Pulse Love: Nutritional benefits

It’s month two of my Pulse Love series. 2016 is International Year of Pulses, declared by the United Nations, and I’m showing pulses some love this year. If you missed the first post in this series check it out: Pulse Love: What are pulses?

Pulses contain many nutritional benefits. They are high in fibre, a good source of protein, low in fat and packed with essential nutrients. Pulses are also gluten-free for those with Celiac disease or gluten-intolerance.

Source: Pulse Canada – http://www.pulsecanada.com/food-health/nutritional-benefits 

This month’s recipe features a healthy Quinoa, Chickpea, Cucumber and Feta Salad. I’ve never cooked with quinoa before so that was a new experience for me as well. Fun fact: 2013 was International Year of Quinoa.

Quinoa, Chickpea, Cucumber and Feta Salad

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (beige, red or black)
1 cup water
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 chopped, unpeeled cucumber
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup sliced baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
To taste salt and pepper

Directions

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Tip: Do not overcook. Chill in the refrigerator to cool. 

In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, spinach and about half of the feta. Gently toss in the cooled quinoa; do not overmix or stir. Whisk vinegar, honey and paprika in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over the combined salad ingredients; toss gently. Top with extra feta if desired; serve immediately. 

Note: Recipe adapted from the W Network – www.wnetwork.com

Chickpea_salad
Canned chickpeas – drained and rinsed. 
QuinoaChickpeaSalad
Healthy Quinoa, Chickpea, Cucumber and Feta Salad. 

Don’t miss the next post in the Pulse Love series in March. 

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