I’m bringing in the heavy artillery with this quinoa and chickpea salad as it is more of a meal than just a salad.
I have never been a fan of my native country’s (Sweden) tradition of smorgasbord - long tables laden with all kinds of food. I simply don’t like to mix different meat dishes with different fish dishes with different vegetable dishes and so on.
But this does not apply to a vegetarian smorgasbord. Put me in front of a table filled with different vegetarian dishes and I can barely contain myself. I will happily mix food from such a table and my quinoa and chickpea salad recipe would fit in well on a vegetarian buffet.
This is though, a very filling salad on its own. Serve it together with a soup like my Spicy Sweet Potato Soup and you’ve got a mega delicious and highly nutritious meal that will keep you feeling full for a long time.
Pulses - beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils - are low in fat and saturates whilst being packed with both insoluble and soluble fibre, protein and a variety of minerals.
A daily portion of beans provides good amounts of both protein and fibre, and these two nutrients prevent food to leave the stomach too quickly, helping us to feel fuller for longer. All beans have a low GI and help to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood, making our sugar levels stay even.
For 4-6 people:
75g, 2¾oz, ½ cup, quinoa
600ml, 20floz, 2½ cups, vegetable stock
1 large red onion, halved and finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 small tomatoes, quartered
1½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoon ground paprika
400g, 14oz, 2½ cups, tin of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
1 red pepper (bell pepper), chopped
3 spring onions (scallions), sliced
100g, 3½oz, baby spinach
A small handful parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
100g, 3½oz, 2/3 cup, feta cheese, crumbled
1. Get the stock boiling, add the quinoa, stir and simmer without a lid for 15 minutes. Drain in a colander.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, fry the red onion in the olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onions start to caramelize. Add the spices, stir and then add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes start to soften, then add the chickpeas, stir and continue to cook a little longer until the chickpeas are warmed through.
3. In a bowl, mix together the quinoa and onion, tomato and chickpea mix with all the other ingredients.
You can eat this quinoa and chickpea salad warm or cold. It’s perfect for taking with you to work if you’ve got any left-overs.