This is a great dish to serve in the middle of holiday excess–which I realize we aren’t there yet, but it’s coming. I just bought several holiday cookie magazines, and am excitedly planning what will be gracing my cookie tins this year. But I digress–I was telling you how tasty, easy, nutritious and especially fiber and protein happy this dish is.
For me, personally, the genius of this meal lies in the multi grain pilaf (if that’s the right word) that I served the dish on. Do you have any super foods that you do not like? And does it frustrate you because every time you open another food or health magazine, there is an article singing the praises of that food? Broccoli, blueberries, walnuts and quinoa are all examples–the first 2 of which I love and the second 2 I do not no matter how much I try. Quinoa is especially frustrating to me, because it seems like it ought to be the perfect grain to sub in for rice, serve in cold salads, etc. But no matter how much I rinse it, on its own it tastes bitter to me. But then I had this revelation–what if I mixed quinoa into other grains, diluting its bitter flavor? After all, it works with walnuts in granola. Eureka!
A note about the recipe: I used red quinoa because it is what I had around, but use any quinoa you have.
- Butternut squash-chickpea mixture:
- 2 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped1 red medium-large onion, chopped
- 1 head of garlic, minced
- 1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
- 1-3 T good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 t ground cumin
- pinch of allspice
- salt to taste
- 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in cold water (drain before cooking)
- Greek yogurt
- lemon wedges and lemon juice
- chopped cilantro (I was out)
- Mixed Grains:
- 1 cup red quinoa, cooked to package's directions (if it is a little soggy, drain it)
- 1 cup pearl barley, simmered until tender and drained
- 1 cup Israeli couscous (or any other pasta grain of your choice), cooked to package's directions
- Begin by prepping all of the vegetables and then cooking the grains that take the longest to cook (i.e., the barley). Basically you want to be multi-tasking with this dish, starting grains cooking while your veggies are cooking, etc. Read through the directions before beginning.
- While the barley cooks, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion to it with a pinch of salt, and cook for 5-8 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin and allspice. You chould be starting the other grains around now. Add the butternut squash and sweet bell peppers and toss. Add a pinch of salt and the drained chickpeas. Reduce the heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the butternut squash is tender. Add the drained sliced onion and toss to your desired doneness (many people, myself included, have trouble with raw onions, so I like to take that edge off of them).
- While you are working on the above dish, you will want to also be working on the quinoa and Israeli couscous. When all 3 grains are cooked and drained of excess water, toss them together in a large bowl. Serve this meal family style, with the butternut squash-chickpea mixture poured over the grains. Sprinkle with a tablespoon or 2 of fresh lemon juice and serve additional wedges on the side for people who like things extra lemony, like me. Garnish with Greek yogurt and chopped cilantro.
This meal looks like such a treat
I looovee quinoa, although I like other grains better and this salad looks absolutely perfect for holiday season! Or for any day really. I am all-day-every-day butternut squash eating kinda girl.
Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer says
I am always looking for new ways to use my quinoa, thanks!
Fun and Fearless in Beantown says
I've made a similar dish with quinoa using bacon, black beans and butternut squash. It was SO hearty and so delicious!
This dish looks delicious! Big fan of quinoa!
Chef Basket says
Thanks for this butternut squash and chickpeas served on mixed grains recipe. The picture alone is quite mouth-watering!