Monday, December 10, 2012

Lemony Chickpea & Quinoa Salad

It's that time of year again, folks... You know what I'm talking about. That one month of the year your life becomes a haze of holiday parties and family gatherings. And your diet? Well, let's just say it's more indulgent than it is nutritious. Eventually, your body craves something fresh and healthy to offset the oodles of treats and booze you've been consuming. Here it is my friends, the perfect weekday lunch or dinner to reset your system and remind your body what a vegetables tastes like.

This salad is jam packed with good-for-you ingredients and covers several important nutritional bases: whole grain goodness in the form of quinoa, heart healthy fats from the avocado, protein from the chickpeas and quinoa, and vegetables in the form of spinach and tomatoes.

Did I mention that it tastes grrrrreat? The flavors all work so well together and the zippy lemon dressing adds a nice hit of acidity that perfectly accents the freshness of the dish.

And once you've made the quinoa, you can throw this recipe together in less than half an hour.

So to sum up, it's tasty, healthy, and quick, and I think you're gonna love it.

Bon appetit!

Lemony Chickpea & Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
1/2 c dry quinoa
1 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
2 c spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 c onion
1 clove garlic

Juice of 2 small to medium-sized lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp olive oil
Scant tsp honey
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
Splash of white wine vinegar
Dash of salt and pepper

To cook quinoa, bring broth and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until liquid has been absorbed (10-15 minutes). When done, the grain should appear soft and translucent, and a white ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain. Set quinoa aside to cool.

Combine spinach and cilantro in a food processor and process until finely diced (or do it by hand if you don't have a food processor). Add greens to a medium bowl.

Repeat the process, this time with the onion and garlic, and add to the bowl of greens. Next add chickpeas and cooled quinoa and stir to combine.

Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and mixing. Pour over the salad and stir. Fold in avocado and tomatoes.

Let rest in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

Serve cold or at room temperature. Store in the fridge.

Lemon juice keeps the avocados from browning for several days

Source: adapted from The Diva Dish

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