Summer in the midwest is unpredictable at best.This summer has been pretty decent so far…….and then….holy crap its hot!!!!!!! When it’s hot, the last thing I want is to heat up the kitchen, or eat anything hot….ugh! Asparagus Farro Feta Salad is a cool delicious salad…. when its too hot to cook.
Tim and I had to give up our beloved asparagus patch when we moved, but we still enjoy asparagus as much as ever. With summer heat ramping up I really don’t feel like cooking….I barely feel like eating, although I do manage…LOL
Chickpea, oh chickpea, how do I love thee……..let me count the ways……..
I eat chickpeas everyday, and no, I am not exaggerating. At the High School in my School District, we have a very large ala carte line with lots of great food items. We also have a rocking salad bar, on which we have chickpeas….a.k.a. garbanzo beans. I have a salad daily and I load on the chickpeas.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein (good for vegetarians), loaded with fiber, contains vitamins and minerals and significantly boosts your intake of manganese and folate. So kinda the Superman of Beans !!
Making a salad with them seemed like the natural thing to do. I made a kinda tuna salad from them. Mashed up the chickpeas, added shallots, celery, dill, and for extra crunch and yummy flavor, some crisp apples, and toasted pecans. Just add lemon juice and a touch of relish and you have a chickpeas salad that will rival a tuna salad any day of the week!
I wrapped mine in lettuce leaves, but it would be awesome on toasted whole grain bread, or stuffed inside a pita.
So, next time you want a light, refreshing, and crunchy salad……try making Chickpeas Salad with Apple and Pecans. Perfect for you vegetarians or if you want to try a meatless Monday!!
This salad was totally for me……..and it was damn good!!!!
Truth be told Tim is not a quinoa lover. I adore it….I would eat it all the time. I have found it frozen at my local grocery store, which I should give a heads up to Kroger…What the “Forks” for Dinner’s, go to grocer. The frozen quinoa comes in a steam-able bag and is perfect for dishes that call for quinoa….pop it in the wave and a couple of minutes later…ta da…..recipe ready.
I have been eating a lot of chickpeas …aka garbanzo beans lately. Theyhave a kinda nutty taste and a texture thats buttery, but starchy too. Plus they have a ton of fiber and protein that makes them perfect for a meatless dish. Not this dish…..it has bacon….yum!!! The dish has bacon because it has cabbage, and you need bacon with cabbage…..just saying!
The other ingredients, were things I had left over from other dishes. Thats the tough part of buying groceries for two, you have stuff left! So, in my effort to be thrifty, I wanted to use up, some carrots,red pepper, and snow peas. They melded really well with the quinoa, bacon, and cabbage.
A little lemon zest and juice for a bright tartness, and dill for that springtime touch…..Toasted Quinoa Salad. You can serve this either warm or cold…..perfect springtime salad for lunch or a light dinner!
2 slices applewood smoke bacon cut into small pieces
1/2 head cabbage thinly sliced
1/4 cup red pepper
1/4 cup carrots
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup snow peas
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook quinoa according to package directions. (I buy mine frozen in a steam-able bag at my local grocery store.)
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove, reserving the bacon fat. Add cabbage, red pepper, and carrots cooking until cabbage is limp.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet. Add quinoa, and raise heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is toasted and crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chickpeas, snow peas, bacon,lemon zest and juice, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in dill.