It’s that time of year again…the Pumpkin Spice latte posters are up, I’m wearing a sweater, the winter boots and scarves are within arm’s reach and the thoughts of curling up with a good book while something delicious bakes in the oven is starting to occupy my mind.
While I usually resent the impending cold and Seattle gloom, gearing up to daily dress in 27 layers like the little brother in A Christmas Story (“I can’t put my arms down!) I’m starting to feel differently this year. I’m starting to crave warm winter soups, squash dishes and wholesome comforting baked goods.
Nothing feels better on a cold day than a nice warm comforting meal. This is a delightful dish that is a meat free option. Chickpeas and quinoa are great sources of non-meat protein and are actually quite easy to cook with! The chickpeas can be marinated overnight or for as little as 15-30 minutes and the quinoa cooks up in less that 20 minutes, leaving you with a delicious, nutritious, simple to make, meat free meal. If you’re making the oven veggies using either cauliflower (as pictured here) or any other veggie (we love eggplant, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, winter squash or broccoli) that will take a bit longer so budget bout 30-45 minutes for that meal.
Spare the fresh kale, which can be substituted for spinach, arugula, beet greens, chard or skipped all together, the ingredients are all cupboard safe! Minimal effort which is just my style! Prepping ahead of time and cleaning dishes as you cook will make for a truly effortless cooking experience! We make a few variations depending on what spices we’re in the mood for, what we have in the fridge and how hungry we are so experiment with the flavors in the chickpea marinade, trying different broths and liquids on the quinoa and squash or spinach variations. I always love hearing what variations others come up with so post a comment with your personalized meal!
Try with some fresh roasted pumpkin too!
Marinated Chickpeas, wilted garlic kale with shallots, quinoa and roasted cauliflower
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- ½ c quinoa
- 1 c water
- 1 bunch fresh kale leaves separated from the stalk and chopped
- 1 medium shallot
- minced garlic
- 1 head of cauliflower
- spices I usually open the cabinet and mix up spices depending on how I’m feeling but in this meal I typically use garlic, dried rosemary, salt, pepper, parsley
- Balsamic and EVOO
- White Wine- I NEVER cook with a wine I wouldn’t drink so choose whichever you’d like. Anything from a Chardonnay to a Riesling works. I usually use Pinot Grigio or a nice flavorful table white.
Marinate the chickpeas in spices, white wine and a few dashes of balsamic. I like to marinate them overnight but you can soak them for as little as 15 – 30 minutes. Wash and pat the kale dry. Cut off the stalk and chop the leaves, then chop the shallots.
Pre-heat the oven to 450 and cut the cauliflower florets, toss in olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Lay foil down on a baking sheet and spread the cauliflower out to roast. Depending on how crispy you desire, roasting can 20-40 minutes. Half way through cooking use a spatula (they can get a bit floppy before they’re crispy) and flip them over so they roast equally on each side.
Heat small pot on the stove and toast the quinoa for 2 minutes. Stir the quinoa around so it doesn’t burn, which will happen very quickly if you don’t watch it. Once toasted, remove and rinse then return to pot and add 1 cup water. Ratio is ½ cup quinoa for 1 cup water so if you wish to make more just keep the ratio and you’ll be good! Bring to a boil (a minute or two) then kill the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes then fluff with a fork and you’re ready!
After you start your quinoa boiling with the water, heat a sauté pan. Remove the chickpeas from the marinade, I use a slotted spoon to do so, and toast on medium-high until the exterior starts to brown, usually about 10 minutes. Every few minutes shake the pan a bit to move the chickpeas around so they brown evenly. Once they’re done, remove and sauté the onion and garlic in a pan until the onion starts to become translucent then add the kale and cook until wilted.
All the different dishes should be ready about the same time so you’re ready to pour yourself a nice glass of wine and dish up a delicious meal!