My first and fondest memory of quinoa was back in college when my health-conscious roommate Courtney and I made a trip to a new grocery store near our dorm. Courtney was always the healthiest eater of the group, and this day she happened to be on the hunt for this new product: quinoa. Only Courney didn’t know how to produce the word, since it wasn’t “mainstream” yet, and I sure as hell had never even heard of it myself. We asked a young kid stocking the shelves where the quinoa was located, and he laughed at our pronunciation.
I didn’t start to eat quinoa myself regularly until recently. Now that I live with James- who also eats really healthily- I’m always on the lookout for new, healthy foods to try for us. I’d bought a few of the flavored quinoas to have as a side dish, but wanted something more fresh. When all else fails, use some olive oil, garlic and veggies to make a meal. So that’s what I did!
Cooking the peppers and onions in the olive oil, garlic and spices mixture really bring out the flavors and makes the quinoa actually have a taste. Chickpeas (you can also add in corn or edamame if you prefer) add a different texture to the meal that James and I really enjoyed. Chickpeas make everything better.
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup water
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- Bring the quinoa, water, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes (or just read the directions on the box).
- Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the garlic, and cook until the garlic softens and the aroma mellows, about 2 minutes.
- Add the red and green peppers and onion and continue cooking until the pepper softens, about 5 minutes.
- Season with cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more, then stir in the cooked quinoa and chickpeas.
- Serve hot or cold.