Saffron Chickpeas and Bitter Greens with Quinoa

saffron chickpeas quinoa
Photo: Con Poulos

Vegetarian proteins like chickpeas and quinoa make for a light but filling meal.


  • ¼ teaspoon saffron

  • 1 ½ cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • Coarse salt

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • ½ large red bell pepper, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 4 cups bitter greens, such as kale or dandelion, cut into ½-inch ribbons

  • 2 ½ cups chopped watercress

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for garnish

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water and saffron to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and a pinch of salt and simmer 5 minutes more. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onion, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add pepper, garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes more. Stir in all greens, then add chickpea mixture and cook until greens are just wilted. Season with salt. Remove from heat and mix in chopped herbs.

  3. Divide quinoa among four bowls and top with vegetables, avocado, and seeds. Garnish with herbs.

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