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2011-05-03

Tasty Tuesday - Quinoa with Chickpeas & Spinach

YUMMMM!

Have you tried Quinoa yet? It is a little round grain that is packed with protein. It works well in our family because Mario and I are not big meat eaters, and Toad likes rice, which quinoa is similar to (well, not really...but, sorta...in a way.... )....


Chatelaine Photo credit: Getty Images
You can pretty much use quinoa anywhere/anyhow you would use rice or couscous. Make sure to rinse it before cooking - a mesh strainer works well.

Here is a delicious recipe I came across in Chatelaine magazine.... it's perfect for us since we also love spinach! When DH doesn't want to go entirely veg, I'll add some cubed chicken leftovers to it, but I'll leave those adjustments to you ;-)

Chatelaine's Quinoa with Chickpeas and Spinach
Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
½ teaspoon sea salt
zest from two organic oranges
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup organic raisins
1 cup cooked chickpeas (or organic canned)
1-2 cups spinach leaves, trimmed, washed, drained and dried
salt to taste
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup toasted pinenuts or almonds
1 orange cut into wedges

Directions:
1. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Combine water and orange juice (to equal 1 ¾ cups) and bring to a boil in a 1.5- or two-quart saucepan. Add salt, orange zest, and rinsed quinoa. Return to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered to fluff up.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, until they have softened and started to brown a bit. Add garlic and sauté until golden.

3. Add raisins, chickpeas, and chopped spinach. Cover and cook over medium heat for five minutes, or just until the spinach has wilted. Adjust heat if necessary. Drain any excess water after cooking the spinach. Season to taste with salt.

4. To serve, fold the vegetables into the hot, cooked quinoa. Stir in cinnamon. Garnish with toasted pinenuts or almonds and orange wedges for a final squeeze of orange juice (for extra iron absorption!).

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