This made a nice, simple, protein-laden backdrop to the other things we were cooking tonight (collard greens with applewood smoked bacon, above, and grilled vegetables. You can use the quinoa like a bed of rice and let them mix together a bit). If you wanted to make it more flavorful, you could use broth instead of water, and/or saute the vegetables separately and add them to the cooked quinoa at the end.
1/4 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
4 scallions, sliced (white and light green parts) or 1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, diced
2 handfuls Eden Organic canned chickpeas
Pinch or two of salt
1 scant tsp finely chopped oregano
1 cup red quinoa
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp toasted sliced almonds (Trader Joe's does this for you, if you like having them on hand...they keep forever in the freezer)
Small tab (about 1/2 tsp) pasture butter
Rinse the quinoa, then soak it in cold water for 30 minutes (or hot water for 10, if you forget to do this ahead of time and are impatient for dinner. Hypothetically speaking). This helps remove the saponin, which coats the quinoa grains and can make them taste bitter, and also makes the quinoa cook more quickly later on.
Heat the olive oil in a smallish pot over medium heat. Add the pepper, garlic, and scallions, and saute for a couple of minutes, then add the carrot, chickpeas, salt, and half the oregano and saute for another minute or two. Add the quinoa, stir a few times, then add the water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low or just above low and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is done (if there is extra liquid left at the end, uncover pot and cook for a minute over medium heat to let it evaporate). Add remaining oregano and stir. Add almonds, switch off heat, stir in the butter, and serve.
Serves 3 (or 2 with some leftovers)