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

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Mix them with the quinoa and you get a simply breathtaking dish.

As for the chickpeas, these are quick and easy and mighty tasty. I washed the beet greens (no need to throw them away – they're also yummy and good for you.) Then removed the ribs to chop them up finely since they're tougher than the greens and cut the leaves into ribbons.Then I chopped up an onion and a bunch of garlic and sauteed them in some olive oil along with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Once the onion was translucent, I added the beet stems followed a few minutes later by the greens. Tossed in some spices, a couple cans of Eden organic (and BPA-free) chickpeas and let it all meld together, seasoning with salt and pepper, and voilà – a savory, curried mess of garbanzos and greens.

The curried chickpeas go very nicely with the nutty, beet-sweetened quinoa. Top with a spoonful of yogurt or raita and you'll be glad if you've made enough to have leftovers – this dish only improves with a day or two's time to let the flavors deepen.

Just a quick note that Maria's recipe calls for sumac which I did not have – you can substitute some lemon juice as I've done if you can't find this ingredient. 

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

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)

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