I for one is a sucker for dishes that contain quinoa, chickpeas and kale. It is by far my favorite high-protein combination, and whenever I am clueless as for what to make for dinner, this is my savoir. It is quickly made, tasty, and very nutritious (nothing beats that, right?). The quinoa and chickpeas adds protein and complex carbohydrates, and the vegetables adds lots of essential vitamins and minerals. Did you know that quinoa, because it contains all the 8 essential amino acids, is one of the few foods that is considered to be a complete protein, and that it is also rich in iron and calcium. If that alone did not convince you to start swallowing this down, the fact that quinoa is incredibly tasty does not hurt either.
For those who eats with their eyes (don’t we all) this is a very colorful and aesthetically pleasing dish as well. It requires just a few very simple ingredients. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have at hand, but keep in mind to tailor the cooking time according to that. Some starchy vegetables for example (carrots, potato etc.) need considerable longer cooking time than leafy greens (spinach, kale etc.). Below I have listed what I prefer using, so try to stay within the same amount of vegetables too. If you do not have all the spices I listed you can easily skip a few without it affecting the taste too much. I prefer using a lot of spices, but if your curry paste is already heavily seasoned this might not be necessary.
Ingredients, makes 4 servings:
- 3 cups chickpeas (canned and drained or pre-cooked)
- 2 cups dry quinoa
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 3-4 cups kale/leaf spinach
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1-5 tbsp (green) thai curry paste (how much you use depends on how spicy the brand of curry paste you use are)
Spices, to taste:
- Garam masala
- Curry madas (or other high-quality curry powder)
- Cumin (seeds are preferred, but ground works too)
- Cayenne pepper
- Fennel seeds
- Combine the quinoa, curry paste, tomato puree and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, cover with a lid and let this cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. This will in total take around 20-40 minutes, and you can tell that it is done when the quinoa has turned slightly fluffy.
- Chop up all vegetables (except for the kale/spinach) and lightly brown them in a non-stick pan for a few minutes. When you see that the quinoa has about 5 minutes cooking-time left, throw in all the other ingredients (including the spices) except for the kale, and cook until the carrots are tender. Now add in however much kale you wish (torn into bite-sized shreds) and cook for a few minutes, or until the kale has the desired consistency. Serve with a pinch of maldon salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
If you liked this you might want to check out some other recipes like my Quinoa Chickpea Stew or the Warm Quinoa and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad, both of them is also favorites of mine when I am looking for higher-protein recipes.