I didn't even know how to pronounce it. But I learned in Wikipedia that it is a species of Chenopodium and it is grown primarily for its edible seeds. It's grain-like but not a true grain since it is not a member of the grass family like true cereals.  Quinoa is closely related to species such as beets and spinach. And added benefit is that it is gluten free.

We like beets and we like chick peas so I tried the recipe.


2 cups cooked chickpeas (328 grams) 
1/2 cup chickpea broth (optional) 
1 cup quinoa (170 grams) 
1 1/3 cup water 
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 small beets 
1 cucumber (about 1 cup chopped) (I omitted the cucumber.) 
1 bell pepper (I used orange and green bell peppers.)


1.  Put on an old or dark apron or shirt in case the beets splash and stain. Actually, do it because the beets WILL splash and stain. Scrub beets and pierce several times with a fork. Save any beet leaves for another recipe. Put beet bulbs in a covered, microwave-safe container and microwave on high for five minutes.

2. Turn beets over and microwave until they are fork-tender, about five more minutes. Uncover and let cool so you can peel them.

3.  Put quinoa, water, and salt in a medium pot, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low so water barely boils and cook covered for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and, without lifting the lid, let quinoa finish steaming for five minutes.
Cooked quinoa.
4.  Meanwhile, cut slices off both ends of the cucumber and taste, then peel if bitter. Cut cucumber and pepper into bite-sized pieces. Put vegetables into a non-absorbant serving or storage container as you go. For example, a glass bowl shows off the colors and won't stain.

5.  Cut off stem and root ends of beets and compost. Peel beets and cut into bite-sized pieces, saving beet juice.

Diced cooked beets.

6.  Fluff quinoa with a fork. Toss with chickpeas and vegetables, then drizzle with any beet juice and about half the chickpea broth to deepen the flavor and help the salad stick together a bit for easier eating.
Quinoa and chick peas.
7.  Toss again until the beets turn the quinoa pink, taste, and add salt or more chickpea broth if desired.Serve at room temperature or chilled. Keeps refrigerated for four or five days.

Dan and I liked this colorful salad, and it's nice to have a recipe that my vegan family and friends can enjoy.

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