January 24, 2022

Delicious Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas & Kale. {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan Recipe}

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn

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You may have seen another Quinoa salad recipe I wrote a while ago—that one was with grilled asparagus, and outlines the benefits of both. Check it out for spring eating. Asparagus is a kidney cleansing and heart-supportive food and perfect after all those heavy winter meals.

One of my fav ways of creating in the kitchen is to make use of whatever is available in my pantry and in season. As I almost always have organic quinoa and chickpeas on hand (and it’s panic when I don’t), I can use them as a base in a variety of recipes. Asparagus is out of season now, but kale is still, unbelievably, found locally—I live in a temperate climate.

Chickpeas, a staple in Middle Eastern recipes, are a wonderful combination of protein and fiber, vitamins and minerals. They can be cooked from dried, found canned, or even sprouted before cooking. Nutritious and filling, they may increase appetite-reducing hormones.

I can’t imagine life without kale. I usually grow the Siberian type but this year tried the Dinosaur variety with long skinny leaves and am smitten!

There are two schools of thought about kale. To get all those available minerals, one should cook it for a long time in a soup or stew, otherwise, they are bound up in the fibers. Some people prefer to not do that as it can add a bit of bitter flavor, but I’ve never noticed that.

Do chop finely though, or julienne, so as not to be sitting at the table chewing like a goat—what my partner said when I once served it in bigger chunks. Oh, and remove the ribs if you like (I didn’t), but those could also be chopped finely into a soup.

Kale is from the Brassica family, such as cabbage and Brussel sprouts, with ample fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin A. Brassicas are said to have anti-cancer properties, due to their glucosinolate content.

For the Salad

As with the asparagus one, you will need to cook the quinoa according to the package directions, 2 cups of water to one cup of grain. Be careful not to add any more water than suggested because it will only make the quinoa soggy.

Once cooked place the quinoa in a pretty bowl and let cool.

Add:

one small, drained, and rinsed can of chickpeas
2 chopped green onions
a finely chopped small red pepper
kale ripped or julienned into small strips

Drizzle: good olive oil and the juice of one or two limes. Mix gently with love.

Season: with herbs, freshly ground salt, and pepper.

My favorite herbs for this salad are dill, parsley, and mint, but alternatively, try Za’atar, a Middle-Eastern spice blend of thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, cumin, salt, and sumac. Just add the salt after adding the Zaatar if using.

A word of caution about Za’atar—it’s addictive—you may want to sprinkle it on everything! It’s especially incredible on hummus, rice, vegetables…you name it.

*GF: quinoa is naturally gluten-free, but is not always tolerated by those with a Celiac diagnosis. Be sure that it is labelled GF, free of proteins called prolamins, and packaged in a GF facility.

To your health! It’s easy-peasy and equally suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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