Curried Quinoa and Chickpea Pilaf

April 20, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

This is what I’d call a good “cabinet meal”. Almost everything in it comes from things I already had on hand. It was very flavorful and quick to cook, except for one thing…

The original recipe asked for quinoa. As I dumped in the dry quinoa, I realized suddenly that there was clearly not enough liquid for the quinoa to cook. The recipe didn’t call to add any water. Oops! (It would have been a nice crunchy dish!) To salvage it, I quickly added 2.5 cups of water into the mixture and let the quinoa simmer. If you pre-cook the quinoa, then you can just add it in and heat through.

Curried Quinoa Pilaf
from Two Kids and a Kitchen

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (or 1/2 medium), chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon garam marsala
1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
The juice of 1/2 of a lime
1/4 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup milk
1 Teaspoon honey
1 to 1 1/2 cup quinoa

Heat olive oil in pan over medium to medium high heat. Add onions and garlic, saute for a moment, until they start to turn translucent. Add spices and lime. Continue to cook for a minute.

curried quinoa and chickpea pilaf

Add tomatoes, cook until the tomatoes start to juice.

curried quinoa and chickpea pilaf

Then add the chickpeas, and cook for several minutes more.

curried quinoa and chickpea pilaf

Once everything has started to release moisture, add the milk. Stir and blend until the milk has been well combined and the sauce starts to turn a little thick.

curried quinoa and chickpea pilaf

Add the quinoa and 2 1/2 cups of water heat through until quinoa sprouts.

curried quinoa and chickpea pilaf

curried quinoa and chickpea pilaf

Then add honey, stir well and saute for another couple of minutes.

curried quinoa and chickpea pilaf

Plate and eat.

Quinoa and Butternut Squash Gratin

March 22, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

This recipe was put together very quickly by using pre-peeled and cut butternut squash. However, it does take a little bit of oven time so if you’re starving you’ll have to wait a little bit for this to cook through. The original recipe called for gruyere cheese which I did not have on hand. I had plenty of parmesean, though, and it worked just fine. The result is a gratin that’s got a great balance of sweetness from the butternut squash and a fillingness from the quinoa.

Quinoa with Butternut Squash Gratin
Adapted from: Healthy Cooking – Suite 101

  • 1 20 oz. package peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
  • 1 cup shredded parmesean cheese
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 2-quart baking or gratin dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Dice butternut squash into small pieces. Place in bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place in microwave for 3 to 5 minutes – until soft.

butternut squash

Wash the quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.


Transfer squash and quinoa to a large pot.

butternut squash and gratin

Add water and salt to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Let squash and quinoa simmer until quinoa blooms into little spirals – about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.

butternut squash and quinoa

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a small frying pan. Add red onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute or two longer. Add to quinoa and squash mixture and mix to combine.  (One version of this recipe called to transfer mixture into blender or food processor prior to the next step. I did not do that in this version but may try that next time.)

butternut squash and quinoa

Add egg substitute, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

butternut squash and quinoa

Transfer to baking or gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and panko over gratin. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on top.

butternut squash gratin

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

butternut squash gratin

butternut squash and quinoa gratin

Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli & Cashews

July 03, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

I discovered quinoa (pronounced: keen-wa) during a vegan cooking class I attended that was focused on grains. At that point I wondered where this wonderful grain had been all my life. It’s so easy to cook and it’s nutty taste is a compliment to many dishes. It’s found in the rice and grain aisle of the grocery store. To cook, put 1/2 cup quinoa in 1 cup water and simmer for 15 or so minutes. When cooked, the quinoa will be tender and have a little sprout that comes out of it.

Now, on to the recipe…Zesty quiona with broccoli and cashews. Yes, this recipe is zesty. There is truth in advertising there. In fact, maybe it’s appropriate to cut down on the lemon juice a little.

It also says it serves four. Four? This is where Whole Foods lost me. Even as a side dish, there isn’t enough of this dish to serve four or to be a main dish. I will combat that by simply doubling the recipe.

Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli & Cashews
Whole Foods Market

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced (I used one of the spring onions from my CSA delivery)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned or chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, vegetable broth, wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil.

Stir in the quinoa and salt. Reduce heat and simmer covered, about 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli and simmer 5 to 7 minutes longer. Remove from heat, add black pepper and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Garnish with cashews and scallions before serving.

The next time I make this I will certainly be doubling the recipe. It would be great served with a wheat pasta. The quinoa, because it is cooked in wine, broth and lemon juice rather than just water, does become quite tangy. Adding some tofu could bulk up the dish a bit, otherwise, it’s a light, yet filling, way to eat broccoli.

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