Summer is yet not officially over, so in the spirit of last summer days I have prepared for you this quick, tasty, quinoa-based salad, which can serve as side dish but as a main course as well.
We have long known the nutritional benefits of quinoa – this gluten-free grain has a beneficial effect on our heart, regulates digestion, is rich in iron, vitamins and protein, and it is considered the natural source of all essential amino acids. And on top of all that – it tastes great! If you are a fan of rice, you’ll find quinoa a worthy substitute.
I personally made this salad as a main course – the recipe was enough to feed three (very hungry) persons. We all felt full afterwards, without the stomach heaviness or bloating 🙂.
Ingredients for quinoa chickpea salad:
1 cup of quinoa
1 1/2 cup of (or a can of) cooked chickpeas
2 small tomatoes
half of a small purple onion
1 bell pepper
sesame and pumpkin seed to taste
olive oil, lemon juice or apple vinegar, salt and pepper for dressing
Before cooking, vigorously rinse the quinoa to get rid of the natural bitter coating of saponins. In a medium-sized saucepan mix quinoa with water. Keep in mind that the ratio is 2:1, so for one cup of quinoa – two cups of water. Boil it, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 15 minutes until quinoa is tender. Turn off the heat and leave it to stand for 5 more minutes.
In a serving bowl, mix the quinoa with chickpeas (I used canned, which I just slightly rinsed beforehand). Wash and slice the tomatoes, bell pepper and the onion and add them to the bowl. Top with sesame and pumpkin seeds.
As for salad dressing, the best way to mix it right is by making the olive oil and lemon juice (or apple vinegar) ratio 3:1, so that for three tablespoons of oil you put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to that, to taste. Mix and add to the salad just before consuming.
And that’s it! Perfect, easy, nutritionally rich meal within half an hour! Bon appetite :)!