Monday, August 6, 2012

Chipotle Chop Salad

Salads are one of my favorite meals but they can get a bit boring. But with a bit of creativity (and blog or cookbook browsing), you can create unusual but delicious salads that are filling and don't make you want to reach for a burger after. 

One of the best ways to make a filling salad is by incorporating beans and grains. My favorite grain to include is quinoa. It is protein packed and because its light, it sticks to the lettuce in the salad (instead of collecting at the bottom of the bowl like brown rice). Fun fact: quinoa isn't even actually a grain. It's a seed and a complete protein, thus ideal for vegetarians and vegans. 

Today I was in charge of lunch for me, my sister and my dad so I whipped up this simple but colorful salad that tasted much better than it looks. The recipe is adapted from one of Chef Chloe's recipes from her book, 'Chloe's Kitchen', which has become a staple for me. This salad actually tastes better when it has had time to soak just a bit, because the beans and quinoa soak up the dressing, so its a perfect make-ahead meal. 

Chipotle Chop Salad
Serves 4
Adapted from Chloe's Kitchen
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 cup red cabbage, sliced thinly
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup beans of your choice, I used navy beans but black would have been tastier
2 tbsp hemp hearts, optional
2 spring onions, thinly sliced 
handful walnuts, chopped 
handful cilantro, chopped
1 tsp chipotle seasoning

for the dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp agave or honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon (lime is better but I only had lemons) 
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients and serve! Easy peasy and delicious. 

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