Vegan, but not very: Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Carrots

I had every intention of making this vegan, but then I realized I had chicken broth, not vegetable broth. Do with that as you will.

The pilaf recipe is adapted from Veganomicon, and it’s by far the tastiest thing I’ve made out of said cookbook yet (with the exception of a double pea soup to which I added bacon, tee hee). With the spicy sweetness of the roasted carrots, it made a well-rounded and thoroughly satisfying dinner.

Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf
Serves six or so; leftovers are Useful and Tasty

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Optional but nice: one jalapeno pepper, seeded if you like, finely chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste (Note: since most recipes don’t call for a whole can of tomato paste, and since I can’t afford the fancy-pants Italian paste in a tube, I’ve taken to scraping the contents of an opened can into a Ziploc bag, squeezing out the air and storing it in the refrigerator. Despite the incontrovertible messiness of this method, it’s working pretty well so far.)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp or so ground coriander
1 tsp salt, or to taste
Generous amount of ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed
About 2-1/2 cups (or, more accurately, “what I had sitting around”) cooked and drained chickpeas, or one can of the same, rinsed and drained (really, the self-cooked ones will be much nicer)
About 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and just translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic (and jalapeno, if you like) and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add tomato paste, spices, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for another minute. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes.

Add chickpeas and broth. Bring just to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is done, probably about 17 minutes. Uncover, turn up heat, and stir constantly for about 30 seconds. Turn off heat. Drape a clean dishtowel over the pot; replace lid; let stand 3 to 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, fold in parsley and correct seasoning before serving.

Roasted Carrots
Serves… well, whatever you make will get eaten, so be bold.

Preheat oven to 375. Wash and peel a quantity of carrots. Halve them lengthwise (or quarter them, if they’re overly thick) and slice on the diagonal into roughly 1″ pieces.

Spread carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and some brown (or turbinado) sugar. (For six carrots, I probably used about 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp pepper flakes and 1 Tbsp sugar. But that’s not super exact, and your preferences undoubtedly vary.) Toss ingredients together and spread carrots out relatively evenly. If you put their flat cut sides down, they will crisp up nicely.

Bake until carrots are browned and just beginning to shrivel, probably about 20 to 25 minutes.

Spoon pilaf into bowls and serve carrots on top.

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About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
This entry was posted in Food and Drink, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Option. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Vegan, but not very: Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Carrots

  1. Laura Maddox says:

    My husband and I love the roasted carrot recipe as well, but we add yams or sweet potatoes, omit the sugar and add rosemary. I’ve been following your blog (though not as consitently as of late) for the last 9 months or so and really enjoy your writing and recipes. I found you through Jamie Stavenger’s Blog. Thanks for sharing homemade goodness with us, Laura

  2. Molly Newman says:

    Laura, that sounds delicious–roasted sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things ever! I don’t usually add sugar to roasted carrots, but I gave it a try this time. (I sometimes pan-glaze them with a little brown sugar and was kind of going for the same effect here.) Thanks for your kind words on the blog! Glad you’re enjoying the recipes.

  3. Herm says:

    Yum! For some reason, every time I read the title of this recipe, I see “Chickpea-Quinoa Loaf,” which sounds atrocious. But pilaf sounds great, and chickpeas and quinoa are two of my favorite foods.

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