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

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

December 01, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Other

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Oh boy did I need this soup. My bike commute home was wet, cold and miserable, but once I heated up this soup all became right with the world. The soup was smoky, savory and thick. Everything I needed to warm up from the cold ride. The spiced pumpkin seeds were a unique treat not normally seen on a weekday meal.

The original recipe came from the January 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times and asked for kabocha squash and pepitas. However, I wanted to use the last butternut squash I received from my vegetable deliveries. I also found some great looking pumpkin seeds at the organic market. So, I took the alternate path in making this recipe.

By the way, the first steps of the original recipe were to make the spiced seeds but I was able to make them when the soup was set to simmer.

And, finally, I’ll admit it…I accidentally used 2 Tablespoons instead of 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika in this preparation. But, you know, it actually came out really good! So, I don’t really consider it a mistake but a discovery. Yeah, that’s it.

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Adapted from Vegetarian Times, January 2009

Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or, try it with 2 Tablespoons for a stronger flavor)
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 pound butternut squash (or kabocha squash), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

Spiced Seeds
1/2 cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if the pumpkin seeds are already salted)
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (omitted in this preparation)

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup

Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, saute 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in garlic, smoked paprika, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute more. (Note the 2 Tablespoons rather than 2 teaspoons of paprika I was supposed to put in…whoops!)

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Add sherry, and cook 2 minutes. Add squash, vegetable broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to mdium-low. Cook 25 minutes, or until squash is tender. (Note: While it’s simmering move on to making the spiced pumpkin seeds – recipe below.)

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Remove bay leaf, and puree soup in food processor or blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Served sprinkled with spiced seeds.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Note: I used my toaster oven.) Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together pumpkin seeds (or pepitas), olive oil, agave nectar, paprika, and salt in small bowl.

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Spread on prepared baking sheet, and bake 10 to 12 minutes turning occaisionally. (Note: Keep an eye on these guys because they’ll go from being nice and toasty to burned in 2 seconds flat.) Break pumpkin seeds apart, and toss with cilantro (if using).

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds


Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds



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