Not From Concentrate

Quinoa and Tomatoes

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When Pasan and I studied in France, we were college students living on no income, so inexpensive meals were our bread and butter. And literally, we ate a ton of bread and butter. I’ve mentioned before that France is where I started eating food from scratch and actually buying vegetables that didn’t come in microwaveable bag to go with food that came in some sort of box. It was there that Pasan developed this amazing tomato sauce – type recipe that we ate with cous cous at least once a week. This time we paired it with quinoa to try out something different and it turned out quite nicely. I have to say that I still prefer cous cous over quinoa, but it seems really expensive everywhere I look (which is Walmart and Whole Foods.)


I’m also still on my tomato kick so anything with tomatoes is calling my name lately. Speaking of which, it’s time to go grocery shopping for more tomatoes!


I don’t know how I lived the rest of my life without this saute pan. It is so useful! And the scent of chickpeas, onions, garlic and thyme sautéing together is just heavenly.


Wow those are some bright and beautiful tomatoes. Well now I want this for dinner again.


The thyme garnish isn’t just for looking fancy. You can scrape the sprigs into the tomatoes and quinoa and mix together for even more flavor!

Quinoa & Tomatoes


Serves 2


1 cup quinoa
1 medium white onion, diced
1 cup dried chickpeas or 1 can chick peas
1 can diced italian tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp powdered cumin
2 tbs olive oil


1)To prepare the quinoa, the first step is rinsing. This removes a lot of the bitterness that you might sometimes associate with quinoa. Once you have rinsed it, bring around 1.5 cups water or stock (chicken, vegetable, whatever you prefer) to boil. Unlike rice, 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa is too much. Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa with a pinch of salt, and turn the heat to low. Let it sit for around 15 minutes and then take it off the heat. Let that water soak right in.
2) Heat the olive oil in a pan. Sauté the onions until they’re translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for a couple minutes.
3)Add the chickpeas to the pan and stir. If you are using dried chickpeas, you will have to get them prepped early on. To do this soak them ahead of time for around 2 hours and boil them to get them all soft. At this point you can throw them into the pan. If you’re using canned chickpeas, just wash the can juices off them and toss them right in.
4)Add the tomatoes to the pan along with the cumin and thyme and let it sit on medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5)The quinoa should be done at this point as well. Fluff it up with a fork. You can add a bit of butter if you want to add some richness and flavor.

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