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A little while ago we had a reader request for some ideas on how to cook quinoa, the super healthy, alternative grain. Following on from my quinoa porridge, I decided to experiment with a quinoa salad.

Keeping in mind Saskia’s crusade on combining for protein, I added chickpeas and veggies to the quinoa. I had some carrot, zucchini and capsicum around but I am sure this would work with a range of vegetables. I think the secret to the success of this salad is cooking the quinoa in vegetable stock (which gives a savoury element) and adding the preserved lemon for a flavour hit.

The result was a seriously delicious and easy salad that will keep you on the go all day. I’m definitely planning to make this again!

Chickpea and quinoa salad

This salad works equally well served hot or cold.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/2 red capsicum, chopped
1 tbs chopped preserved lemon
1 can of chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbs chopped spring onions
2 tbs chopped parsley, to garnish

  • Cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock. Note: I made the quinoa in my rice cooker, which worked very well. If you don’t have a rice cooker, bring the stock and quinoa to the boil in a saucepan, cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the grain is fluffy.
  • Meanwhile, fry the garlic in some olive oil then add the chopped vegetables and preserved lemon.
  • Sauté until vegetables have softened (about 5 minutes) then add the chickpeas and cook until heated through.
  • Mix the vegetables with the cooked quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper. Note: be careful with adding salt as both the preserved lemon and stock can be salty – I didn’t add any extra salt at all.
  • Stir the spring onions through and garnish with the chopped parsley.
  • Enjoy!

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