ABOUT THE RECIPE:
Red quinoa is becoming more commonly available in supermarkets. Here, it adds gorgeous color along with a slightly nutty taste to this hearty, main-dish Red Quinoa, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
3/4 cup red quinoa (see note), rinsed very well
1 1/2 cups filtered or spring water
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small red onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
2 medium avocados
Put the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.
Meanwhile, place the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, diced onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, cayenne pepper, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Let the bean mixture stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Put the cooked quinoa in a medium bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil while it is still warm. Let the quinoa mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
Add the quinoa to the chickpea mixture. Add the parsley, red pepper, and remaining lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Right before serving, cube the avocados and add them to the salad. Toss gently to combine. Serve over lettuce leaves with whole-grain bread on the side. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
NOTE: White quinoa may be used in this recipe.