It’s just a few days before the holidays, and amidst all the heavy meals, treats, and so on, we’re all in need for a healthy, light, yet comforting and satisfying alternative. Enter: quinoa. I love quinoa. Quinoa in my granola, quinoa as a side dish, quinoa as a stuffing for zucchini or squash, quinoa in soup, quinoa on my salads, etc (seriously, see all the quinoa I enjoy). Quinoa is filling, healthy and is a great starting point for any vegetarian meal.
I’ve been back in NY for the holidays and my mom let me make this dish for her and my dad. She pretty much had all the ingredients on hand, and it was great to be able to help her with dinner, especially as she’s been busy cooking, cleaning, baking, shopping, and so on in preparing for the craziness of the holidays.
Looking for a simple, healthy dish to make in less than 30 minutes that’s sure to please your family (even your parents)? Here you go. You’re welcome 🙂
Carrot, Spinach, Pepper and Chickpea Quinoa Salad
Here’s what you need:
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable (or chicken if you’re not a vegetarian) broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 pepper, finely diced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup chickpeas
Here’s what you do:
- Warm up the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the chopped shallot and cook until softened and appears translucent. And smells delicious 🙂
- Turn down the heat to low and add in quinoa. Toast quinoa (continue to stir so it doesn’t burn) for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in vegetable broth and thyme and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil. Cover quinoa, turn down heat to low and let simmer for about 6 minutes.
- Add in the chopped carrots. Cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes, adding in finely chopped pepper after about 5 minutes so it softens. When all broth is absorbed, turn off the heat, add the tomatoes and spinach, and continue to stir until the spinach is wilted. Just before serving, add in chickpeas and give it a final stir some everything is evenly distributed.
- Enjoy! Makes 4-6 side dishes or 2-3 main meals for a vegetarian dish.
some of the ingredients – not pictured, chickpeas and spinach
look how colorful it is!
Happy Christmas Eve Eve! (yes, mom – that really is a thing)
As I shared with you earlier, I gave up meat for Lent and thus have been experimenting with quite a few new and different recipes. Dinners, typically chicken, pork or sometimes steak, are now slightly different and require a little more though process. So far (yes, only oneish weeks in) it’s been going well and I’ve had tons of fun trying out all the new recipes I’ve found.
I was on Pinterest a few weeks ago making a board of all the recipes I want to make when B said to me, “Why don’t you actually look at some of those cookbooks you own?” I realized he was right – I’m always finding recipes from blogs, Pinterest, etc. but hardly ever taking advantage of the zillion cookbooks I have! So I took out the first book that I could see – my Bon Appetit cookbook I got as a wedding gift from my brother’s wedding “date.” I marked off a few recipes and decided that this week was perfect to make the Garbanzo Bean, Lentil and Vegetable Stew.
I baked some cornbread, made the stew on Monday night and B and I enjoyed it on Tuesday. B’s rating? He’d “definitely eat it again” (which means it’s a winner).
Garbanzo Bean, Lentil and Vegetable Stew
(slightly adapted from Bon Appetit cookbook)
Here’s what you need:
- 2 TBS olive oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 ¼ cups canned vegetable broth
- 2 ¼ cups water
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 15 to 16 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- 12 baby carrots, cut into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 cup frozen lima beans
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 oz bag fresh spinach leaves
Here’s what you do:
- Heat oil in large pot over medium low heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft and golden (about 10 minutes)
- Add tomato sauce, coriander, caraway and cayenne; stir one minute.
- Stir in broth, water and lentils. Increase heat to high and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are almost tender, about 15-17 minutes.
- Add garbanzo beans, carrots, frozen lima beans and parsley. Cover and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes.
- (If you want, you can cool this and refrigerate this a day ahead. Bring it back to a simmer before continuing. This is what I did – just make sure to add the spinach before serving)
- Stir spinach info stew. Cover and cook just until spinach wilts, about 3 minutes.
- Enjoy! Serve over rice (which I did not do; I don’t like rice) or with cornbread (which I did do because I love cornbread).
After B and I enjoyed the stew for dinner, we had about 3 cups leftover which were great for lunches the next few days.