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Tunisian Chickpeas, Quinoa and Poached Eggs

Posted May 17 2012 10:42am

I had every intention of crafting and posting a blog entry yesterday, but I found myself in full-blown grumpy-pants mode by mid-morning and it stuck for much of the day.

The reason (for the grumpiness and subsequent lack of posting) was two-fold: First, I was wearing a pair of pants (shorts, really) that made me grouchy. I love the look of the shorts, but something about the fit makes me irritable when I (a) inhale, (b) exhale, (c) stand up, or (d) sit down. I think we all own such a pair of pants.

Second, I got caught up thinking (agonizing) about, and responding to, a blog post on the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) website. The post is “Faking It” and the “fakers,” according to the author, Amy Reilly, are food bloggers. Rather than summarize the post, I’ll direct you to the link to read for yourself. It is a fascinating piece, replete with insults, distortions and, to borrow from my friend Leslie, an astonishing lack of self-awareness.

Here it is: Faking It

The IACP blocked comments mid-morning (without explanation; they’ve since added back the unpublished comments) and posted a milquetoast response regarding why they posted the piece in the first place.

I had to escape my computer by late afternoon, so I changed into comfy troll shorts (free at last!), rounded up Nick, a soccer ball and some bug spray and we headed to the park to play and breathe.

I had not given the slightest thought to dinner, so I turned to some of the recipes I’ve been working on for my upcoming Quinoa Book . A quick scour of the pantry and refrigerator and I had my dish: My Tunisian Chickpeas, Quinoa and Poached Eggs. It's easy, delicious, and can be prepared start to finish in under 30 minutes (I clocked 22 on the nose).

This is going to be a much better day. Lycra and leftovers should clinch it. 

Tunisian Chickpeas, Quinoa and Poached Eggs

This North African–sauced chickpea dish gets brilliant color and lively flavor from an easy tomato topping. Gently poached eggs add to the succulence, while quinoa makes a perfect foundation for soaking up every drop of flavor.

Makes 4 servings

Blender or food processor

1 cup   packed fresh cilantro leaves, divided 
1-1/2 tsp          ground cumin  
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon        
1/4 tsp ground coriander         
1/4 tsp ground ginger  
1/8 tsp ground cloves  
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper           
1          can (14 to 15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tbsp  freshly squeezed lemon juice  
            Fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tsp    extra virgin olive oil    
1          can (14 to 15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed       
4          large eggs      
3 cups  hot cooked quinoa (see below)     

1.         In blender, combine half the cilantro, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cayenne, tomatoes with juice and lemon juice; purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2.         In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add tomato purée and chickpeas; cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes or until warmed through.
3.         Make four holes for the eggs in the tomato mixture. Crack an egg into each hole and season with pepper. Cover and cook for 2 to 5 minutes or until eggs are set as desired.
4.         Stir the remaining cilantro into hot quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among four shallow bowls and top with tomato mixture and eggs.

Prepare the Quinoa
To prepare 3 cups of cooked quinoa, combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is just barely absorbed. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 to 6 minutes; fluff with a fork.

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