Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chickpeas n Quinoa: the Ultimate Picnic Salad

With all the hubbub of June, I'm again a little behind on my blogging. I could give you excuses -- family illness, family parties, that dang novel rough draft revising process, a trip to Chautauqua for a writer's conference-- but really, it all comes down to procrastination, doesn't it? I mean, I'm only writing this (finally) now because I should be working on a short story revision.

So there it is. I'll get better. I promise.

Back at the beginning of June, the church I attend in Cleveland had its annual picnic, and this is the first year I haven't been in Michigan and thus, could take part in the festivities. The only problem? I needed a dish to pass. I thought and thought and thought. I wanted something with protein. I wanted something I could eat. And it needed to be able to be served cold and sit on a picnic table unrefrigerated for several hours. The solution:

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas!

1 roasted red pepper, chopped (or if you're lucky like me and you scored clearanced canned roasted red peppers, use half a can)
1 1/2 t olive oil
1 c quinoa
2 c veggie broth
half an onion (diced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ears of corn ( in kernels) or 1 can's worth
1 can chickpeas
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 T lemon juice
1 T dried parsley

1. In a medium pot, heat the broth and the quinoa to a boil. Then, cover and simmer  on low about 15 min, or as long as it takes to absorb all the liquid into the quinoa. Allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over med heat. Add the onions and cook to translucent. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the corn and cook about 6 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
3. Combine quinoa, red pepper, corn mix, chickpeas, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley in a portable container and prepare to picnic as you've never picnicked before.

It was the first time I ate something healthy at a picnic, which was thrilling. Usually I'm stuck dipping fried chips into taco dip the entire party... not that taco dip and chips aren't delicious. It was just nice to feel good about my picnic food, and you know what? I think I indulged less at the dessert table too because I didn't want to ruin how great I did at lunch.

Such is the magic of quinoa.

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