Spiced Quinoa Chickpea Stew

By Dreena Burton

Serves 4-5

This dish is a cross between a casserole and a stew. It is cooked stove-top, much like a stew, but is much more like a casserole in texture. The quinoa and chickpeas are simmered with warm, earthy spices, and balanced with the sweetness of dried figs and sautéed fennel. 

  • 1-2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3/4 – 1 cup red pepper, chopped (see note)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups fennel bulb, chopped (first remove core and stalks from bulb) (see note)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed (see note)
  • 2 cups Earth’s Choice Garbanzo Beans (rinsed and drained if using canned)
  • 2 – 2 1/4 cups water (+ another 2-4 tbsp if needed, see directions)
  • 1 dried or fresh bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup dried black mission figs, chopped (or dried apricots, chopped or can use raisins, whole)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or pistachios (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, add the water, onion, red pepper, fennel, garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder, fennel seed, paprika, dried basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir through, cover, and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine, bring to a boil and let boil for a couple of minutes.

Then add quinoa, chickpeas, water (start with 2 cups) and bay leaf and stir through. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/ medium-low, cover and let cook for 18-22 minutes. Once quinoa is cooked, and most of the liquid is absorbed, stir in dried figs, remove from heat and let sit for 3-4 minutes. If the liquid is absorbed but quinoa isn’t tender, add the extra 1⁄4 cup of water and cook another few minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve, with a sprinkling of nuts, if desired.

Red Pepper Note: If you don’t have red pepper, you can substitute chopped carrot or winter squash like butternut, though the red pepper adds a nice color contrast with the other ingredients.

Quinoa/Water Note: If the liquid is absorbed but quinoa isn’t tender, add the extra 1/4 cup of water and cook another few minutes.

Cooking Tip: After this dish is cooked, keep it covered before and after serving portions. It will get a little dry if left uncovered. Also, as it stands, the heat from the pot will continue to cook the quinoa and so it will absorb more water and get drier. If needed, have some water boiled in your kettle, so you can stir a couple of tablespoons before getting a second helping!

Recipe reprinted from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton. For more of Dreena’s recipes, visit www.plantpoweredkitchen.com.

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