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Meatless Monday: Cumin-scented quinoa with beets and curried chickpeas

Curried chickpeas go very nicely with the nutty, beet-sweetened quinoa. Top it off with a spoonful of yogurt or raita.

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Cumin-Scented Quinoa With Beets Topped With Curried Chickpeas & Beet Greens
Adapted from Maria Speck's Ancient Grains for Modern Meals
Serves 4-6 

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Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmers’ markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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For the quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups water
 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sumac or lemon juice
1-1/4 cups shredded raw beets (about 1 medium-sized beet, rinsed and peeled)
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

For the chickpeas:
2 tsp olive oil
30-ounce or two cans of rinsed, drained cooked chickpeas (if you're using canned, buy Eden organics as their cans are BPA-free)
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Beet greens from one bunch of beets, washed, ribs removed and chopped, leaves chopped into ribbons (if your beets did not come with their greens, you can substitute spinach or some chard or skip it altogether if you prefer)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3 teaspoons curry powder or garam masala
Sea salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste

For the topping:
Plain whole milk yogurt (or, if you're feeling up to it, stir in some diced cucumber, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper and thin it with a jot of milk to turn the plain yogurt into raita)

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the cumin seeds (they will sizzle) and cook, stirring, until the seeds darken and become fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until hot to the touch, about 1 minute. Add the water, salt, and sumac (if you have it), and bring to a boil. Decrease the temperature to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile make the chickpeas. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and sautée for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and sautée a few more minutes until it becomes fragrant. Add the chopped beet green stems, stir and sautée for 2 minutes. Throw in the beet greens and stir, sautéeing another 1-2 minutes. Add the chickpeas, curry powder or garam masala and any other spices you desire, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Cook for another 5 or so minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat and let sit.

3. To finish, stir the shredded beets into the saucepan of quinoa, cover, and let steam for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the cayenne pepper. Taste, adjusting for salt and lemon juice, and serve topped with the curried chickpeas and the yogurt or raita.

Realted post: Lemon-Scented Quinoa With Tahini and Chickpeas

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