Chickpea: We’ve got to stop meeting like this.
Quinoa: Why, when we fit together so beautifully, your Rubenesque form nestled in my bed of tiny spheres and tendrils…
Chickpea: Stop it, you’re making me blush. Or is that the smoked paprika? Whatever. It was good while it lasted, but I want to see other grains. Real grains, not some little pseudocereal. Someone big and meaty, like Farro.
Quinoa: Farro! He’s not even gluten-free! Go ahead, give him a whirl, but you’ll be back. The smaller the package, the bigger the gift.
Chickpea: Uh, yeah, right.
And so it was that Quinoa and Chickpea decided to give their relationship a break, but not before one last roll in the, er, bowl:
Okay, that little scenario was weird. But probably not as weird as the fact that I keep pairing chickpeas with quinoa. I didn’t realize how often I was combining them until I looked back to see what I was making in September of 2008: Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas with Tomato Charmoula and Quinoa. Which looks a lot like the Cumin-Infused Vegetables and Chickpeas Over Quinoa that I posted a couple of weeks ago. And then there’s Ridiculously Easy Curried Chickpeas and Quinoa, International Quinoa Salad, Cosmic Cashew Kale and Chickpeas with Confetti Quinoa, and so on. I have to find some new favorite ingredients!
Honestly, you don’t need quinoa for this bowl. It’s just as good with brown rice or any other grain. As so often happens, I was running short on time and needed to get supper on the table quickly, and quinoa has the wonderful quality of cooking in about 20 minutes.
Cooking the quinoa is the most time-consuming part of this recipe, and if you have some already cooked, so much the better.
The chickpeas, which I call “dry-spiced” because they’re cooked with very little liquid so that the spices form a coating around them, take about 15 minutes to cook and the broccoli about 5 minutes to steam. Put them all together with a creamy tahini sauce (modeled on my Tahini-Chickpea Dressing) and you have a delicious, Middle Eastern-inspired one-bowl meal.
Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl with Tahini Sauce
- 3 cups cooked quinoa made from 1 cup uncooked grain, brown rice, or other grain
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon chia seed optional, for thickness
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 cans, drained
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika hot or mild or a combination
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt to taste
- 1 large bunch broccoli cut into small florets
- 1 cup baby carrots or sliced carrots
Make sure you have 3 cups cooked quinoa or other grain on-hand. If not, cook 1 cup according to package directions.
Place the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside. (If you’re using chia seeds, the sauce will thicken as it sits and may need additional water blended in just before using.)
Cook the chickpeas: Heat a large, non-stick saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. (Add water by the tablespoon if necessary to prevent sticking.) Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chickpeas, water, paprika, and cumin. Stir well, cover, and cook on low, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes. (Most of the liquid will evaporate, but if they get too dry, add water by the tablespoon.) Check seasoning and add salt to taste.
While the chickpeas are cooking, steam the broccoli and carrots for about 5 minutes, until tender but still brightly colored.
Assemble the bowl with grain on the bottom and chickpeas and vegetables on top. Stir or blend the sauce, adding water if it’s too thick, and drizzle over all.
More Creative Vegan Bowls:
- The Jackson Bowl with Vegan Comeback Sauce, here on FFVK
- Korean-Inspired Black-eyed Peas and Kale Bowl, on this blog
- Cozy Millet Bowl with Mushroom Gravy and Kale from Oh She Glows
- Vegan Latin Bowl by A Cozy Kitchen
- The BBQ Bowl with Zesty Ranch Dressing from Keepin’ It Kind
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