While I was vegan, and the vegetarian, quinoa was my kryptonite. It was still a relatively new dish – and word – in the American vernacular, but I had the advantage of writing for a publication that focused on food allergies and sensitivities. Needless to say, quinoa was the superstar of many featured recipes.
This tiny seed (yes, it’s actually a seed!) is a protein powerhouse – it’s a complete protein, which means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs. Typically, plant-based sources must be combined (rice and beans, for example) to be considered complete.
In this particular salad, I added garbanzo beans for a little added protein and texture. The dressing enhances the warm, nutty flavor of the seeds and beans; while you can use whatever veggies you choose, the variety of greens and reds makes it perfect to serve at a holiday meal.
Holiday Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1/2 cup dry or canned garbanzo beans
- 1/2 cup shaved Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 cup chopped red peppers
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 T tahini
- 1 T miso paste
- 2 T sherry vinegar
- Slivered almonds, to garnish
- Soak quinoa for at least 2 hours, then drain and boil on medium heat with 2 cups water until fluffy.
- Soak garbanzo beans at least 2 hours, then drain and boil on medium heat with 2 cups of water for 45-60 minutes.
- Add beans to quinoa, then add Brussels sprouts, pepper and onion and combine.
- To make the dressing, whisk tahini and miso with sherry vinegar, then pour over salad and mix. Add pomegranates and lightly toss, then garnish with slivered almonds.