Matt & I are expecting our first child in August. A baby girl. A daughter whose reality feels as unknown as the other side of death. Parenthood, for me, is an ineffable mystery that I can’t pretend to know anything about until I myself experience it. Right now all I know is what 16 weeks with a child growing inside me feels like. And I love it. I feel the first flutters of quickening, and my eyes have traced her delicate bird bones on the ultra sound screen—eye sockets, femurs, tiny toes. Whenever we see her, Matt cries with joy. I’m more reserved. If his emotions are like the lapping surface of the ocean, mine are more like a subterranean lake, some antediluvian cavern churning with bizarre life far beneath the surface in inky blackness. Quiet as a tomb but so alive.

Every choice I make from what I eat to what worries I indulge are imbued with a significance I could have never imagined. I’ve gone from a diet heavy in pie to a diet heavy in pulses (dry peas, lentils, beans, chickpeas) over night. I was always moderately healthy, but my pregnancy diet is a new world of whole foods, and it’s a diet I hope to continue for life and a journey I’m excited to share.

In my limited experience, there’s nothing like the knowledge that you’re bringing a child into the world to encourage you to look at yourself. From my psychological make up to my eating habits, I’ve started examining, because we, her parents, we’re the legacy she gets. I don’t know if I want her to inherit my subterranean lake or my penchant for microwaving tortillas with shredded cheese in them when I’m stressed. And so, in every way since the day I found out, I’ve tried to make healthier choices and examine the status quo of me. I’m striving to feel more, be vulnerable, soothe my anxiety, let go of the need for everyone I encounter to understand & like me (cause lord knows they don’t), practice yoga again (instead of just wearing yoga pants), and eat even more whole foods that meet the high nutritional requirements of my body & baby while we grow together.

Since 2016 is the International Year of Pulses and because they’ve been one of the main protein sources in my diet (they have double that of quinoa!) as well as my go-to source for vital pregnancy nutrients like folate, iron, and zinc—this post is devoted to the world of pulses. I choose them for my every day diet because they contain loads of other nutrients like potassium, fiber (mamas to be, you want this), antioxidants, magnesium, and vitamin B; are heart healthy; and because they’re a water-efficient, sustainable source of protein. All of that and they’re far more affordable for everyday eating than sustainable meat. I look at the latter as a treat, the former as daily sustenance. Treating my body well, helping the planet, and saving money. All very baby-on -the-way friendly. That said, if I didn’t love eating them, nothing in the world could convince me. I’m a hopeless bon vivant at heart, and the visceral pleasures of this life are just as important to me as anything. I feel as much joy (different but as much) eating this chickpea salad or a lentil stew as I ever do a steak. And admittedly better afterwards.

So the backbones of this new found diet are pulses (I love lentils & chickpeas but am exploring them all!), whole grains, and dark + leafy greens. Combined with a whole grain or quinoa like I have here, you get a complete protein containing all of the amino acids you need just like meat. You don’t even have to eat them at the same time to get the benefits of a complete protein: consuming pulses and whole grains in the same day will meet your body’s needs for that day. And since I’m not vegan, the addition of eggs to this really sky rockets the protein, but it would be great without them for the vegan cooks & mamas out there. If you’d like to join me in taking the Pulse Pledge, a simple commitment to eating pulses once a week for ten weeks to help start a global food revolution, you can learn more and take the pledge here! Can’t wait to share my lentil + collard stew and my secret recipe for black-eyed pea hoppin’ john…

chickpea + quinoa salad with miso lemon vinaigrette & quail eggs

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 main servings

This superfood salad of chickpeas, avocado, and quinoa is a one of my pregnancy go to's because it's rich in protein, healthy fats, folate, fiber, iron, and so much more! And it's easy to make a big batch of chickpeas for the week to use in all kinds of healthy recipes. Don't forget to soak them the night before!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked overnight (or 1 organic, low sodium can drained & rinsded in a pinch but dried is highly preferable)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cup well-rinsed uncooked + 1.5 cups water + 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt)
  • 5 soft boiled quail egg halved (2.5 minutes in boiling water) or 4 soft boiled chicken eggs quartered (6 minutes in boiling water)
  • juice of one meyer lemon (or regular lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 4-6 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh, course ground coriander
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. You will want to soak your chickpeas the night before you intend to make them. My tip is to soak and cook more than you need for the recipe and refrigerate or freeze the rest.
  2. When ready to cook your chickpeas, drain them, place them in a large pot and cover with a good few inches of water. Do not salt the water as this can make them less tender.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 1 hour to 1.5 hours or until tender. (I cook longer for hummus, less long for soups, salads, etc.)
  4. Drain and cool the cooked beans. You can store them in a ziplock or other container for 3-4 days in the fridge or in the freezer (pat dry, freeze in single layer on parchment lined sheet tray for 30 min, then bag) for one year!
  5. While the chickpeas cook, cook the quinoa if you haven't already (can be made the day before) by bringing it to a boil with the water and salt, reducing to a simmer, covering, and cooking for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit covered for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  6. Make your dressing while the grains and beans cook. In a bowl combine the miso, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, cumin, and cayenne.
  7. In a mixing bowl combine the cooked chickpeas, quinoa, and avocado. Toss with the dressing to thoroughly combine, being careful to not be too rough with the avocado. Toss with the scallions and coriander seed. Top with eggs and salt & pepper to taste. Love this with a glass of kombucha or green juice alongside it for the perfect fresh lunch!

Notes

When boiling the eggs, don't start them in cold water. Put them directly in boiling water and once their time is up, place them in an ice bath to prevent them from cooking further and to make for easy peeling!

http://localmilkblog.com/2016/02/expecting-eats-chickpea-quinoa-salad-with-miso-lemon-vinaigrette.html

A big thanks to USAPulses & Pulse Canada for partnering with us for this post & for helping raise awareness about the benefits of more pulses in our diets!

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43 Responses to expecting eats | chickpea + quinoa salad with miso lemon vinaigrette

  1. What a beautiful story, congratulations on the little girl! Recipe looks delicious, great pictures as always. Thanks for sharing this :)

  2. Sarah says:

    My first born was also a daughter! With two incredibly energetic small ones now (and no plans for more) I occasionally miss with a deep pang the magic days of pregnancy and crazy love haze days of having a newborn. Wishing you so much joy.

  3. Jade Sheldon says:

    Gosh, a little girl, what an incredible blessing. So, so, SO happy for the 5 of you (of course I had to include your furry family members).

  4. Michelle says:

    Congrats! That is the best news! My husband and I recently started a site for moms and dads and actually had a post today about Our Favorite Baby Names– we hope you check it out. And if you or your husband ever wanted to contribute something about your new journey, we would absolutely love it!!!! http://www.ma-andpa.com/

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so excited about this pregnancy diet series! I’m in my first trimester and was looking for new ways to eat my legumes. Really excited to try this recipe. Congrats to you and yours

  6. Tasha says:

    Congrats! Such a beautiful reflection on your pregnancy thus far. Your writing always inspires me. We are currently trying to conceive our first and I find myself considering many of the same things.

    Also, I’ll be trying this salad ( or a version ) soon! Love quail eggs!

  7. Helen says:

    Congratulations! Wonderful news.

  8. Linh says:

    Wonderful news!!! Congratulations to you and your family!

  9. Beth,
    You are going to be the best mommy for this precious girl coming your way. I love this newest recipe! Being an “almost vegetarian” raised eating rice & lentils for two meals of the day in Nepal, I’m loving your creative touch on pulses. I would love to know what delicious recipe you would make with red lentils.

  10. Miranda says:

    Congratulations on your baby girl, I’m curious about the name you have chosen for her!! I remember when I got pregnant, I went through a very similar thing when it comes to food, only I don’t think it was conscious at all. The first trimester my body begged for puff pastry, spinach and bananas. Anything else I would be sick and not able to eat. Second trimester was my normal trimester, I call it, I had lost all sense of taste and food was merely nourishing, so I did eat a little of everything, and loads of fruit., and cheese. It was the only thing I could feel the taste of. Then the third trimester was all about fish. I could not get enough, and it was all I could really crave for. I do believe these stages I went through were due to the baby, he was begging me to feed him those things, mostly because I came from a past of anorexia and not eating carbo hydrates, fat, cheeses, nothing that would “make me fat”. I guess my whole body was in dire need of all those foods – except for the fish, I still have no idea why I spent my third trimester with such urges of eating fish, but I’m glad I did, the kid loves fish and most children his age don’t!!
    http://bloglairdutemps.blogspot.pt/

  11. mariell says:

    Congratulations! I’m expecting in july too, so much fun finding others in the same stage.

    Oh, and speaking of pulses. This one from Ottolenghi is my life: http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/crushed-puy-lentils-with-tahini-and-cumin-shop
    just make sure to add lots of pomegranate seeds and coriander!

  12. Sune Moolman says:

    Congratulations! Girls are so much fun. :)

  13. Diane McGahey says:

    A Baby Girl!!!! How Wonderful and what a Blessing! Congratulations! Wishing you
    all the best that Life has to offer.

  14. Denise says:

    Congratulations!

  15. Dear Beth,
    Congratulations of your exciting news! I can see you and your sweet little girl cooking in the kitchen, elbows deep in flour and butter, laughing away! So happy for you, dear!
    x
    Amber

  16. Barbara says:

    Congratulations on you coming child. The photography on your blog is exquisite. I love the speckled quail eggs in your shots for this recipe, which I will have to try. Lovely blog design too.

  17. Ashlae says:

    I’m over the moon for you, lady, and I can’t wait to see this next chapter of your life unfold. Biggest congratulations and hugs to you both!

  18. Debora White says:

    Congratulations on the new addition!……..lol…D

  19. Jade says:

    So wonderful news……..have a joyful time!

    Jade

  20. modaspia says:

    congratulations .. it will all be fine, don’t worry too much. the best is yet to come.

  21. Congratulations! What wonderful news. Also, that miso lemon vinaigrette sounds all sorts of amazing.

  22. Ujjaini says:

    What a beautiful post. Congratulations! :)

    http://www.myhappynook.com

  23. Kat says:

    Dear Beth,

    This looks so good. I love your images. They are so amazing.

    I have created a vegan And warm Quinoa Salad. I love Quinoa it is so delicious and healthy as well. :-)
    http://www.cattivakat.com/superfood-quinoa-rote-beete-avocado-power-herbstsalat/

    Best,

    Kat

  24. Kat says:

    And congratulations of course!!!! I’m so happy for you!!

  25. What’s up, yup this post is in fact good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  26. Congratulations times a million, Beth. I am so happy for you and your husband… your writing in this post is too beautiful. Sending love… and I adore these photos. xxx

  27. I’m eating this RIGHT NOW, and here are my humble thoughts about it.

    1. Delicious. This seriously packs a flavor punch I wasn’t expecting and love that it has every flavor in it (as it should)- sweet, pungent, sour, spicy, bitter. It’s rich and light at the same time. Filling but not stuffing.
    2. I did use chicken eggs and hurrah! for my very first attempt (and success!) at soft boiled perfection.
    3. I used cilantro as a stand in for scallions (had it on hand). Definitely no sacrifice for flavor or balance there.
    4. Something went wrong on my end with these quinoa proportions- it was much too watery. It was still delicious as a warm salad on a sunny, early spring afternoon.

    I can’t wait for more of these savory “expecting” eats. As a holistic nurse, doula, and mother of three (who’s breastfeeding), I’m always on the lookout for source of complete nutrition. Thank you.

    And Beth, another kind word from a stranger- I gravitated to your blog at first because of your raw honesty about your journey with your mental health. It spoke to me on personal levels you’ll probably never know. I just want to extend my love and support to you during this incredible time of transformation, where the veil is often so thin and our psyches are so wide open. I had a hell of a time adjusting to motherhood and had my own mental health journey that went along with it. I just wish you the best as you become a mother and bring your sweet baby into the world. <3

    • beth says:

      Hey! Just some quick thoughts/questions about why the quinoa might have been watery! Did you start the water and quinoa together or did you add the quinoa after it came to a boil? Should be in from the beginning. If you did that and did 3/4 cup quinoa to 1.5 (1 1/2 cups!) cups for 15 minutes simmer and 15 minutes this should work! You could try simmering longer (20-25) or just cut back on water next time and start with 1 1/4 cup. Let me know how it goes…I hate that it was watery but would love to trouble shoot it with you! : ) The general rule with quinoa is a ration of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.

  28. Congratulations on having a girl. I am so thrilled for the both of you. I am sure you will be such a wonderful mom. Hope the renovation of the home is done soon so you can enjoy a warm house to live in again. x

  29. Cynthia says:

    Congratulations on your baby girl! I look forward to following your journey as a mother. From the snippets gleaned, it sounds like you chose the perfect partner for life. Matt is your rock and your guide to becoming your best self. Enjoy this wonderful time of anticipation and dreaming.

  30. Rob Connoley says:

    I hate working with quail eggs, but they sure are yummy! Fine, you convinced me, I’ll try them again :) Thanks for the recipe.

  31. Sophia says:

    Congratulations! This salad looks so lovely. I can honestly say when I was pregnant, I all of a sudden was grossed out by my mainly vegetarian diet. The only foods that did not make me want to retch was meat, and charred meat. And I have never been a heavy meat eater. Now that his is two, I still consume more animal protein than I did before pregnancy, but it is built on a foundation of vegetable and legumes, pulses and grains. I am looking forward to adding this lovely salad to the mix, thank you and congratulations, again.

  32. Sarah Keller says:

    Thank you for the inspiration! I can’t help but think to a few months back when I started eating almost exclusively vegan, including tons of lentils, chick peas, quinoa, spinach, etc, and was absolutely loving it. Then, a few weeks later, I found out I’d been (very unexpectedly) pregnant for a little bit of time. I was really glad that I had been eating so healthy! Until about a week later when I hit this strange wall where even thinking about anything vegan had my stomach in knots. (For the month after that, the only thing that excited me was frozen waffles.) But maybe it’s time to try to get back to the yummy + healthy things I started with. Keep on posting! And congratulations on your little girl!

  33. I am not a member of Instagram, although I follow yours religiously. Please listen to Mozart. Just reading how important sounds are to the babe. Also, beautiful words to her, from both you and Matt. I wish I had known these tips when I was pregnant. Love you. The best of everything to you all.

  34. I am obsessed with your photos! I really want to improve my photography skills and technique and you will definitely be a big inspiration x

    Zoel Hernández | zoelhernandez.wordpress.com

  35. Loving the blog. Your photos are really amazing.

  36. Jasmine says:

    Congratulations! I’ve the same mindset when I found out I was pregnant too! I was generally eating healthy but I was more conscious as I wanted the both of us to grow well. Enjoy the journey! and I cant wait for more recipes! and I’m 5 weeks left to my EDD. #fingerscrossed

  37. Nadya says:

    Congratulations on the little girl! This is so exciting!

  38. dowload now says:

    Hello to all, the contents present at this web site are really remarkable for people
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  39. mahek says:

    hi
    I discovered your blog today.. and I am so so happy that I did..
    You write so well.
    Its great to know that 2016 is the year for pulses .. Our Indian diet is full of recipes which have lentils and pulses of different kinds. You can give them a try.
    If you visit an Indian store you will find an array of wonderful pulses. Please try a few.
    Keep up the good work and best wishes for your future.

  40. Kathy says:

    Could you please tell me where your beautiful plates are from?

  41. Maxabella says:

    Wow oh wow! I love your news and the gentle way you have shared it. Congratulations to your lucky baby girl. x

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