Salad Season is Here (Isn’t it?)!

Are you looking for a good, healthy salad recipe to serve as a small meal or to compliment barbecued meat or fish?  The Alberta Pulse Growers website has some yummy ones.  Try this one or go to http://www.pulse.ab.ca/consumers/recipes/ for more great salad ideas.

Mediterranean Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 cup (250 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup (250 mL) cooked chickpeas
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) black olives, chopped
1/3 cup (75 mL) feta cheese
3/4 cup (175 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (75 mL) balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. (30 mL) white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. (15 mL) sugar (optional)
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 tsp. (5 mL) dried basil
1/2 tsp. (2 mL) dried crushed red pepper
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Nutrition

Calories 190 kcal
Carbohydrates 18 g
Fibre 4 g
Protein 5 g
Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Folate 70 mcg
Iron 1.5 mg
Calcium 60 mg
Potassium 255 mg
Sodium 115 mg

Directions

Place water and quinoa in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until quinoa is soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Quinoa will absorb remaining water and become quite fluffy. If you prefer and crunchier quinoa, drain off any remaining water and then allow to cool completely.

In a large bowl place the chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, black olives and feta. Mix together and add the cooled quinoa.

Whisk together the oil, vinegars, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, garlic and spices. Pour 125 mL dressing over salad. Toss well and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to combine. For a moister salad, add more dressing or place remaining dressing in a spritzer bottle and add additional dressing to individual salads as desired.

Note: For a quick dressing mix together equal portions of commercial balsamic vinaigrette and spicy Italian vinaigrette and add to the salad.