Monday, December 7, 2015

Quinoa-Chickpea Salad; Meatless Monday



Every Saturday, I take my daughter to a STEM program at York college. People come from far for this program. While the kids are in class, the parents attend the "Family Cafe", wherein experiments and other scientific and educational activities are conducted for the parents. Yesterday was the last day for the family cafe and therefore there was a Graduation party. Each of us had to bring one item for the feast. I always bring something healthy as I know there will be plenty of unhealthy food and I like to make sure that there are healthy options for people like me. With this in mind, I offered to bring " quinoa black bean corn salad". But, Saturday morning when I went into my pantry to get the black beans, I found that I didn't have any beans!! I however had a can of Garbanzo beans and decided to make the salad with it. I also didn't add any nuts or cheese to make sure that people with allergies could also enjoy the salad. So, here is the delicious quinoa-chickpea salad that everyone enjoyed!







Servings: 10-12 ( serving size: 1 cup per person)


Ingredients:


Quinoa: 1 cup, uncooked
Garbanzo beans( chickpeas): 1 can ( 10 oz size)
Sweet corn kernels, whole: 1 can ( 8 oz size).
Cucumber: 1 medium, peeled and diced
Onion: 1, medium, chopped.
Green onion/  spring onion: 1-3, chopped thin for garnishing.
Baby Tomatos: 12-15 ( sliced into two).
Bell peppers ( capsicum): 2, chopped ( pick any colors)
Apple: 1, peeled, cored and diced.
Black olives: 10, sliced
Craisins: 2 tbsp
Cilantro  : 1/4 cup, chopped
Olive oil: 3 tbsp
Lemon juice: 1 lemon
Lime juice: 1/2 lime
Salt: 1/2 + 1/2 tsp
Pepper: 1/2 tsp 
Feta Cheese: 2 tbsp ( optional), do not use if vegan. 
Water: 2 cups

Method:


Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup washed quinoa. Reduce the flame to low, cover the saucepan and let it cook for 15mins. When done all the water should be gone and you should see small curly strands on the quinoa. Fluff it with a fork/ spoon and keep aside to cool.

Wash the garbanzo beans and corn kernels and drain completely. Keep aside.

In a salad bowl, add the diced cucumber, bell peppers, onion, sliced tomatoes, cooled quinoa, drained chickpeas, corn kernels, craisins, olives, cilantro, olive oil, lemon & lime juice, salt and pepper and mix well. 

Garnish with spring onions.



Refrigerate and serve chilled.



Enjoy! I am bringing this to Throwback Thursday, Fiesta Friday and Saucy Saturdays.
Two brand-new co-hosts, Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices, and Traditions and Natalie @ Kitchen, uncorked are hosting the Fiesta!


Cooking made easy:


You can use any beans that you have on hand instead of garbanzo beans.
The same goes for other ingredients: use what is available in your kitchen/pantry. Don't sweat if you don't have an ingredient. It doesn't make a big difference when it is a salad that you are making, unless of course it is something like the key ingredient like quinoa!! Then your salad will taste slightly different, but I promise you, it will still be delicious!

Tip for healthy living:


Incorporate as many colors into your food as possible. Studies have shown that this ensures that you get the daily dose of all your essential vitamins and minerals. The color of the fruit/vegetable is usually inductive of the nutrient that they are rich in. For example, green leafy vegetables are known to be a great source of calcium, iron and folic acid. Orange fruits and vegetables are rich in beta carotene. Purple vegetables are rich in phytonutrients.

References:


Food for thought:


A champion is a dreamer who refused to give up! Unknown