Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon-Tahini Dressing
I’ve always been prone to rather severe hangovers, but they’ve gotten increasingly terrifying with age. I mean, in college I could at least drag myself to Sunday brunch after a big night (usually still wearing the previous night’s fancy outfit, but whatever), maybe go to the movies, and potentially even get some studying done. At the ripe old age of 26? NOT A CHANCE.
It pains me to inform you that anything more than a single glass of wine is enough to induce at least a mild headache and nausea the next morning, so you can imagine what a night of sipping cocktails until the wee hours of the morning does to me these days. If you’re having trouble visualizing the horror, I will briefly describe the intense misery I endured this past weekend.
I woke up on Sunday morning at 8am. This was approximately 5 hours after I had gotten home from a friend’s particularly rowdy surprise party and face-planted on my bed. My roommate’s snoring (which was probably no louder than normal) sounded like a thousand raging bulls charging through an echo chamber, and it felt like those bulls were kicking me in the head, and occasionally, the stomach. I was life-threateningly thirsty, but climbing over Logan to get to the water on his side of the bed seemed about as possible as running a marathon while wearing a scuba suit filled with cement. Plus, I wasn’t even sure whether the full Nalgene of water on his bedside table was real or simply a hangover-induced mirage. It was hot in the room, so hot, and I was starving. Long story short, it was the end of days. I tried to roll Logan over to stop the godforsaken noises coming from his face area, while whispering, “I love you,” just in case it was the last time.
When Logan finally woke up, I was intensely relieved. Misery loves company. However, much to my chagrin, Logan was fine. Sure, he looked a little puffy, but he was able to walk and talk, which was more than I could say for myself at that moment. Considering the fact that he is four years my senior and had easily consumed twice as much alcohol the night before, I found this to be incredibly unfair. Some people are just #blessed, I suppose.
It’s very lucky that Logan was a functioning human being this past Sunday, as I’m not sure what I would have done if he hadn’t been able to venture into the world and gather food, while I waited anxiously in the dark and watched an entire season of Parenthood. Things must have looked pretty grim because he let me roll around eating a bacon grilled cheese in bed, under the covers, and Logan is very much against crumbs in the sheets. True love.
If you’re thinking that my condition improved over the course of the day, you are wrong. It got worse. That hangover was of the time-release variety, and as the hours slowly passed, I died a thousand tiny deaths. When Logan told me we had to leave for the Super Bowl celebration at Hill Country, I couldn’t do it. I was forced to call out from my cocoon of darkness and pillows, “Just leave me! I’m not gonna make it. But can you bring me some barbecue in case I’m still alive when you get home?”
In the six hours that my roommate was gone, I did manage to crawl out to the couch to watch the Beyoncé-less halftime show and crush some delivery tacos, which was quite a feat. I wasn’t remotely hungry when Logan finally returned bearing six pounds of barbecue, but I managed to make a decent dent in it before promptly passing out. Everyone got the meat sweats Sunday night.
Needless to say, yesterday was rough. My booze hangover was replaced with a food hangover, and the latter wasn’t much of an improvement. I needed antioxidants, a liter of coconut water, and several pounds of greens. It was probably a good time for a kale salad, but I really wasn’t in the mood. (My relationship with kale is still very much love-hate.) Instead, I made myself a Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon-Tahini Dressing.
This bowl was a revelation. Spinach, cucumber, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and crispy chickpeas tossed with quinoa and a bright lemony dressing makes for some seriously flavorful healthy goodness. Packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and a whole host of essential vitamins and minerals, this vegan miracle meal will make you feel like a god/goddess almost immediately. Just looking at it is practically a cleansing experience.
While there are a lot of badass things going on in this detoxifying quinoa “salad,” the crispy chickpeas kind of steal the show. Roasting chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil, smoked paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper transforms the fiber-rich legumes into crunchy, spicy little wonders that add amazing flavor and texture to the goddess bowl. You should maybe double the amount of chickpeas for the recipe and keep some on hand as a nutritious snack. Just a thought.
Despite the 40 minutes that you need to roast those chickpeas, whipping up a Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl is a breeze. It makes an amazingly satisfying lunch or dinner, and you can easily prep it in advance and then add the avocado and crispy chickpeas right before serving. I highly recommend eating this for dinner and taking leftovers to work with you, since it’s pretty much the definition of a sassy desk lunch.
As always, please feel free to modify this recipe according to season and/or personal taste, friends. You can always throw some grilled chicken, shrimp or cheese (feta and goat are good choices) into the mix if you want to bulk up your bowl. You could also swap tomatoes for mango, citrus, pomegranate, or any other fruit that floats your boat, and if you prefer a creamier dressing, try this yogurt-tahini option. Creativity!
I took down two Quinoa Green Goddess Bowls yesterday, and I woke up feeling significantly more goddess than Kesha this morning, which was glorious. If your Super Bowl Sunday was anything like mine, I suggest you get on the god(dess) bowl train immediately. Peace out.
Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon-Tahini Dressing: (Serves 2 very generously)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup uncooked quinoa
½ seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups packed spinach, finely chopped (You could also use kale or arugula if you prefer.)
1 avocado, diced
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons warm water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced (I like to use a microplane to grate the garlic so that it mixes smoothly into the dressing)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Fresh Ground Pepper
For Garnish: (optional)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Preparing your Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon-Tahini Dressing:
-Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
-Start with the chickpeas, friends. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place them between two paper towels. Gently pat them dry. When you do this, you’ll notice that some of the “skins” on the chickpeas will come loose. That’s a good thing. Just pick off the loose skins and discard them.
-Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy, stirring once after about 15 minutes. The cooking time will vary a little bit depending on the size of your chickpeas, so make sure to check on them after 30 minutes.
-While the chickpeas are roasting, cook the quinoa. Pour the quinoa into a small pot with 1½ cups of water and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, still covered, for five minutes, then fluff with a fork and turn it out into a larger bowl to cool to room temperature. (I like to pop the bowl in the fridge to help it cool faster, but I’m impatient like that.)
NOTE: If you’re preparing the your Quinoa Green Goddess Bowls in advance, wait to add the avocado and chickpeas until just before serving. You don’t want the avocado to brown or the chickpeas to get soggy. Duh.
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