Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Vegan Mofo #9 - Isa’s Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette...
Vegan Mofo #9 - Isa’s Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
The Book - "Appetite for Reduction"
The Author - Isa Chandra Moskowitz
The Recipe - Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Page # 16-17
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 20 minutes if you prepare Quinoa in advance, 1 hour if you don’t.
Ugh! It’s been a busy hectic day. I’ve been operating in a whirlwind since 10am, preparing for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving celebrations. Canadian Thanksgiving is actually on October 10th this year, however since we’re going to be on vacation at that time we decided to celebrate early. Thanksgiving is my hands down, absolute favorite holiday. It is the only holiday left that hasn’t been fully corrupted by commercialization or religion. At least Canadian Thanksgiving. American Thanksgiving I’ve noticed is a little more commercialized - people put giant blow up turkeys on their lawns here, and giant blow up pilgrims! What? - and a lot more religious. - The labeling of certain Thanksgiving ‘traditions’ as ‘Christian’ and praying before and/or after the meal, what? - Yet despite how much I love this holiday I always, always seem to forget each year just how much work it is. It’s very labor intensive for just one person, especially if you’re making your own pies from scratch as I do. Yikes! But let’s never mind all that right now. Today’s vegan mofo post will be about another salad, one of my favorite cook book salad recipes actually.
Isa’s Everyday Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette is fantastic! First of all I love chickpeas They are my favorite legume, and virtually any recepie that includes them just automatically gets my attention. I also love how simple and easy to prepare it is. There aren’t a lot of ingredients so there isn’t a lot of fuss. Yet it’s an immensely satisfying and filling salad full of wonderful complex flavors. I consider this the perfect meal to bring to work. I don’t know about you but a lot of times I don’t have time to prepare food before I leave, which leaves me hungry at work. Though I’m able to buy something vegan for lunch while at work I prefer to save the money and make my own lunch. So this salad is perfect, because if you prep the Quinoa and the dressing the night before you can throw this together in 10 minutes. It’s also great because if you keep the dressing in a separate container the salad will keep well at room temperatures for a couple of hours. Which is perfect for those of us who may not have refrigerators at work, or for those of us who don’t feel comfortable leaving our lunches in them.
Another great thing about this salad is that it uses quinoa. Quinoa is a grain I actually really love, though admittedly I don’t use it often in my cooking. One way or another I always fall back on brown rice or whole grain Cous cous, and sometimes feel at a loss as to what to make with that lovely 5 pound bag of quinoa in my pantry. This is perfect. You throw a couple of cups worth into your salad and you get the benefit of all that wonderful nutrition along with the delicate nutty flavor.
I’ve made this salad several times, and since I’m only making it for myself I usually cut the amount of quinoa down to 1 cup. 2 cups is just a bit too much for just me to eat. Otherwise I almost always do it according to the directions. Isa includes optional add-ons if you’re looking to make the salad a bit more hearty but I don’t usually add them in. I make the salad strictly the recipe way and love it. It never gets old. The dressing however I do tend to play around with, only because I find it’s too much vinegar for me. I don’t like anything to vinegary or too sweet and so I’m often playing around with the dressing to find that perfect happy medium.
It should also be noted that the dressing is made a lot easier and much smoother in a Vitamix, but I’m if you don’t mind a slightly more grainy dressing then I’m sure a regular blender or food processor would be okay.
PS: I just wish I had better pictures to share with you as these were taken rather in a hurry. I hope they capture just how wonderful this salad is!