I'm really hittin' it out of the park posting two vegan recipes in a row! Go me!
I first made this recipe because I was overcome with the clever hilarity of the word "Zuc-Quinoa." For those not in the know, you pronounce "quinoa" as "keen-wah." Therefore, "zucchini" and "quinoa" are natural wordy extensions of each other. Hilarious! If puns don't hit your funny bone, then make this because of it's incredible nutritional content, health benefits, cost effectiveness, quickness, and tastiness quotient.
But first, let's take a moment to talk about quinoa. If you haven't tried it, try it now (and it's all the rage right now, so it shouldn't even be difficult to find). Quinoa is a powerhouse grain. It's packed with protein, iron, fiber, and magnesium. It's also gluten-free and easy to digest. This makes it a fantastic food for vegans and vegetarians, but really for anyone seeking a healthy, balanced diet. Added bonuses are that it's super easy to make, and one bag lasts for a long time (yay, economical!).
One quick note: This recipe is for "Zuc-Quinoa," but as you can see in my pictures, I used asparagus instead of zucchini, making it more like "Asparagnoa." I did it because we nabbed delicious asparagus at last week's farmer's market. It worked very well as a substitute....so, I'm thinkin' that you could probably use whatever veggie tickles your fancy.
Stewed Garbanzo Beans with Zuc-Quinoa (From "1,000 Vegetarian Recipes," by Carol Gelles)
For the beans:
-2 tsp. olive oil
-3/4 c. chopped onions
-3/4 c. chopped green bell peppers
-14.5oz can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
-2 tbsp. Italian-style tomato paste
-15oz can garbanzo beans
-*Optional, but recommended: 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
For the zuc-quinoa:
-3/4 c. quinoa
-2 tsp. vegetable oil (though, I'm sure olive oil would be fine)
-1/2 c. chopped red onion
-1 1/2 c. vegetable broth or water
-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
-2 c. sliced zucchini (2 medium or 1 very large)
-1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1. For the beans, in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup onions and the bell peppers; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Stir in the tomatoes with juice; break them up with the back of the spoon. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the chickpeas. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
3. While the beans are cooking, place the quinoa in a large; fill the bowl with cool water and then drain into strainer. Repeat 4 more times or until the water no longer looks soapy. **NOTE: Most pre-bagged quinoa (like Red Mill organic) will say right on the bag that you do NOT need to do this step. So don't! :)**
4. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup red onions; cook, stirring until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and salt; cook, covered, 10 minutes longer.
Variation: Use kidney beans instead of garbanzo beans. Use yellow squash instead of zucchini. Though you are meant to serve the sauce over the quinoa, they both function as side dishes. Apparently, the sauce is also excellent over cooked spaghetti squash.