Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has risen to superstar fame in recent years. It’s a gluten-free, high-protein, high-fiber, quick-cooking whole grain with a nutty flavor and a fun pop between the teeth when cooked. You’ll find beige, red, black, or tricolor quinoa in stores; they all taste the same, so use whichever color you prefer. Because quinoa has a bitter-flavored natural coating, it’s always a good idea to rinse it before cooking. Quinoa is great for pilafs, salads, soups, casseroles, and more. Find 38 great recipes for cooking with this ancient grain here.
Hot cooked quinoa infused with garlic and fresh thyme rounds out this Provençal-inspired dish (Bajane is a term for the midday meal). Chickpeas are a staple in Provence, where they are often stewed and served with pasta and vegetables. In this version, chickpeas, leeks, carrots, fennel, and spinach are served atop protein-rich quinoa for a vegetarian main that feels complete without the meat. Deglazing the pan with a splash of white wine picks up the caramelized vegetable bits for more flavor in the finished sauce. The alcohol will cook off before the sauce is done, but if you’d rather omit it, you can substitute vegetable broth or water.