1-2 fennel bulbs
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
2 cans chickpeas
10 olives, pitted and halved
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
Handful chopped parsley
Large handful chopped coriander
Red quinoa (or if you don’t have red, white is fine)
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Trim the fennel and cut into ¼ inch thick wedges, reserve the fronds
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy based saucepan, add the fennel, crushed garlic and coriander seeds and gently sauté, stirring occasionally until starting to soften (approx. 15 mins)
Add the ground coriander, turn up the heat and cook for a further 5 or 10 mins until the fennel starts to colour and is soft and tasty
Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas, olives, lemon zest and juice and stir to combine, season.
Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa well, add to a saucepan with double the amount of water and season well.
Place over a medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer for 10-15 mins until the water is absorbed.
Fluff it with a fork, drizzle over the remaining tbsp olive oil and stir in the orange zest, juice, the chopped parsley and half the chopped coriander.
Serve the quinoa with the chickpea and fennel and juices on top and sprinkle with the black sesame and remaining chopped coriander and chopped dill fronds.
If you like raw onion, you can add some thin slices to the quinoa to give it more of a punch.
Also good served with grilled fish, lamb chops or chicken.
Freezes well and works well for a packed-lunch salad the next day, so you can make in bulk and make good use of the leftovers.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of isoflavones - these are phytoestrogens (naturally occurring substances in food which, when converted by our friendly gut bacteria into useable compounds, help balance hormones. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone looking for relief from hormonal issues such as PMS or peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms. They are also great for men too. They are filling and fibre rich.
The red quinoa and black sesame seeds provide polyphenols which our friendly gut bacteria love, so if the gut bacteria are happy they can make the phytoestrogens in the chickpeas work for us!