Apple and Chickpea Quinoa

It is delightful to know that apple and pumpkin do not have to be solely reserved for desserts.  I decided that I would go with that premise and introduce some apples to one of my main entrees.  I think it is funny to think that 50 years ago the idea of putting fruit into a rice dish or a salad was probably a shocking thought.  However, this is now commonplace in all menus and in homes throughout the country and the world.  Funny how things change.

The mix of savory and sweet is something that has really changed the foodie game over the past fifty years, and now sweet is not just reserved for dessert and savory is not just reserved for appetizers and entrees.  You no longer need to wait until the “appropriate” course of your meal to have your palette balanced with suitable flavors because now you can do that all in the same bite.  The complexity of a bite of food is now able to evoke so many emotions and memories that not only are you overwhelmed by a delicious bite, but you are also inspired to feel something that is uniquely to you.  I love how the same bite of food can mean something absolutely different and unique to each individual person.  The individuality of food is precisely what makes you feel so full; the individuality of food is precisely why food is art.

Very slightly adapted from: CookinCanuck

Ingredients

1 gala apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup chickpeas

1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Dressing

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinagrette

2 teaspoons spicy mustard

2 tablespoons of honey

salt and pepper

Directions

1.  Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Fluff with fork when done and then transfer to bowl.

2.  Add chickpeas, tomatoes and apple to quinoa.  Mix well.

3.  In a small bowl, mix together dressing ingredients.

4.  Add dressing to quinoa salad.  Toss well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Share and enjoy!
This is a delicious way to dress up some apples for the fall.  It is a simple but perfect lunch time salad or side item for dinner.

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