Red quinoa is becoming more commonly available in supermarkets. Here, it adds a great pop of protein, and a gorgeous color, along with a slightly nutty taste. If you cannot locate red quinoa, white quinoa works beautifully. Perfect for a light supper or hearty lunch, this satisfying and sassy salad main dish will be a popular “go to” in your house!
Red Quinoa, Avocado & Chickpea Salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings
• 3/4 cup red quinoa, rinsed very well (see note)
• 1-1/2 cups filtered or spring water
• 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 small red onion, diced
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more as needed
• 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
• 2 medium avocados
1. Put the quinoa and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.
2. Meanwhile, place the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, cayenne pepper, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Let the bean mixture stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
3. Put the cooked quinoa in a medium bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil while it is still warm. Let the quinoa mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
4. Add the quinoa to the chickpea mixture. Add the parsley, red pepper, and remaining lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
5. Right before serving, cube the avocados and add them to the salad. Toss gently to combine. Serve over lettuce leaves with whole-grain bread on the side. Season with additional salt and pepper.
Chef’s Note: White quinoa may be used in this recipe.
Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.