If you are following us on Twitter, chances are you would’ve known of our little road-trip past weekend to Atlanta. Road trip that included many rest room stops, Malaysian food encounters and taking in scenic Atlanta views.
Let’s face it – roadtrips can be expensive. Not only you end up eating unhealthy food and sipping copious amount of decaf Star$, if you know what I mean 😉 Obviously we didn’t skim on fast food. There’s something very nostalgic about drive-thru’s during road-trips.
Knowing Atlanta would be chilly cold, I packed a delicious vegetarian supper in order to save some mullah on 1 dinner. Better save on 1 meal, rather than nothing.
I peered into my refrigerator to use up some produce instead, fearing a tossing situation upon our return. Gotta save money where we can. And you should too!
Since we are on the topic of money-saving, I wanted to highlight the importance of using dried beans. It is so easy to prepare and darn cheap. I don’t like using the canned version. It somehow tastes very off and salty, even after rinsing. The after taste of sitting in a pool of liquid can, just isn’t appealing.
We are huge rice eaters. That doesn’t sound good, right? So I thought to change this recipe up by incorporating some healthier option instead – gotta love quinoa!
This salad turned out so delicious & definitely warmed our hearts and bellies. A perfect autumn comforting salad. Good eaten warm and a great to-go meal. The Husband definitely approved this recipe – I packed the same for his lunch box the other day.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 3 tbsp coconut or any cooking oil
- 6 oz paneer, cubed
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup haricot verts or french beans, chopped
- 1/2 tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cinammon powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder (skip this if you want to avoid spiciness)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 mint sprigs (reserve a few leaves for garnish)
- salt & pepper to taste
- a nice handful of sliced toasted almonds for crunch
- Pressure cook dried chickpeas until tender. If you are using canned, I won’t judge 😉
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Water should be enough to cover quinoa. Throw in quinoa and cook on medium heat between 7-8 minutes. Remove access water (if any), fluff quinoa with a fork, put on a lid and turn off heat to cook off remaining moisture.
- Heat a non-stick skillet on medium, add cooking oil and lightly brown paneer cubes on each side. Drained on a paper towel.
- Using the same skillet, add red onions and fry till translucent.
- Throw in chopped carrots, green beans and stir fry till tender.
- Once the vegetables are tender, add ginger paste, turmeric, cinnamon, red chili and nutmeg powder.
- Stir to combine. Cook for a few more minutes before adding cooked quinoa, chickpeas & paneer.
- Sprinkle in some garam masala, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle in some chopped fresh mint.
- Serve warm, garnished with sliced toasted almonds and a few mint leaves.
I bet this salad would be a great Thanksgiving side – switching up from the traditional green bean casserole 😉
Are you a money-saver while road-tripping? What is your favorite to-go meal?