Friday, January 18, 2013

Black Quinoa, Arugula Bowl with Chickpeas and Capers

Need something quick and easy to throw together for either dinner or lunch that tastes great and has a lot of nutrition? This is the dish for you. Last weekend I needed to make something to take with me for lunch at work, but didn’t have a lot of time - or ingredients for that matter -  to prepare anything. So I took a look around the kitchen hoping for inspiration. I had onions and garlic of course - always a good base I thought to myself, - and I had a ton of arugula. - Now we’re getting somewhere! Quite often when I need a meal in a pinch I make some variation of sauteed greens, onions, and garlic and throw a can of beans into the mix. It’s quick, easy and delicious and very, very satisfying. On this particular day however I was looking for something a little more - well, creative and filling. That’s when I opened up the pantry and found a solitary can of crushed tomatoes, chickpeas and a big ‘ole bag of black quinoa. Perfect!

So I grabbed up all this stuff, dumped it onto my kitchen counter and without thinking too much about it employed my twin brother E’s favorite method of cooking. Which is “Throw some stuff in a pot and see what happens.” Well, what happened was magic. Seriously this is such a simple dish and yet ti’s so filling, satisfying and bursting with flavor. I love the flavor of arugula, love it’s bitterness, and the capers add a really neat element to the overall dish. I also love that this is a plate of all wholesome whole foods ingredients so you can eat it, and not feel guilty because you know you’re nourishing your body in the right way. I strongly recommend the black quinoa, it’s delicious and I love it! It’s really my favorite type. However if you don’t have any, or can’t find any you can always sub in Regular quinoa, or red quinoa. The contrast won’t be quite the same but it’ll still taste fantastic! The best part is you can throw this together in under 25 minutes, how awesome is that?

Black Quinoa, Arugula Bowl with Chickpeas and Capers

1 C Black Quinoa
2 C Water
1 tsp Olive Oil
10 Cloves Garlic minced
1 Large Red Onion diced
1 tsp Chili Powder
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 14 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes with Basil
4 Cups Arugula
15 oz Can Chickpeas Drained
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp Capers
2-3 Tbsp Liquid from Capers

- Add Quinoa and water to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes then lower to a simmer. Simmer until all the water has been absorbed roughly 15-20 minutes.

- Meanwhile minced the garlic and dice the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and once hot add in the onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes until starting to become fragrant and a little soft. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, chili powder and red pepper flakes. Saute for another 3 minutes. The onions should be tender but still a little crisp.

- Add in the crushed tomatoes and lower heat to medium-low. Stir to combine with the onions and garlic and then add in the arugula. Stir until arugula has been worked into the tomato mixture and has wilted. About 3-5 minutes. If the quinoa hasn’t finished cooking by this time lower the heat to the lowest possible setting and let sit.

- Add in the cooked quinoa, the chickpeas, capers, caper liquid, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning as needed. Then spoon into large bowls and enjoy!

PS: If you don’t have crushed tomatoes with basil you can just use any crushed tomatoes and add in an additional 1-2 tsp of dried basil. Also this is a perfectly filling and delicious meal on it’s own but for a bit more substance you can serve it with some lightly roasted squash as I did. I used Acorn squash. To roast squash cut into slices, sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and basil and roast at 425'F for roughly 30 minutes.

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