My temporary home for January is very small and filled with someone else’s belongings. This makes life a bit messy and chaotic. The kitchen is tiny and I cannot set it up to work for me since I am not staying here. I am thus confined in terms of what I cook to the equipment that exists here, the size of the kitchen, and the few ingredients I have purchased. My meals tend to be simple and healthful. Mostly they are vegetarian since I have been eating more meat than usual here in carnivore-friendly Paris. This is a simple chickpea and quinoa stew that I made. Served with steamed broccoli, it was a perfect light but warming and filling dinner.
Chickpea and Quinoa Stew
-1/2 cup mixed quinoa and bulgar*
-1/2 can chopped tomatoes
-1 can chickpeas
-1 medium yellow onion, chopped
-1 tsp ras al hanut
1. Sautee the onion in a bit of olive oil over medium-low heat until cooked through.
2. Add chickpeas, quinoa mix, ras al hanut and tomatoes. Stir.
3. Add 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt.
4. Simmer over medium heat until quinoa is cooked and flavors begin to meld, about 30 minutes. Add more water as needed. It should have a moist but thick consistency.
5. Add lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.
6. Serve with steamed veggies, greens, or a salad for a healthy, filling meal.
*In France, this is sold as a mix. If you cannot find it mixed, use 1 part bulgar to 2 parts quinoa. Or just use quinoa.
This is a soup that I make when I want something healthy and hearty and I don’t have time to go to the store. It’s great when you come back from a long trip and you don’t have anything in your fridge. Or when you didn’t expect to be cooking and you need to throw something together. I like to keep a few key items in my pantry for just such times so that I can always throw together a soup or pasta for a quick, healthy meal. This soup is an Indian spiced red lentil soup. It has coconut milk for creaminess and chunks of tomato add a bit of texture and tangy-sweetness. Oh and did I mention it’s vegan? I keep naan in the freezer which I defrosted, brushed with olive oil and toasted. The result was a filling, healthy and warm meal that were the perfect antidote to the rainy weather we have been having. What is you favorite pantry meal?