Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I have been posting a lot of hearty & warm recipes on here and have decided to change it up a bit with something cool and refreshing to the palate. :P
I am sure you can add whatever your little heart desire's to this recipe but it does sound good on it's own as well.
Let me know what you guys think. :)
Bon Appetit!

Quinoa & Chickpea Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette
by Joanne Lusted and the Test Kitchen {Canadian Living}

This recipe makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 556 calories

1 cup quinoa, rinsed (250 mL)
2 cups green beans, trimmed and chopped (500 mL)
1 can (540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 cup crumlbed feta cheese (250 mL)
Tomato Vinagrette:
1/3 cup bottled strained tomatoes (passata)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar (45 mL)
3 tbsp olive oil (45 mL)
3 tbsp liquid honey (45 mL)
1/2 tsp dried Italian herb (2 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/4 tsp pepper (1 mL)
1 pinch cayenne pepper

In saucepan, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Fluff with fork and let cool.
Meanwhile, in saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch green beans until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and refresh in bowl of ice water. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
Stir in cooled quinoa, chickpeas, red pepper and feta cheese.
Tomato Vinagrette: Whisk together tomatoes, vinegar, oil, honey, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper; pour over quinoa mixture and stir to coat.

There you go - sounds simple enough and quinoa is really good for you too! Over on the blog; Stone Soup {www.thestonesoup.com} they had a little blurb on the 12 things you should know about quinoa so here I am going to share it with you as well. Make sure to check the blog out. :)

12 Things You Should Know About Quinoa

1. It's Delicious
No matte how 'good for you' a food is, I don't include it in my diet unless it passes the taste test. Puffed quinoa won't be starring on stonesoup anytime soon but the whole grains definitely make it. Slightly nutty and grainy, they're smoething I could keep eating and eating.

2. It Has A Funny Pronunciation
I always feel a tiny bit pretentious when I correct people but apparently it likes to be referred to as "keen-wah".

3. It's High in Protein
A big positive for vegetarians as I've learned recently. It's also pretty good on iron and fibre, which gets the nutritionists excited.

4. It's Gluten Free
With my Dad being gluten intolerant, I'm always appreciative of new options to cook for him. He's pretty keen on the rolled quinoa flakes for breakfast as well.

5. It Needs Washing Before Use
I read somewhere that the surface of quinoa contains a chemical called 'saponin' that has a bitter soapy taste. Most commercial quinoa will already be washed and have the saponin removed but it's a good idea to rinse it just before you use it in case there are residues.

6. It Comes In Different Forms
Just like corn, it can be puffed or rolled into flakes or you can buy it whole.

7. It Comes in Different Colours
Just like grapes, quinoa comes in different varieties. The most common is white, but there are also red and black. I've only ever come across the white variety.

8. It Has An Interesting Texture
The thing I love about quinoa is it's texture. Something a little like barley with it's chewiness, it also has a light fluffiness akin to well prepared couscous.

9. It Looks Like a Grain but is Actually a Seed

10. It's Better if You Cook it
One of my first experiments with quinoa, I just rinsed it in boiling water, tossed it in dressed and used it in a salad. It was edible but a little weird.

11. You Can Also Eat the Leaves
I've yet to find a source of fresh quinoa or it's leaves but if you do, apparently the leaves are edible. Something like chard or silverbeet.

12. It's Becoming More Readily Available
In Australia, it's even available in the 'health food' section of our supermarkets. Am sure any health food store worth it's lentils would either already stock quinoa or be able to source it for you.

And there you have it! A great recipe and some interesting facts! Make sure to check out the Stone Soup blog as well. :)


{Sources: Canadian Living Website / Google Images / StoneSoup.com}

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