Curry-ish Quinoa with Chickpeas, Almonds, and Cucumbers

20 Oct
ok so this for me is a “pantry recipe”,  you know-made from stuff I have in the house. I have a bit of a qualm with pantry recipes though because they are really only “pantry” to the person making them. Sometimes I see pantry recipes that call for things like brown sugar or frozen spinach, or oxtail-whatever. i do not have any of these  things in my pantry.  my pantry consists of whatever hasn’t been eaten yet and whatever I bought a year ago and haven’t used. and about 4 bottles of crushed red pepper and a plethora of other half empty spice bottles that I don’t remember buying but seem to have just appeared. so for me, this is a pantry recipe, but for you, its a recipe that will most likely require a safeway/publix/whole foods visit. The great thing is, tons of substitutions and add ins can be made so that it can use up as much of your pantry as possible-don’t get ridiculous though. 
What You Need (roughly..):

1 cup of Quinoa (you can substitute any kind of rice you have, however, I always have quinoa because it is a complete protein and great for you–and delicious)
1 T of olive oil 
2 cloves of garlic
curry powder
ground turmeric
ground cumin
ground ginger
cayenne pepper
ground chili pepper
water, or chicken or vegetable stock. The stock will give it more flavor but water keeps it more “pantry” and less calories and salt. 
1/2 of any kind of onion, medium dice
1/2 cup of chickpeas
1/4-1/2 of a cup cucumber
1/4 of a cup of almonds, chopped
I used cucumber and frozen chickpeas because I had those in my house and wanted to use them. 
You could really use anything you have, cauliflower, green beans, frozen spinach, white beans, red beans. I also added about 6 chopped almonds at the end because I was feelin’ wild!
Here is the brand of cucumbers I use, I love them because they are baby sized and less watery than the big ones. 
So, roughly chop the garlic
Heat a sauce pot over medium. Once hot, add the olive oil and the garlic. if I had any onion I would have DEFINITELY put it in here too, but alas,  I did not. Okay, now this part is crucial and awesome. Add in about 1 T of curry powder and as much of the other spices as you’d like..I did about 2 shakes of the container each. Then mix and let it happen. Watch the garlic (and onion) turn a rich, red, yellow color and enjoy for about two minutes while your kitchen is filled with a spice-tastic armoa. (I usually stick my face an inch away from the pot and inhale, its weird, but it smells so darn good I just can’t help myself)
Then add the frozen chickpeas (or whatever other vegetable you are using) and coat in the spice mixture
Once those get warmed and coated in the spices, pour in 1 cup of quinoa, stir, and let it toast up a little bit. 
Then add the water/stock and bring to a boil. A boil by the way looks like this. Lots of bubbles.
Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer. A simmer will be on a really low heat and will have a teeny tiny amount of bubbles hitting the surface. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Don’t take the lid off more than once to check it because the steam that gets trapped inside is how it cooks. While its cooking chop the almonds and slice the cucumbers. 

Once its finished, fluff it with a fork. add the cucumbers and almonds, stir. and eat!! or put it into a container and store it in your fridge for up to 4 days. 5 if you like to push the envelope. 


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