Friday, July 12, 2013

Quinoa with Chickpeas & Tomatoes

Have you tried quinoa yet?  If you haven't, you should.  It is amazing stuff.  It is a whole grain, so it's got the  fiber thing going for it.  But unlike most other grains, it is also a complete protein (which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids our bodies need but can't produce).  

So it's really a nutrition powerhouse.  As an added bonus, it is tasty and easy to prepare.  If you have been interested in trying quinoa, but aren't sure what to do with it, you're in luck because I've got a perfect quinoa-for-beginners recipe right here.

I tried out this great recipe for quinoa with chickpeas and tomatoes recently.  When I told my husband I was making quinoa and chickpeas, his enthusiasm was somewhere south of thrilled.  Way south.  Hanging out with the penguins south.  We haven't had a lot of experience with quinoa (it's not even sold in our town's grocery store) so any quinoa recipe is definitely an experiment for me.  And not all of my experiments are good.  But he was a good sport and tried it anyway.  Fortunately, this was an experiment gone right.  Trust me when I tell you that this recipe is a winner!

Let me count the things I love about this meal:  
1.  It is super easy.  If you can boil water and have half an hour, you can make this!  
2.  It is super healthy.  This is high in fiber and protein!  
3.  It is affordable.  Unlike a lot of health foods, this is a healthy budget-friendly meal!  I buy quinoa by the pound in the bulk bins at Hy-Vee when I go out of town.  It seems pricey by the pound, but a little goes a long way. 
4.  It is delicious!  Obviously it contains quinoa, chickpeas, and tomatoes.  But the dressing it is all covered in has a nice southwestern flavor with garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, and parsley.  
5.  No oven is required.  I don't have to remind you that I hate turning on my oven in the summer.  So stove top recipes are on my dinner radar for the foreseeable future.
I used this recipe as a main dish.  If you are worried about it not being filling, fear not.  If I could get my meat-and-potatoes husband to accept this as a main dish, I think anyone would find it filling.  But it would also make a tasty side dish if you want to go that route.  Whichever way you go with it, I know you will enjoy this delicious, healthy use of quinoa.  If you haven't tried it yet, branch out today!

Quinoa with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
1 cup quinoa
1/8 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups water
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
In a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa under cold running water until the water no longer foams.  Place the quinoa, salt, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and water is evaporated, 20-25 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil.  Season with cumin, salt, and pepper.  Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
Serves 6.

Recipe from

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