Before we get into this, I must apologize for the photos. I had planned on taking a “before” picture but all I have for you is the “after”. I made this dish last weekend for the potluck that our building was having after our semi-annual work party – you know, shovelling gravel and brushing away pooling water from the roof. It actually was pretty fun, largely because our apartment is full of great neighbours – thankfully there are no strata horror stories in our building. But the afterwards potluck was where the real action was.
I had actually made this meal the night before, but I misjudged how long it would take to reheat in the oven and ran late to the potluck. Hence, no pretty photos. Happily, this dish was quickly demolished and received rave reviews. Despite the lack of photographic evidence, you’ll have to trust me that not only did this meal look great, it’s a clear winner.
It’s a healthy vegetarian dish that can easily be made vegan by leaving out the goat cheese. The added bonus is that the quinoa is uncooked when it goes into the dish – it helps to save a step on a busy weeknight! No pre-cooking the quinoa required – it all gets puffed up and tender in the oven. I’ve made this meal before and used less kale – only half a bunch, but it improves greatly by adding in an entire bunch. I had some cute baby tomatoes, so I added those in, but when the weather gets colder, using some sun-dried tomatoes would really hit the spot here….maybe even with a drizzle of the sun-dried tomato oil over top of the goat cheese for the final go in the oven. We eat this as a main entree, but I could see this being a great side for Thanksgiving this weekend.
quinoa & chickpea bake topped with goat cheese
1 bunch of kale
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 red sweet pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cherry tomatoes, diced
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 14oz can chickpeas drained or 1.5 c cooked chickpeas
1 c quinoa (any colour)
1 1/14 c vegetable or chicken stock
5 oz goat cheese, sliced into rounds
Preheat oven to 425F.
Wash kale and remove tough stems. Slice into thin ribbons and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat and add onions, celery, red pepper, garlic and jalapeño, stirring occasionally until soft – about 5 minutes. Add in the kale and let it reduce in size and turn bright green. Stir in chopped tomatoes along with the lemon zest and remove from heat.
Dump the contents of your skillet into an 8″x8″ pan. Add in lemon juice, chickpeas and quinoa along with the stock. Stir gently to combine. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes – or until only a little of the liquid remains. Remove foil, top with goat cheese rounds and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes until all the liquid is gone and the goat cheese gets a little melty. Serve immediately.