Quinoa & Chickpea Lettuce Cups


Romaine lettuce is often associated with Caesar salad but we think it makes a great lettuce cup too. Unlike butter lettuce, which is very tender, it holds its shape well and you don’t have to worry about it crumbling underneath your filling. Also, our romaine is harvested when the outer leaves are only about 6 inches long, which makes it the perfect size for this application.

The filling variations are endless. Quinoa cooked in the way described below provides a good, sticky base for the other items but you can use millet, rice or any other grain you have on hand. Switch out the beans and use black, kidney, cannellini or even French lentils (or choose another protein source all together). You don’t have to use the olives or capers but I would include something with a bit of punch – chopped pickles, sun-dried tomatoes or some kind of chopped fermented vegetable. I like a little extra crunch from the celery but you can leave it out if desired. Choose whichever spices you like best and make it your own!

Quinoa & Chickpea Lettuce Cups
serves 4-6 as a main meal

Recipe note: below I suggest topping the lettuce cups with crumbled feta for ease but I think a feta or yogurt based sauce with fresh herbs would take this over the top. I am thinking of something like this recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup washed quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives
  • 1 tablespoon drained and rinsed capers
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced celery (from about 3 small stalks)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Romaine lettuce and feta to serve


  •  Heat oil in a medium saucepan until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 16 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add the chickpeas, olives, capers, celery, oregano, oil, vinegar and salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve on romaine lettuce leaves topped with crumbled feta if desired.

Quinoa & Kale Bites


This is just a quick post to share a recipe I made this week. It is inspired by this recipe from the 101 Cookbooks blog. I changed a few things but the base is the same – quinoa, kale and edamame baked in muffin tins. It is nutritious, fast to prepare and will provide a number of quick meals you can eat on the run. We hope you enjoy it!

Quinoa & Kale Bites
makes 12 muffin bites


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (from about 1 cup raw quinoa)
  • 1/2 packed cup of cooked finely chopped kale or other tender greens
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded Manchego or cheese of choice
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (from about 3 medium cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (from about 1/4 of a large lemon)
  • Salt to taste (will depend on saltiness of cheese; I used 3/4 teaspoon table salt)


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a standard 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Fill each muffin tin almost to the top with the mixture and pat down lightly to even out the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins are set and they are golden brown around the sides. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.

Chickweed Power Salad

I visited The Farmer’s Daughter for brunch this past weekend for the first time and I was not disappointed. It is just my type of food – local, seasonal and flavorful. The menu isn’t very big but I had a hard time deciding what to get. Pancakes? Grits & Greens? Hashbrowns? Everything sounded delicious. Oddly enough (for me), I chose the Power Salad. Maybe it’s the start of spring or the fact that the salad is described as “hearty” on the menu. Either way, I loved it and was determined to make my own version.

Their salad includes quinoa, French lentils, roasted root vegetables, seasonal slaw, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, shaved parmesan, and lemon-miso dressing with a smattering of salad greens tossed in.  I started, of course, using what was provided in last weeks CSA share. While I could have used kale as the base of the salad, I thought I would try it with chickweed. Check out this link if you aren’t familiar with chickweed. It’s nutritious, crunchy and it tastes similar to spinach. To this, I added the quinoa and French lentils and kept the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. I used goat cheese instead of Parmesan because it was on hand but I think I liked it better with Parmesan. Parmesan provided umami (or savoriness) that the salad was lacking otherwise. I also swapped the roasted root vegetables for shaved carrots (because it was easier) and lemon-miso dressing for lemon-avocado dressing (because it was on hand).

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a starting point. I think what makes this salad wonderful is the combination lentils and quinoa with lots of other flavors and textures. Below are directions on the lentils, quinoa and dressing but just use what you want and what is on hand. Experiment and enjoy this hearty salad!

Chickweed Power Salad
roughly 4 servings

Salad ingredients:

  • French lentils (recipe below)
  • Quinoa (recipe below)
  • Chickweed or greens of choice (kale, salad greens)
  • Shaved carrots or veggie of choice (roasted root vegetables)
  • Dried cranberries or dried fruit of choice (raisins)
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds or seeds/nuts of choice (sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts)
  • Shaved Parmesan or cheese of choice (goat cheese)
  • Lemon-avocado dressing (recipe below) or dressing of choice

Lentils (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated):

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup French lentils
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon table salt
    • 4 cups water
    • Optional: a few smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 onion, stalk of chopped celery, sprig of fresh thyme
  • Directions:
    • Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Quinoa (from Cook’s Illustrated):

  • Ingredients
    • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and dried on a towel
    • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
    • 1-1/2 cups water
  • Directions:
    • Toast the quinoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the quinoa is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water and is nearly tender, about 12 minutes. Spread the quinoa out over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside until it is tender and cool, about 20 minutes.

Lemon-Avocado Dressing

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/2 Hass avocado, pitted and removed from skin
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1 small garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • A few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • Directions:
    • Place all ingredients in a small food processor or blender and process until fully combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Millet & Quinoa Patties with Curried Swiss Chard

I grew up with finches (the small gray birds with orange cheeks) and thought millet was just birdseed. I had no idea people all around the world ate it until just a few years ago! Millet has been cultivated in Eastern Asia for 10,000 and it is staple crop in parts of India and Africa. After reading about the numerous health benefits, not to mention the fact that it is gluten-free, I think it’s about time it became a part of our everyday diet.

This recipe was inspired by Hillary’s Eat Well veggie burgers which I found in the freezer section at Whole Foods. While I love their version, I thought I could come up with my own that wouldn’t take much time and allow me to add the ingredients and flavors I like. I started with this recipe but then made some changes based on a couple of trials. Add your own twists with different greens and spices. We hope you enjoy!

Millet & Quinoa Patties with Curried Swiss Chard
makes 10 patties

Recipe notes:  1) I stopped short of calling these “burgers” because I don’t think they are sturdy enough but I do think they would be good in a wrap with greens and a simple sauce; 2) I used Tant Hill’s rainbow Swiss chard but feel free to use most any green you have available; 3) psyllium husk is used a lot in gluten-free baking as it is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water and becomes sticky, thus holding the patties together. It can be online or in well stocked grocery stores (I found it at Whole Foods).


  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) raw millet, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) raw quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 5 ounces Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves finely chopped (3 cups) and stems minced (see recipe note)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk (see recipe note)
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • To cook millet: add millet and 1-1/3 cup water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 13-18 minutes, or until the grains are tender and all of the water is absorbed. Remove lid and boil off excess water if needed. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • To cook quinoa: add quinoa and 1 cup water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 12-15 minutes, or until the grains are tender and the water is absorbed. Remove lid and boil off excess water if needed. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with millet and set aside.
  • For remaining ingredients: heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and Swiss chard stems and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and garam masala and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl with the millet and quinoa. Add the psyllium husk, brown rice flour, vinegar and salt to bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and using a biscuit cutter or your hands, form into 3-1/2″ wide by 1/2″ tall patties (about 1/3 cup of the mixture per patty). At this point, I would recommend you place the baking sheet directly into the freezer for a few hours until frozen through and then transfer frozen patties to a ziperlock bag.
  • To cook: heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook a few patties at a time until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes and serve.