Friday, August 7, 2009

I Swear This is Not a Food Blog

I could never be mistaken for Julia Child, but I know my way around a kitchen well enough to ensure I don't starve. I live and die by "The Joy of Cooking" which is an encyclopedia for the culinary illiterate. I'm not afraid to experiment which is probably why my best "recipes" really have no recipe to speak of.

A staple in my diet is my signature chickpea salad. It's undergone many a variation in it's day, and the last incarnation was a combination of chickpeas, black beans, cucumber, green onion, grape tomatoes, feta cheese and my favourite balsamic salad dressing. Today, however, I changed things up a bit and decided to incorporate quinoa (pron. KEEN-wah).

I have never used quinoa before, so a little digging on the internet schooled me on proper preparation. Tip: it expands. A lot. After cooking way more quinoa than I really needed, I let it sit and cool for a few minutes before incoporating it into my salad. The results are spectacular, if I do say so myself, so I've decided to share my secret and embarrassingly easy recipe with y'all.

Kendall's Keen Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

1 19oz/540mL can of chickpeas
1 19oz/540mL can of black beans
1-2 cups of cooked quinoa (1/2 - 1 cup uncooked)
1/3 of a large English cucumber
most of a quart container of grape tomatoes
2-4 green onions (2 if large, 4 if small)
100 grams feta cheese (or to taste)
1/4 cup of your favourite salad dressing (vinaigrette works best)

After preparing too much quinoa, set aside to cool and try to figure out what you're going to do with the extra. Drain the chickpeas, rinse well and put in a large bowl. Drain the black beans, rinse well and add to the chickpeas. Add quinoa to the chickpeas and black beans until it looks like a good balance. Slice the cucumber into half-inch sections, then quarter the sections. Add to the chickpea/black bean/quinoa concoction. Slice each grape tomato in half and keep adding them to the chickpea/black bean/quinoa/cucumber almost-salad until you like what you see. Chop the green onions into small pieces and throw them in there, too. Drain the feta and crumble into the nearly-there salad. Give it a good stir (mix it up really well) and if it looks good, add the salad dressing a little bit at a time, stirring in between additions. Feel free to taste your wonderful creation to ensure the right amount has been added. Once you're satisfied, it's done!

I seriously tried hard to make this as easy to follow as possible, but feel free to make any changes/additions/etc. These measurements provide me with probably 7 to 10 servings and this will last about a week in the fridge.

Bon appetit!


Katie said...

quinoa is really good as a base for a yummy breakfast mixture..i like it with ginger honey, raspberries and soy easy way to use the leftovers AND have a healthy breakfast! mmmmm.

psychsarah said...

Years ago you sent me your recipe for the chickpea salad, and I've enjoyed it many times-I'm excited to try out this new variation. I've done quinoa in a casserole, but never a salad-sounds yummy!

PS It wouldn't be so bad if this were a food blog ;)

Rick Henderson said...

Turning into part food blog will give you an excuse to come to Cheese Mecca with us next time!

Mindy said...

May I recommend some black olives in your salad? I made it after we had it at book club and I coulda swore there were black olives in there.. but there wasn't.. until I made it.. and it was good.. so I recommend it. I didn't use the green onions. Apparently I confused those for the black olives.