This dish was a recipe of my own creation, and it combines food from three different cultures! I try to do this every once in a while, by throwing Italian ingredients in a quesadilla or taco, or by using Asian seasonings in a Middle Eastern dish, but I think this one might be my favorite of all time. I used the South American/Peruvian Quinoa as the base, Chickpeas (originally Turkish/Middle Eastern), and traditional Italian Aglio Olio seasoning (olive oil, garlic, parsley, red pepper).
I know some cooks who would never do this, but I say screw rules! This tasted incredible. Oh, and it’s vegan!
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (keep separate)
1/4 tbsp red pepper flakes
3/4 tbsp parsley
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed well & dried
2 cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp crushed pine nuts
Mix quinoa and water in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and garlic in large skillet. Once the garlic starts to get little bubbles around it, then add the red pepper and parsley.
Heat for about a minute, then add your chickpeas. Mix until everything is nicely coated in the oil & seasoning, and sautee until the outsides are a little crispy and the insides are soft and creamy.
Then, add your broccoli. Sautee until tender.
Add the desired amount of quinoa to your skillet and mix well. I did not use the entire cooked amount, but about 3/4 of it and set the rest aside for leftovers (yum!). Add up to 1/2 cup olive oil. The quinoa absorbs a ton of moisture, so it can get dry pretty quickly. Adding extra olive oil won’t hurt anything, and it totally takes away the dryness. Sautee until quinoa has absorbed the flavor of the seasoning (never hurts to taste-test as you go!)
Scoop desired amount into bowl and top with crushed pine nuts. Enjoy this super healthy vegan delight!
I paired this with a Belgian White Ale, because that was all I had in my fridge! Plust I wanted to add yet another culture to this already confused dish. 🙂