I got home from work at 8pm the other night and I was not at all in the mood to make a healthy dinner. I knew I needed to use up the Swiss chard that was slowly wilting in my fridge, but I really just wanted to make a box of Annie’s Mac and Cheese and plop down on the couch in front of Gossip Girl. Still, I begrudgingly convinced myself to actually cook (I needed to eat some veggies that day. Waffles for breakfast plus pasta for lunch equals Hi, I need plant foods at dinner) and ended up throwing together this recipe from ingredients I had lying around my kitchen. It turned out delicious enough that I deemed it worthy to be shared with y’all, so here goes. This Chard & Chickpea Quinoa is a super easy weeknight dinner you can convince yourself to make no matter how tired or lazy you might feel.
This is vegetarian, gluten free and would be vegan if you left off the feta. But it’s still full of protein because of the quinoa and the chickpeas! So you will have a full belly, but not like, post-Thanksgiving-dinner-full. Keep in mind that you could easily sub spinach for the chard, or white beans for the chickpeas. This recipe would also be tasty if you splashed in a bit of white wine or maybe even used balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice.
Chard & Chickpea Quinoa
total time: 20 minutes
total hands-on time: 15ish minutes
What you’ll need:
1 cup of dry quinoa
1 can of chickpeas, drained
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
about half a bunch of chopped Swiss chard, stems removed
1/2 tbsp of fresh chopped garlic
1/2 a cup of broth
glug of olive oil
sprinkle of lemon juice
salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste
feta cheese for topping
What you’ll do:
1. Start the quinoa by boiling it in a saucepan with a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid (I make my quinoa using half broth and half water. Saves a lil money, but tastes better than using plain H20.) On another burner, heat some olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet and add the garlic, sauteing for about a minute.
2. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, broth and salt and pepper and cook on high heat for about two minutes. Turn down to medium-low and cook, covered, for about five minutes until the mixture has reduced a little bit.
3. The quinoa should be boiling by now. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover.
4. Next, stir the chopped chard into the chickpea-tomato mixture. This will look like a CRAZY amount of greens but not to worry, they will cook down. Now is the time to sprinkle on a bit of lemon juice, too. I also added a Mediterranean seasoning blend, but it’s up to you.
5. Stir the mixture until the greens have wilted, then turn down heat to low and let simmer for a few more minutes.
5. The quinoa should be done by now; once all of the liquid in the pan is gone, it’s ready. Scoop some of the veggies onto the cooked quinoa, top with feta and enjoy!
I think this would also be good if you actually stirred the veggie mixture into the quinoa, making it more of a salad or pilaf type-of-deal.