Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Raisins – Nutritious and Delicious Balanced Meal not Only for Vegetarians
Having a vegetarian at home did change my way of cooking and even thinking about food. When my whole family ate meat, I knew that e.g. on hot days I could prepare meat and two – three salads, and we would have a balanced and nutritious meal. I grilled or roasted the meat and often served it cold. The salads sometimes were very simple like simple tomato salad, cucumber tzatziki or even lettuce with a delicious dressing.
However, when you are vegetarian, and you want to have balanced and nutritious but plant-based meals, you have to plan them better. Simply, you don’t get some nutrients from plant food as easily as you do from animal products. Proteins are one example: even though many plant-based products contain them, very few of them include all nine essential amino acids.
That is why when I came across the original recipe for this salad; I straight away knew I was going to exchange the couscous for quinoa. And it is not that I am not keen on couscous, in truth I like it a lot. But using the quinoa ensured this vegetarian salad contains complete proteins as quinoa is one of the plant sources of all essential amino acids.
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But this Quinoa and Chickpea Salad is not only healthy, but it is also delicious. It has the sweetness of raisins, nutty taste of chickpeas and saltiness of feta cheese. It also contains coriander in two forms: whole seeds that give a crunch and leaves that give a pleasant fragrance. Additionally, you can prepare this salad in the evening and enjoy it for lunch at work or school next day.
Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Raisins
A vegetarian salad with complete proteins thanks to quinoa; ideal for lunch, also at school or work.
Prepare the quinoa: put it in a fine mesh strainer, rinse it well (for at least 1 minute) under running water and drain well. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pot over a medium heat and fry the drained quinoa for about 1 minute till the rest of the water evaporates. Add water, 0.25 tsp salt and bring to boil. Lower the heat and cook for approx. 15 minutes. Take it out from the heat and let it rest covered for 5 minutes more. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Put to a bowl cooked quinoa, chickpeas, raisins, coriander seeds and leaves, zest of lemon and stir.
Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad, stir well, check the seasoning and if necessary adjust.
Serve with crumbled feta cheese on top.
This recipe is based on a recipe from a book "Fresh Flavors from Israel" by R. Oliver, O. Pely-Bronshtein, S. Lipa-Angel
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Hi, I am Agnieszka, and I am passionate about delicious but healthy food. Many healthy dishes are bland and uninteresting. I reject this. So I created my blog Tastes of Health to share my yummy recipes for healthier (often plant-based and gluten-free) versions of family favourites.
I look forward to receiving your feedback after you try them.