In all honesty, this absolutely mouth-watering salad was the result of nothing more than limited fridge rations and a growling stomach.

I’m quite a meticulous person; I like to plan, over-think, edit. Although I would love to be more spontaneous, it doesn’t come naturally to me…(unless we’re talking about quitting my job and leaving the UK to live in the Caribbean…I guess that was pretty spontaneous). Nevertheless, when it comes to creativity, I definitely think the best creations are those that are not anticipated. This salad is one of those random masterpieces.

You’ve got the warm garlicky notes of the chickpeas with a spicy quinoa, red cabbage, carrot and capsicum salad base, mixed together with creamy avocado and olive oil. Totally delicious and great hot or cold.

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Yield: Serves 2

Total cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup quinoa

1 cup water

1 vegetable stock cube (or homemade if you have it handy!)

1 ½ cup chopped red cabbage

1 carrot (grated)

1 red pepper/capsicum (diced)

Olive oil

1 ripe avocado

1 fresh medium/hot chilli pepper

Garlic powder

Ground coriander (cilantro)

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper (thinly sliced)

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander. Then place them in a baking tray, drizzle them with plenty of olive oil, and season them with a generous helping of garlic powder, coriander powder, sea salt and black pepper. Shake them well within the tray so that every chickpea gets a nice coating. Place them in the oven to cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

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Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan and add the stock cube. Stir until completely dissolved and add a little of the fresh chilli to the water. Turn the heat down, so that the water is simmering. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve and add it to the saucepan.

DSC01838Partially cover the saucepan and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, uncovering and stirring every so often, until the quinoa is cooked and nearly all the water has evaporated.

While the quinoa and the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.

Once the quinoa is cooked (best when it’s still a little al denté), drain any excess water and add it to a mixing bowl with the red cabbage, carrot, red pepper and half the chilli slices. Scoop out half the avocado flesh into the bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of garlic powder, salt and pepper. If you have fresh coriander/cilantro, add some of that too. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly so that the avocado and oil act as a dressing.

To serve, top the quinoa slaw with the other half of the avocado, the chickpeas (most delicious when hot out of the oven) and the remainder of the chilli pepper.

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