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Quinoa with Broccolini, Chickpeas, and Mushrooms

I will be the first to tell you that I am no cooking or baking expert by any means, but enjoy doing both as evidenced by the blog.  Most of the time I’ll take a recipe and make some adjustments to make it my own.  However, if you give me the basic ingredients for a cake with no recipe, my eyes will bug out.  Change those ingredients to things like quinoa and veggies instead (uhh, not for a cake, obv), and you’ll get a thumbs up.  Maybe not literally.

Have you had broccolini?  I used to think it was baby broccoli, but it’s evidently a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli (kai-lan).  It’s more tender and has longer, thinner stems, which are way more delicious than broccoli stalks, I think.

I wanted to use kasha for the grain as I’ve never cooked with it, but since the bulk bin at my store was empty, I went with a standby favorite: quinoa.  Speaking of favorites, I also couldn’t not add mushrooms.  It’s kind of a habit.  Finally, the whole shebang has a hummus thing going on with the chickpeas, lemon zest and juice, and tahini.  Light, yet filling and delicious! 

zest. lemon, not soap.

Quinoa with Broccolini, Chickpeas, and Mushrooms

This is easy and doesn’t take very long to make because you can prepare everything else while the quinoa is cooking.  Next time I’ll add some toasted slivered almonds for extra crunch!

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch broccolini, rinsed with stems separated and very ends removed
handful of small mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
zest and juice from 1 lemon
~1/4 cup tahini (more or less to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

In a small covered saucepan over medium low heat, bring the quinoa and water to a simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add shallots.  After a couple minutes, stir in the chickpeas and heat until warm.   Add the broccolini and more olive oil to lightly coat, then cover and steam for about 6 – 8 minutes on medium low, stirring occasionally.   The broccolini will turn a bright green, but should still be crisp.   Stir in the mushrooms and lemon zest and juice and cook until the mushrooms are soft.

To finish, transfer the quinoa in a large bowl and toss with tahini.  Stir in the vegetable/chickpea mixture and season with salt and pepper.  Add more tahini if desired.

Quinoa with Broccolini, Chickpeas, and Mushrooms

Serve as a side or make it a meal with a salad!

And you know what?  This mix happens to be vegan and gluten-free!  Yep, I’m looking out for everyone.

Quinoa with Broccolini, Chickpeas, and Mushrooms