Sunday, October 16, 2016

Lemon-Turmeric Chickpea Broccoli Salad, and a Wrap Obsession

I struggle with lunch. I never really used to eat breakfast or lunch, in fact, subsisting on fruit and maybe the occasional Laughing Cow when I was younger (and my metabolism made random munchies, bites, licks, tastes, etc disappear faster than I could reach for something else to idly munch on), and not having any issue. However, even in my ripe young adulthood, I've become more nutrition-minded and have found that I look for something to chomp on for breakfast, snacking, and lunch. The curse of a desk job and student hood, sitting and reading and writing and even working at a lab bench instead of being constantly on the go and not having time to even think about food, I've come to the conclusion that 'tis time to face the lunch monster (the lunch lady? Cafeteria meat?). 

I've lately become OBSESSED with legume salads and the like, dips and other lovely textural things to wrap in a handheld package of lettuce, cabbage, collards, what have you. So this marks post #1 of my wrap adventures and all of the crazy things I endeavor to pile into a convenient cruciferous cocoon. 

Lemon-Turmeric Chickpea Broccoli Salad
1 ½ cups Lemon juice
3 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Nutmeg

Quinoa Crunch:
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 tsp Cumin

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
~ 13/4 cups Broccoli florets, roughly chopped
⅓ medium Red onion, minced

Make it happen:

Make the quinoa crunch:
Toss the cooked quinoa with the cumin and sprinkle on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Much like making a granola, the degree of spread of the quinoa is up to your preference for clumps or grains. I prefer chunkier clumps, and do not spread the quinoa out as finely to get them. Bake in the oven at 350 for approximately 10 minutes, or until dry and crunchy. Let cool and if necessary, break up slightly.

Make the salad:
Lightly steam or blanch the broccoli so that it is al dente, and still has a bite to it. 

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and combine in a bowl with the minced red onion and broccoli florets. Combine the ingredients for the dressing well and pour half into the salad. If you're like me and waited far too long to make lunch, and now you're ravenous, make sure the bowl is microwave-safe, and heat the salad for 2:00 minutes. My microwave works only on high-power, so you can adjust accordingly given the power of yours. The salad should be warm throughout.

If you're an organized human and have time to appropriately heat the salad in a small sauce pot, add a little more than half of the dressing, and heat over medium flame until warm throughout.

With a potato masher or the back of a fork, gently smash the chickpeas, leaving some whole. The texture should be chunky. Every few smashes, toss the salad to keep it well-mixed.

Add the remaining dressing, and toss the salad with some of the quinoa crunch, leaving some to garnish with. Or cram in your mouth as your stomach rumbles angrily, waiting for food.

I served my salad with cabbage leaf wraps that I gently steamed to make pliable, and a variety of colorful veggies to add to the salad in the wrap for some texture and freshness. This would be great on its own, or over wilted greens with a poached egg, perhaps. Actually...Excuse me while I go get some water and white vinegar simmering……

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