Quinoa, Apricot and Chickpea Salad with Grilled Halloumi

The base for this recipe was inspired by a Quinoa Pilaf recipe from Ellie Krieger’s Small Changes, Big Results.
I bulked up the recipe with chickpeas, added a spiced lemony dressing and, because I can’t leave well enough alone, I topped it with grilled halloumi slices. This is nourishing enough to be eaten as a main course and the addition of the chickpeas means you will not miss meat during your meal.

Quinoa, Apricot and Chickpea Salad with Grilled Halloumi

Ingredients (serves 3):
130g quinoa, rinsed
330ml water
25g flaked almonds, toasted
400g chickpea tin, rinsed and drained
50g dried apricots, chopped
2tbsp parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 big lemon (approx 50ml)
60ml olive oil
¼ tsp coarse sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
250g halloumi, sliced
1tsp olive oil
1-      First of all, if your quinoa is not the pre-rinsed kind, place it in a fine meshed sieve and rinse it under plenty of cold water. In a medium-sized pan, bring the water to the boil and add the quinoa. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked (cooking tip: the quinoa is cooked when the little white germ has popped out of the grain.) Drain the quinoa, leave it in the sieve, cover it with a clean tea towel and set aside.
2-      Toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan over high heat and set aside (do not take your eyes off the almonds as they will burn quickly if you do. Keep them moving in the pan so they toast evenly.)
3-      Fluff the quinoa with a fork and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped apricots, parsley, chickpeas and toasted almonds.
4-      To make the dressing, put the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin and Cayenne pepper in a small bowl and mix together.
5-      Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together.
6-      To grill the halloumi, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place the slices of halloumi in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
7-      Serve the salad topped with the grilled halloumi slices.




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