The first recipe of 2014. I’ve pondered what that should be. A cool healthy snack? A luscious raw dessert? A green smoothie? All options aside, I concluded it should be one of those super easy, no fuss, no fancy equipment recipes, good for weeknight meals. Something I eat a lot of and that any of you can make, no matter whereabouts you live.
Whenever I’m in a pickle and clueless about dinner, I almost always go for a quinoa, brown rice or chickpea salad. These are easy and nutritious meals that can be made with just about anything you can find in your fridge and/or pantry. I cook the quinoa or brown rice (1 part to 2 parts water) either on the stove or in a rice cooker and while that is cooking I chop up whatever fresh veggies I’m using and make the salad dressing. When the quinoa or brown rice are done, I mix everything together and call it dinner. 20 minutes beginning to end.
In addition to being extremely easy to make, these type of meals don’t require a lot of time or any advanced preparation, not even the chickpea. My trick to always have cooked chickpea on hand is to soak and cook a big batch every now and then, use a bit that day and freeze the leftovers for future use, especially for weeknight meals. For a quick defrost, I simply dip the bag of frozen chickpea in warm water.
- For the salad:
- 1 – 1.5 cups cooked quinoa, preferably warm
- 1 tomato, roughly chopped
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 1/2 capsicum, diced
- 1 small spring onion, finely sliced
- handful of parsley, finely chopped
- 2 TBSP pepitas
- 2 TBSP sesame seeds
- For the dressing:
- 1/2 avocado, mashed
- 4 TBSP good olive oil
- 3-4 TBSP freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- sea salt, to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- chili flakes, optional, to taste
- To cook quinoa, simply add 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water to a pot and cook covered over medium to low heat. Or add it to a rice cooker.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare all your veggies and make the dressing in a separate bowl.
- When the quinoa is cooked, simply mix everything together and serve right away.