Talk about PROTEIN! This easy dish has it all. This is one of the biggest concerns I hear from people wanting to transition to a plant-based diet. "Will I get enough protein?" they inevitably say. Well yes, if you're careful. And certain foods, including quinoa and peas are rich in plant-based protein. This dish has nearly 15 grams of protein, which is about 1/3 of my daily requirement. (Average woman's daily protein intake is usually around 45 grams, depending on height, weight and activity level). What's even better, because this is plant-based protein, it is also rich in FIBER! Something sorely lacking in animal protein.
Not to mention, quick, delicious and satisfying. This is something to put in any regular rotation. Now go on and get your protein on!!! Happy cooking.
1 organic red bell pepper, cut in half with seeds and ribs removed
½ cup rainbow quinoa
1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
Handful organic leafy greens (arugula, baby kale, spinach etc)
1 large shallot
1 lemon, zested and sliced in half
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper
Lemon Tahini Dressing (see below)
1) Rinse quinoa well and add to a small sauce pan with 1 cup filtered water. Bring to a boil, cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered. When cool, fluff with a fork.
2) While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the bell peppers. Heat the broiler and place bell pepper halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil until charred (about 5-10 minutes). When done, place in a brown paper bag and allow to sweat for about 20 min. When cool, remove from bag and scrape skin off. Set aside.
3) In a large bowl, smash peas using a potato masher or the bottom of a small glass bowl. Chop the greens, shallot, lemon zest and mint and add to bowl along with peas and quinoa.
4) Toss with Lemon Tahini dressing and season with salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired. Scoop into bell pepper halves and garnish with leftover lemon wedges.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
¼ cup tahini (use a good quality one)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from zested lemon)
½ tsp Himalayan salt
Direction: Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Add water to think if necessary (this will depend on the tahini you use). Adjust if necessary. Store in fridge for up to 5 days.