Lemony Quinoa Chickpea Salad

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This delightful salad is a protein powerhouse and a perfect lunch.  Incorporating all parts of the lemon, it delivers bioflavonoids to boost your immune system and a sunny flavor to welcome in the Spring.

Soaking the quinoa overnight is not hard, it just takes a moment to plan ahead.  Soaking helps to remove saponins, the foamy soap-like stuff you see floating at the top, which can impede how well your body is able to digest this nutritious grain.

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Rinse well under cold water.  The you’re ready to cook it – quickly, too.  it only takes 15 minutes! I used a tri-color blend of quinoa but any color will work.

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Meanwhile, chop up some fresh green leaf lettuce.

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Find a gorgeous round lemon.

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And zest it!  The lemon zest contains enzymes and minerals that are great for your skin and hair.  The zest contains 10 times more vitamins than the juice itself.  It also fights cancer and improves bone health.  Whenever you use lemon in a recipe, include a little zest!

So put that lemon zest on top of the lettuce.

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Then peel the lemon.  I find a peeled lemon so curious and quaint.  Maybe because we hardly ever peel them?  Like a little yellow orange… That makes no sense I realize.

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Remove the seeds and chop the lemon into delicious chunks.

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Meanwhile, open a can of chickpeas and rinse them under cold water.

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Around now, your quinoa should be ready.  Especially if you fixated on the peeled lemon for a few moments like me.  Fluff the cooked grains with a fork and transfer it to a bowl.  Let is cool for a bit.

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Pile the chickpeas on top.  Protein and protein!

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And the chopped lemons.

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And throw on a handful of raisins!

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And sunflower seeds.

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Drizzle olive oil over.  Enough to bring it all together.  Salt and pepper to taste.

This salad is so much fun – a bite of tangy lemon is balanced by the sweetness of plump raisins.  Filling, protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas complement one another.  All grounded by a bed of green lettuce.  And it packs well to take it to work for lunch.  One of my favorites!

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 Lemony Quinoa Chickpea Salad

1/2 c. quinoa, soaked overnight in cold water to cover and then drained

3/4 c. water

2. c. green leaf lettuce, chopped

zest of 1 lemon

1 lemon, peeled and chopped

1 15 oz can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 T. to 1/4 c. olive oil, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 c. raisins

1/4 c. sunflower seeds

Combine the quinoa and the water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer 15 min until the water is absorbed.  Set aside to cool.

Place lettuce in a large bowl.  Top with lemon zest.

Toss the quinoa with the chickpeas, olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped lemon, raisins and sunflower seeds.

Pour the quinoa and chickpea mixture over the lettuce.  Serve at once and enjoy!

 

 

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