Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quinoa salad - the lemon chickpea edition (Gluten-free, vegan possible)

I told you all that this summer would be the summer of quinoa salads, and although there was a little bit of a hiatus with all my traveling, I'm not quite done with them yet.  With corn coming in season, it's all I can think about eating.  There's nothing like the taste of fresh sweet corn mixed in with...well, just about anything I have in my fridge.

For the latest installment in my quinoa salad saga, I wanted to make a fresh, minty salad that would be filling and easy to eat.  This is another one of those salads that I make for the week and come home and eat after a busy day when the last thing I want to do is cook.

What I like about this salad is that I can eat it hot or cold, and it mixes well with so many things.  You could throw in some spinach in here for more greens, or some chicken for even more protein.  

My inspiration for this recipe came from, but as usual, I added my own twists to it.

Through my own cooking, I've learned quite a bit about my own preferences for food.  I like everything to be very flavorful...and with me it often translates to heat. I like my food spicy.  Which means I am usually adding chili powder, Sriracha, paprika, jalapenos, or red pepper flakes to everything I cook.   For this, I added a hefty dose of red pepper flakes, and if I had it, I would have also used chili infused oil.  

The best part about this salad? It's so quick to throw together and the chickpeas and egg add a ton of protein.  The end result of the fresh mint with the green onions combined with the heat from the red pepper flakes and sweetness of the corn was a light and flavorful party in my mouth.  If you wanted to, you could also grill the corn for even more flavor, or keep it raw as the original recipe suggested to make it lighter. Whatever you decide, there are so many ways you can change it up to meet your preferences, but here's what I used:

For 2 main course, or 4 side servings
From start to finish: 45 minutes

3/4 c. dry quinoa
1 ear of corn
1 can (15 oz) of chickpeas
2 stalks of green onion, thinly chopped
2 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
1 T honey (or agave syrup if vegan)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. chopped fresh mint

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
red pepper flakes to taste

1. Cook quinoa. Put quinoa and double the amount of water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, bring the heat to the lowest setting and cover.  Leave for 20 minutes.
2. Boil the corn.  Bring the corn to a boil in a pot of water.  Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let the corn stay in the pot. (Or cook to your own preference).  
3. Once cool enough to touch, break the ear in half.  Use a large knife and carefully cut the corn kernels off the cob.
4. Mix the chickpeas, chopped green onion, corn, and cooked quinoa in a large bowl.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes together.
6.  Add the fresh mint and dressing to the bowl.
7. Mix in the chopped boiled egg, if desired.
8. Eat warm or cold.

I seem to be having a thing with mint lately.  I bought a bunch, and I'm pretty much putting it in everything.  Do you have any favorite recipes with mint?  Let me know!  Otherwise, enjoy your salad and Labor Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment