Roasted Chickpea-Quinoa Masala Salad
This amazing high-protein veggie salad will leave everyone - especially the omnivores - asking for more.
- Dried chickpeas
- Chana masala or garam masala
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 cup finely minced cilantro
- 2 lemons
- 1 box silken tofu (soft)
- dijon mustard
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1 avocado, cut into slices
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- Cook Chickpeas. If you know me, I always used dried beans rather than canned. Soak 3 cups of chickpeas in ample water overnight. Drain them and cook the next day in about 8 cups of water for about 1 hour. Once soft, drain. They are ready to go! You can also use your slow cooker. Follow recipe on page 128 in Vegan Indian Cooking. You’ll basically cook 3 cups of the dried chickpeas in 5 cups of water in a 3 ½ quart slow cooker for 4 hours on high. If you have not checked out the section of this book entitled ‘Slow-Cooked Legumes to Stovetop’ you absolutely need to. It shows you cooking times for whole beans and lentils in plain water. Freeze half of whatever you cook for later – you’ll never have to reach for a can again.
- Cook Quinoa. Cook 3 cups of quinoa (white, red, or mixed) in 6 cups of water until cooked through. Once cooked, turn the heat off, cover the pan, and let the quinoa soak up any remaining moisture. Alternatively, you can use rice, but why not use the high-protein seed, quinoa.
- Make Chickpea Poppers. A perfect introduction of Indian food to your kids. Again, if you have Vegan Indian Cooking at home, find it on page 100 (note that I use more chickpeas here). Set your oven rack at the highest position and preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put about 7 cups of cooked chickpeas in a large mixing bowl, add 3 tablespoons of chana masala, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons of oil (I use grapeseed). Mix well. Arrange seasoned chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove, mix, and return to oven to cook another 10 minutes. Remove to cool. They are salted well here, but you don’t add salt again to the salad, and it ends up balancing out. Don't worry if you don't have chana masala handy, use garam masala instead or even curry powder (thought that's not a traditional Indian spice).
- Roast Bell Peppers. Place 2 bell peppers on a fresh baking sheet. Turn oven up to 500 degrees, and place tray in oven on the same oven rack as the poppers. Cook, turn, and cook again, until the peppers are black and charred all over. Start roasting quinoa - see below. Once cooked, immediately place charred peppers in a container and seal with a lid. (I use glass Pyrex because nothing hot should ever ever sit in plastic). Let them sit until they are cool enough to handle. The steam will loosen the outer skin and you can easily peel it off. Remove and discard the seeds and dice or slice them.
- Roast Quinoa. While the peppers are roasting, transfer quinoa to a lightly oiled large baking tray. Drizzle with oil, and place in the oven for 20 minutes until it browns and gets slightly crunchy around the edges. I like to put it on the tray right under the peppers. Pull it out, and while it’s still steaming, add 1 cup of finely minced cilantro and the juice of 1 large lemon. Mix well. Keep the quinoa in this tray to serve as well. Make dressing. In a food processor blend together 1 box of silken tofu, 4 cloves of garlic, the juice of 1 medium lemon, 2 tablespoon of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Blend well and transfer to a bowl. Alternatively, you can use Greek Yogurt and spice it up with some Indian spices like garam masala, but I find it’s a little dry. I prefer the dressing. Now comes the easy part. Finally.
- Add the chickpea poppers and roasted peppers to the tray of quinoa. Mix well. This is your most basic salad. To Serve: Garnish with chopped onion, avocado slices, mango cubes, and dollops of the dressing. When I am serving guests I put the salad all together on the one platter and serve warm (the dressing is there on top in scoops for guests to take as little or as much of as they want). When I use it for my lunches for the week, I refrigerate the basic salad, and add the onion, avocado, mango, and dressing just before eating.
Please note that the chickpeas (if you make them from dried) do take one night of soaking (unless you make them in the slow cooker). It’s also a cinch to make the separate roasted elements for the salad a day or so ahead of time, and then put it together the day you serve your guests. I promise they will ooh and aaaah!www.indianasapplepie.com