Although being lazy is tempting, on Sunday I like to prepare for the week ahead. I try to make one or two dishes that will serve as quick meals when I don't have time (or energy) to cook. This week my lunch bag will include Quinoa with Chickpeas and Tomatoes. It keeps well in the refrigerator and actually becomes more tasty after the flavors are able to marinate for awhile.
Some of you might be thinking, "What is so great about quinoa"? Well, I will tell you.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient seed that is high in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans and is therefore considered a "complete protein". Although it is technically a seed, it is used as a grain and substituted for grains because of it's cooking characteristics. The fat content of quinoa is relatively high when compared to other grains, but it is low in sodium and also provides valuable starch and fiber. Quinoa is a tasty and versitile, supplying variety as well as good nutrition. If you haven't tried Quinoa...do it.
Check out the nutritionals.
Quinoa with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
1 cup quinoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 tomato, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1.Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, and rinse under cold, running water until the water no longer foams. Bring the quinoa, salt, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
2.Once done, stir in the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley to serve.
Makes 6 servings.
This dish is now individually portioned in the fridge so all I have to do when I need a quick meal during the week is pull it out, add some veggies or a salad and EAT.
Question: What are your favorite "make-ahead" dishes?