Thursday, July 12, 2012

Saffron Chickpeas and Rainbow Swiss Chard with Red Quinoa

I've been really enjoying greens. I'm introducing myself to more and more slowly. I fell in love with spinach a couple years ago. Spinach salads, on a veggie sandwich, in a smoothie or juice, or sauteed with garlic,... yum yum. I really enjoy kale salads or chips, raw or cooked. I asked my mom to pick up some kale for tonight's dinner. My co-worker and friend, Tahmi, was coming for a special long-awaited dinner we had talked too long about having. I decided to make a sort-of "bowl." I used a recipe I found in Whole Living Magazine and made minor tweaks here and there. 
 My mom wasn't able to get kale, so she picked up this vibrant, gorgeous rainbow swiss chard.  It didn't taste different than regular s.c., but it sure looked striking. I am going to put the original recipe because I didn't do much different. I used a green bell pepper because I had it on hand, for example, but it would have been better with the red bell pepper that the recipe calls for. :)

Saffron Chickpeas and Bitter Greens with Quinoa

1/4 t. saffron
1 1/2 C. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 1 can)
coarse salt
2 T. coconut oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 large red bell pepper, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
4 C. bitter greens, such as kale or dandelion, cut into 1/2" ribbons
2 1/2 C. chopped watercress
2 T. chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for garnish
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
3 C. cooked quinoa
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 C. pumpkin seeds, toasted

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water and saffron to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and a pinch of salt & simmer 5 minutes more. Set aside. 
Heat oil or water in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onion, stirring until softened, about 4 minutes. Add pepper, garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes more. Stir in greens, and chickpea mixture and cook until greens are just wilted. Season with salt. Remove from heat and mix in chopped herbs. 
Divide quinoa among four bowls and top with vegetables, avocado, and seeds. Garnish with herbs. 

Tahmi loved everything. I served the dish with toasted potato rolls my dad picked up. And dessert was delicious! I made a blueberry/blackberry/raspberry/peach/mango pie from scratch. It was so tasty. She said it was the best pie she had ever had. I snuck a piece in her take-home bag. It was a lovely night with laughs and great conversation. 

The saffron chickpeas were very flavorful, the quinoa added a nice nutty crunch, and the creamy avocado brought the whole dish together like strings in a symphony. Give it a try. Throw in whatever you like. That's what is so great about a bowl. 


Chef Teebs

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