While quinoa (keen-wah) is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed from the stalk of a tall leafy plant related to spinach and beets. But, it can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. You can also eat the leaves of this plant, but usually when people talk about ‘quinoa’, they are referring to the much more widely available and popular seed. A nutritional powerhouse, quinoa is a complete source of protein, providing all 9 essential amino acids, making it perfect for vegetarians. It is also gluten and cholesterol-free and has plenty of heart-healthy omega-3s. March is Quinoa Month, which is when the harvest of quinoa starts in the high Andes.
Recipe courtesy of Sugar Ridge Vegetarian Retreat Centre.
Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Lime
1 cup quinoa1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed1/2 cup dried cranberrieszest and juice from one lime2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 tsp cumin1 tbsp honey (or agave nectar)2 cloves garlic, crushed
Prepare quinoa as directed on package and set aside to cool. Put chickpeas and cranberries in a bowl and toss with all the dressing ingredients. Drain quinoa well and mix into salad. To add some color and crunch, chop some snow peas and toss them in.