Chickpeas and quinoa are the staples in this low-calorie, protein-rich meal. Canned chickpeas are a great go-to when you need to get dinner on the table fast, though dried beans that have been soaked over night and boiled make for a more toothsome texture. This recipe’s other star – quinoa – is a South American seed that has long been popular among vegetarians for its properties as a complete protein, though it’s hit the culinary mainstream in recent years. Its small grains and tender-crunchy texture are reminiscent of couscous. The seeds’ nutty flavor provides a counterpoint to the heat from the spices in this Indian-inspired main dish. Serve it warm for dinner with a side of sauteéed spinach, or chilled for lunch the next day.


  • 1 cup quinoa 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 cups water
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • small yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp coriander
  • cayenne pepper
  • turmeric
  • cilantro


Rinse quinoa in two changes of water, drain. Bring quinoa, water and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium-high and sauteé onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauteé until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in chickpeas, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, coriander and turmeric; sauteé 5 minutes. Stir chickpea mixture and green peas into quinoa until well combined. Stir in cilantro just before serving. Add more for garnish, if desired. Serve with a side of sauteéed spinach. Serves 6.