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Monday, February 16, 2015

Quick and Easy Quinoa Pilaf with Mushrooms and Roasted Chickpeas

This should actually be called "Slim Pickings Quinoa" because it was made with whatever sad, random stuff we had lurking around in the fridge. There were a couple of questionable mushrooms that needed to be used up pronto, some leftover roasted chickpeas from Wednesday (or Tuesday, or Monday, or September?) in the fridge, a sorry almost-empty bag of frozen peas and carrots in the freezer, and there was an old box of quinoa in the pantry that I'm pretty sure had been there since the stuff was just starting to become popular and I used to pronounce it "Queen-wa". The quinoa was sitting in the back of the pantry, behind several boxes of rice, peeking at me like Boo Radley (half endearing, half creepy). So I armed myself with these back-of-the-classroom oddballs and off I went to Frankenstein myself some lunch.


Am I really going to type up a recipe for this hack? Mm-hmm. Let's pretend that I had to roast the chickpeas for this meal so I can include those steps in the instructions. If you already have roasted chickpeas prepared, this dish is going to be quick and easy indeed. If you don't, then it's just going to be quick! Also, this is enough for only one person because Mr. Wing-It hasn't joined the I-Love-Quinoa club yet. You can easily double it or triple it or multiply it as needed.

Quick and Easy Quinoa Pilaf with Mushrooms and Roasted Chickpeas

Quinoa Pilaf with Mushrooms and Roasted Chickpeas
Serves one lonely diner.

For the chickpeas:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
salt and black pepper to taste

For the quinoa:
1 or 2 tsp olive oil
2 or 3 mushrooms, washed and cut into quarters
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup vegetable or chicken-style broth
1/2 cup mixed frozen vegetables of your choice (I went with peas and carrots)

1- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2- Drizzle the olive oil over a small roasting pan and add the chickpeas. 

3- Give the pan a good shake to coat the chickpeas with oil and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over them.

4- Roast for 15 minutes, give the pan a good shake and roast for 15 more minutes or until the chickpeas are golden and crunchy. If you want to season the chickpeas, wait until you have five or six minutes left of baking time to add onion powder, thyme, paprika, etc. If you add the spices too early they might burn in the oven and ruin your precious chickpeas.

5- Let's prepare the quinoa while the chickpeas are roasting. Preheat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

6- Throw in the mushrooms and cook for four or five minutes or until wilted and their liquid has evaporated.

7- Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add a little bit of oil if the garlic is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. 

8- Add the quinoa, broth, and frozen vegetables, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. If your broth is salted, you're probably good to go, if not you will need to add salt to taste. I'd say 1/8 teaspoon, but hardier tastebuds might want to go with 1/4 teaspoon.

9- Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until all the broth has been absorbed. 

10- When the quinoa is done, remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for five minutes.

11- Fluff it up with a fork, mix in your roasted chickpeas and enjoy!

This particular mix of veggies and chickpeas goes quite well with soy sauce.

Quick and Easy Quinoa Pilaf with Mushrooms and Roasted Chickpeas

Do you miss my ducks and birds? Worry not, my fellow bird lovers! Here is a preview of my next blog post. It will be titled "Mr. Wing it *tries* to lay sod", or maybe "Why you shouldn't hire ducks to do your gardening". Watch this space!

Mr. Wing-It Tries to Garden

17 comments:

  1. OOH, I'm glad you did post the recipe - delicious mix of ingredients!

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  2. The duck looks like it's in charge! Wow what the hold out on quinoa?

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    1. That duck was in charge! I'll share some more pictures soon. If you're thinking that he looks like a sweet little duckie, just wait until I tell you what the pesky little thing was REALLY up to...

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  3. I have a lonely lunch on most days and I have questionable mushrooms, too. And I want ducks in my garden, too!

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    1. Lonely lunchers of the world, unite! You can borrow some of our ducks if you'd like to have some. We have ducks to spare! :)

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  4. I was wondering where the birds were in your last post, glad to see they will be making a comeback. :)

    That looks pretty amazing for something made out of pantry/fridge scraps! I'd come over for lunch to eat that.

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    1. The birds are coming! The birds are coming! Come over for lunch and then we can chase the birds and ducks around with our cameras! :D

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  5. Love it! I used to pronounce quinoa "Queen-Oh-Ah" haha

    I'm not vegan and sometimes not vegetarian, but I can't wait to try this. Love that it uses different leftovers -- we have too many leftovers in my house. Thanks!

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    1. Ha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who used to pronounce it wrong! :)

      Reusing leftovers is fun! I have a whole series that I did a couple of years ago about using leftovers. Here are all the posts from that series (I think I need to make a separate page with all the recipes neatly organized):

      http://www.wingitvegan.com/search/label/Wing%20It%20Don%27t%20Fling%20It

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    2. OK, I just added a little recipe index to the main page of the Wing it, Don't Fling It Challenge: http://www.wingitvegan.com/2008/07/wing-it-dont-fling-it-challenge.html

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  6. My kind of recipe. Thanks for sharing. p.s. you are a gifted writer!

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    1. Thank you so much!

      Glad you like the recipe! :)

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  7. That sounds really delicious, and I had no idea quinoa was so easy to cook! I have a couple-three bags of that stuff doing the hiding dance at the top of my food cupboard...

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    1. Why does quinoa like to hide in the back of the cupboards? It needs to step out into the light!

      Quinoa is super easy to cook, but I must confess that I am absolutely terrible at cooking rice. I cannot cook rice to save my life. It always comes out either too mushy or not done enough. Quinoa all the way! :)

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    2. I finally got a rice cooker...worth it, don't know how it does it, but it comes out just right every time

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