Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette

January 12, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Salads, Side Dishes

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette

Looking for a potluck dish? You’ve got it right here!

However, let me be honest, I think I had some pot-luck bad luck when it came to taking pictures of the completed dish. So, I apologize for the lackluster photos. I couldn’t *not* share this recipe because it really was just that good.

We had to say goodbye to two of our original vegetarian potluck crew as they move on to Boston. Our theme for the night was an Italian feast. Charged with bringing a side-dish, I wanted something flavorful and interesting. This fit that bill.

You can serve this salad warm or cold. Perfect for a potluck so you don’t have to worry about heating anything up.

Smoky paprika is something you should keep in your spice rack at all times. It adds a unique flavor to any dish.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette
Recipe from: Katherine Martinelli

  • 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Salt
  • 6 small or 3 large portabello mushrooms (about 6 ounces), sliced
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15- to 16-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 unpeeled cucumber, chopped
  • 6 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
  • 1½ cups crumbled feta or Bulgarian cheese (about 7 ounces), divided
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Pepper
  1. Put the quinoa in a large saucepan and 1¾ cup water, or enough water to cover quinoa by about 1 inch. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and drain of any remaining liquid, if there is any. Allow to cool slightly. (Megabeth note: I just made my quinoa in the rice cooker. Used the same quinoa to water ratio, turned on the cooker and let it cook while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.)
  2. Heat a drop of olive oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) until very hot. Add the portabello mushrooms and cook until tender and cooked through. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until fully absorbed, another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Put the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, 1 cup of cheese, and half of the mushrooms in a large bowl.
  4. Add the cooled quinoa and toss gently to blend.
  5. Whisk vinegar and smoked paprika in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.
  7. Sprinkle remaining feta and mushrooms over and serve immediately.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette

Adzuki Bean Quinoa Sesame Pizza with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

April 19, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

The name of this recipe is a mouthful. And, what a great mouthful it is. It comes from Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier. The book warns, these are not your normal pizzeria pizzas. And, it’s not. This pizza is a fork and knife endeavor.

This recipe combines two separate recipes in the book. The sauce can be used for other things – either hot or cold. Brazier suggests that if you heat up the sauce then add a little nutritional yeast to thicken it up a bit.

I baked my pizzas a little longer than suggested to see if I could get it to harden up a little more. It did a little bit, but it’s not going to get to a state where you can pick up your slice by hand. The essence of this pizza is in the flavor experience. Your time eating this shouldn’t be spent wondering if it should be called a pizza or not in the first place. You should just enjoy the flavor experience and the fact that you are getting a nutrition-packed meal perfect for an athlete in training.

Adzuki Bean Quinoa Sesame Pizza with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

From: Brendan Brazier’s Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life


  • 1 cup cooked or sprouted adzuki beans
  • 1 cup cooked or sprouted quinoa
  • 1/2 cup ground sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or hemp oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dulse flakes


  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 strips dulse (about 1/2 cup tightly packed)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup grated cucumber
  • 3 Tablespoons hemp oi
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • salt, to taste

For the sauce:

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in the water for 20 minutes. Retain this water. In a food processor, process all ingredients, including sun-dried tomato water, until desired consistency is reached. (You can keep this refrigerated for up to one week.)

For pizza and crust:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a food processor, process all crust ingredients until mixture starts to ball up. Lightly oil the baking tray with coconut oil. Spread mixture on tray to about 1/4 inch thick (it can be thicker or thinner if you prefer).

Spread sauce on crust; add toppings.

Bake for 45 minutes. (This will vary slightly depending on the moisture content of the toppings and the desired crispness of the pizza.)

Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Tacos

January 04, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe

Remember that warm quinoa and corn salad I made a few recipes ago? Well, it’s back and paired up with some roasted vegetables to make a taco.

One thing I am always, Dear Reader, is honest. And, I must confess something here. The flavors of this recipe were really super good, but my execution of it was, well, terrible. You see, I picked up soft tacos rather than hard taco shells. The weight of the potato mixture and the quinoa made these next to impossible to pick up and eat. What’s the fun of a taco if you have to eat it with a knife and fork?

So, please note that my final pictures of nicely lined up tacos actually turned into a fiesta of food all over my plate. I ate them as a quasi-burrito then gave up and grabbed my fork.

Bottom line: use hard shells if you want to have a taco experience. Otherwise, fill soft tortillas and roll them up as a burrito. Or, just throw the roasted vegetables with the quinoa salad and dig in!

Quinoa and Vegetable Tacos
Vegetarian Journal, Vol. 30, Issue One 2011

  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, washed and diced
  • 1 medium potato, washed and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled, outer skin removed, and diced
  • 1 ½ cup sliced carrots (1/2-inch slices)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups Warm Quinoa and Corn Salad
  • 1 ½ cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 or 2 cups chopped medium-sized tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • 1 package prepared vegan taco shells

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place potatoes, onions, and carrots in a large baking dish.

Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and place in the oven. Roast vegetables, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

While the vegetables roast, assemble the remaining ingredients. Microwave the Quinoa and Corn Salad for a few minutes or until warmed. Layer the quinoa and corn, roasted vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa in taco shells.


Warm Quinoa and Corn Salad

December 12, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

Quinoa. I’ve cooked with it many times here on Veggin’, and I can’t say enough about it. It’s so easy to cook and it packs a punch with protein that it really should be in every pantry.

This quinoa and corn salad is fabulous warm or cold on it’s own. You can also pair it with other recipes, including one I’ll be featuring here on Veggin’ very soon. Stay tuned!

And, before I forget, let’s talk how easy this is to make. You cook the quinoa, whisk up the dressing and take a minute to chop some fresh herbs and scallions and you’re done. Look forward to the leftovers, the longer it sits, the better it gets.

Warm Quinoa and Corn Salad
from  Vegetarian Journal

Quinoa and Corn

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can corn, drained and rinsed

Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, add the quinoa and corn, bring to a second boil, and then reduce heat again.

Cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until grains have absorbed all of the water. While the quinoa and corn cook, prepare the dressing.


  • 4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, and garlic. Add cayenne, if desired.

(So, easy that I didn’t even think to take a picture of this step!)

Finishing and Serving

  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped curly parsley or peppercress
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts (I used pecans)

When quinoa is done, transfer to a medium-sized serving bowl. Blend the dressing, scallions, and parsley into the quinoa. Top each serving with some walnuts (or pecans). Serve with a steamed vegetable side dish.

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