Quinoa, Kale + Chickpea Bake

One of my girlfriends made a delicious quinoa bake last week, with black beans and delicious Mexican flavours, and since then I’ve been craving making  a hearty baked quinoa dish myself.  Although we eat a lot of quinoa in our home, I don’t usually bake it in the oven, but it’s so filling, puffy and beautifully compliments your vegetable casserole.  

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake 

 The nice thing with this meal, is you don’t need to precook the quinoa, it cooks nicely in the oven with the other ingredients.  But, if you do have leftover cooked quinoa sitting in the fridge, by all means, use it.  Just cut down on the liquid and cooking time, by about half.

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

My son is not so into cooked little grains, like couscous or quinoa, but mixed in with all the other veggies, it was a winner for him, too.  I like when everyone is happy at the dinner table!

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

Quinoa, Kale + Chickpea Bake
Serves 6
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 an onion, diced
  4. 1 red sweet pepper, diced
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  7. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  8. 1 tablespoon dried sage
  9. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  11. 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  12. juice from 1/2 a lemon
  13. 1 - 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  14. 1 cup quinoa (any colour), rinsed
  15. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash the kale and remove the tough stems. Roughly chop and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion, red pepper, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until soft, approx. 5 minutes. Add in the kale, stirring, and cook until it has reduced in size. Stir in diced tomatoes along with the dried oregano, sage, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat up your vegetable stock, either on the stove top, or in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Put the contents of your skillet into an 8″x8″ pan. Add in lemon juice, chickpeas and quinoa along with the hot vegetable stock. Stir gently to combine. Sprinkle nutritional yeast overtop if you are using it. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, give it a stir. Check if quinoa has cooked through and if all liquid has been absorbed. If not, cover with foil and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
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 Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

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Blackened Crispy Tofu

If you’ve ever met someone who declared they didn’t like tofu (or if you yourself think you don’t), you’ve got to try this recipe.  The blackening and crispiness make it so desirable, we crave this!  The secret is the smoky spices and cooking the tofu at high heat.  Served with a fresh salad, over quinoa or other grain, or even in a sandwich, this is one of those meals that pleases even the pickiest eater (including my four year old), omnivores and herbivores alike.  I’m always wishing I made more….

We had ours with a fresh green salad, with beautifully striking purple bell peppers from the garden.  Their colour is so vibrant, we had to eat them raw.  I almost felt bad slicing through these beauties.  The vinaigrette was a creamy dijon, which consisted of 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, a pinch of sea salt and pepper.  Whisk all ingredients, and voila, you’ve got a classic homemade vinaigrette.

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Blackened Crispy Tofu Recipe

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt

Directions:

  • Lay a few layers of paper towel onto a cutting board, place tofu on them, then cover with more paper towel.  Place a plate overtop, with something heavy over the plate to drain out as much water as possible.

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  • In the meanwhile, prepare your spice mix by combining all dry seasonings in a shallow bowl.  Whisk to combine.

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  • Once the tofu has drained, cut it into 4 pieces lengthwise.
  • Pour the tamari into a shallow bowl, and let the tofu sit in this for a few minutes, turning to coat both sides.
  • Dip each piece into the spice mix, making sure to get it well covered on each side.

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  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil.  Once hot, place all tofu pieces into the pan.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, you will see it darken on one side.
  • Turn all pieces over, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Repeat, turning over the tofu on each side once more.  It will be crispy, blackened and delicious looking!

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  • Remove from heat, and serve on a bed of greens.  Alternatively, you can serve it on a bed of quinoa or other grains with a side of greens.
  • Enjoy!

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