Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Quinoa Chickpea Confetti Casserole

After Christmas I was craving some very wholesome meals. I wasn't alone on that one, was I?

Not that I ate entirely poorly through the holidays. In fact, my "junk" eating probably makes for a stellar day for most sorry blokes and their SAD diet!

But, I was doing my part to increase chocolate consumption for the year. Bark, fudge, truffles, liquor chocolates - you name it, in vegan form I ate it! ...and other desserts and treats. Though we mostly ate our regular foods during those days (we didn't have a lot of hosting or visiting to do), I still felt the need for some very healthful meals, and this was one of them.

This Quinoa Chickpea Confetti Casserole has taken many forms since I starting testing it - oh, about a year ago!! I began with an all-legume dish, combining chickpeas and adzuki beans with zucchini, fennel, and the seasonings. Then, I changed it because I ended up pairing a grain on the side, so why not bake the grain in there??! I used brown rice to begin with, and then this last time used quinoa and changed the zucchini to red pepper. I'm giving both rice/quinoa options in this recipe for Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan, since both were lovely in this dish.

The quinoa reminds me of confetti, and since we ate this 'final version' during the New Year, it felt festive and celebratory, so I settled on this name for the dish.

Forgot to mention how easy it is... all ingredients are chucked into a baking dish, covered, then pass the baton over to the oven.


Michelle said...

Mmm... looks very healhy and has some of my favorite ingredients! I am eating so many chickpeas lately! I had mentionned I was cooking for some friends on the weekend that do not eat this way normally... I made the morrocan chickpea patties and served with basmati rice and sweet potato fries. For dessert I made the apple crumble from TEV but used mixed frozen berries rather than cranberries. everything was delicious and they really enjoyed the meal. Thanks for all the great recipes I am trying these days! -Michelle in Toronto

Urban Vegan said...

I make a "confetti" dish with quinoa too, but mine's not baked. Looks very yummy.

Judy said...

Oh my gosh, that looks so good. What a great antidote to the holidays.

laura jesser said...

Oh, Dreena, you've done it again! That looks beautiful--I love the colors! I know what you mean about the junk foodin' over the holidays... though I ate my fair share of cookies, chocolate, etc. I still felt MUCH better after my first vegan holiday season than I remember feeling before!

I had a question for you. Suppose I wanted 2 cups of cooked chickpeas. What portion of dried chickpeas should I start with? Thanks!

Kris said...

I love meals you can just throw together and toss in the oven. So fast and satisfying. This looks delicious.

Julie said...

Looks great as always!

I am SO with you on the need for super healthy meals now that the holidays have passed. Although, all that dark chocolate and cookies were good... :]

Dreena said...

Michelle, you are one busy cooking and baking mama!! Wow, you really went all-out for your friend, making everything from scratch - how kind of you... do you think she was 'inspired' at all to try some vegan cooking herself? (you're welcome, btw - and thank you too)

Thanks Urban Vegan... I normally just prep quinoa stovetop, I think this is the first time I baked it - turned out nicely - and one less pot to hand-wash!

Thanks Judy - a much needed 'cure' for all the sugar we were chowing down!

Laura, that's SO true - when I think of how I USED to feel after a Christmas dinner - and the foods of the holidays - ugh. Totally tired and sluggish and just yuck! Anyhow, with the chickpeas, typically 1 cup of dried beans will give you about 2 - 2 1/2 cups of cooked. Check out p.165 of Vive - there is a guide to cooking beans, and gives some info about cooking times for different beans. This is for cooking stovetop with a regular pot - not using a pressure cooker. If you have a pressure cooker, you can significantly reduce cooking time. I have always cooked them stovetop, and so I will recommend that if you are going to cook some beans, go ahead and cook a larger amount than you want to use. It takes a little time to cook the beans, and so it is well worth cooking a big ol' batch and then freezing in smaller portions. I mention this in that section in Vive, but when I cook beans, I'll freeze the extras in 2 cup portions in small plastic containers (Ziploc), or you can use ziploc bags. Just measure and label your bags so you'll know. Then, to thaw and use, run the container under hot water to loosen, then get into a colander and pour more hot or boiling water over the beans. (or, you can thaw at room temp or in fridge for a few hours). Very easy, and the taste is FAR better when you cook your own beans. I don't cook them as much as I'd like to - but when I do, I always say I'll cook them all the time because the taste is so much fresher/cleaner than canned (esp for chickpeas). Good luck!

Thanks Kris and Julie... (oh, and Julie, the choc and treats haven't completely left our home! - still enjoying a few treats daily, just not as many of them!) :)

Vicki said...

this is my kinda dish! i love quinoa, and i double love garbanzos!! is that cilantro? love that too. :o)

raising_kahne said...

This looks wonderful and filled with healthy goodness! Perhaps when the book comes out, I could use a different bean?? As Ive said before, I(unfortunately) have a 'problem' with chickpeas, and I ususally get sick whenever I eat them. The dish still looks great though!

*a* said...

Dreena does it again! Oh I love quinoa (and had never tried it before last year!) Totally addicted now! Have I mentioned that I'm really eager for your next cookbook?! Now that the holidays are over (and I've baked just about every cookie and muffin in Vive) I'm starting to work my way through the "other" recipes in your books! they are all so good (and easy!)

Harmonia said...

Sounds like my kind of dish! YUM!

Can't wait for the new book!

Made your Velvety Roasted Herbed Tomato Soup...blogged about it.

Carrie™ said...

You are so right about wanting healthy meals after the holidays. Come Dec. 28 or 29 I'm ready for some good home-cooked, nutritious food. I just crave it. (Then have chocolate for dessert) This dish sounds like a winner!

Melissa said...

Ooo, that looks delicious. I love one pot/dish meals! Just like your chickpea ratatouille...mmmm. I can't wait to try out this recipe.