Quinoa Bowl with Bell Peppers, Chickpeas, dried Oyster mushrooms. vegan glutenfree recipe

I wish some day food photography will come to me intuitively enough, that I will be able to take the perfect shot within just a few. Hopefully some day. Life would be so much simpler if I did not take 60 shots of the same bowl:)
So on our grocery shopping trips(usually at whole foods), hubbs will wander off, and pick up some random thing that catches his eye. Most days he knows the name of the thing, like its star fruit, some unpronounceable greens, colorful carrots, or something and he will either eat as is or ask me to make something out of it. Yes, some days I do look at him like.. really, I am too busy with making regular food to experiment right now and he will look back at me like oh come on you are a food blogger, you can experiment any time. (rolls eyes)
Some days though like one this week, I discovered a brown bag with funny looking dried things in the refrigerator. I asked him about it and he did not remember what it was. I figured they were some kind of dried mushrooms and proceeded to look up similar pictures on the interwebz and find out what to do with it. After a few minutes I knew they were oyster shrooms and I decided to use them in a brothy veggie concoction. This is one simple bowl of goodness. High protein and delicious. Me thinks, I should take pictures of more of our quick one pot meals and post about them. More Pastas, soup bowls here.


This event also tells you about how hubbs shops. He picks up anything without looking at the cost.:) For eg, If there are 2 similar tomatoes and one of them is on sale, the information that anything is lower priced is irrelevant. I dont know how we women always catch all these nuances while shopping. I think there should be more women in the budget/finance etc areas of the government 😉
In a pan, add oil, bell peppers, jalapenos, cook for a bit.
Add chickpeas
Add parsley and thyme. Mix and cook for a minute.
Look at the mystery ingredient and decide to toss the whole thing in.
Add water or broth. I used water to keep the mushroom flavor the highlight of the bowl. Cook covered for 10 minutes and then uncovered till the sauce is reduced.
Add to cooked quinoa.
Lots of green already, so for the pictures I garnished it with red bell pepper.
Quinoa Protein bowl with Chickpeas, veggies, mushrooms
Gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut free. Oil free option
1 teaspoon organic canola oil or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 jalapeno chopped(optional, to taste)
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
1/2 cup cooked/canned/Sprouted Chickpeas
2-3 Tablespoons herbs of choice( I used fresh Parsley and a teaspoon of thyme)
a few dried oyster mushrooms
1/3 teaspoon salt or to taste
1.5-2 cups cooked quinoa
Additions: Add almond slivers,sunflower seeds, hemp seeds for an even more protein/nutritious punch
In a medium pan, add oil and heat on medium.
Add the bell pepper and Jalapeno and cook for 2-3 minutes, uncovered, until slightly golden on the edges.
Add chickpeas, herbs and mix for a few seconds. You can add some greens at this point and mix in.
Add dried mushrooms, water, salt just enough to cover most of the veggies. (You can use vegetable broth instead of water for a thicker sauce)
Cover and cook on low-medium for 10 minutes.
The mushrooms will be soft by now, Break the mushrooms a bit and cook on low, uncovered, until the sauce simmers down to a few Tablespoons. (10-15 minutes). Taste and adjust salt and spice. Add black pepper if needed.
Add the veggies and sauce to the quinoa bowl.
Top with fresh parsley, optionally with seeds and nuts and serve.
Oil-free: Add everything except quinoa to a pan and add water to almost cover the veggies. Simmer on low-medium ,covered, for 15 minutes and then uncovered for 10-15 minutes till it simmers down to a few Tablespoons. Add to Quinoa
Fresh mushrooms: Add the mushrooms to the pan with the bell peppers and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes, uncovered, on medium heat. until golden. Stir every 1-2 minutes.
Add a few Tablespoons of water or broth, herbs, chickpeas and bring to a boil, uncovered. Simmer if needed to reduce.
Add to quinoa. and serve.
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  1. says

    i feel the same way about food photography. one day, right? but just so you know, i think you’re a pro 😉

    dayv is the same way food shopping. i like when he comes with me, but the grocery bill is always at least $20 MORE! he loads up on icecream, which is SO pricy, and is always interested in trying some new prepackaged food.

    i love oyster mushrooms! i buy them whenever they are at the store to throw in with whatever i am making. i love one bowl meals, and this one is right up my alley with the quinoa and chickpeas.

    • says

      Thanks Caitlin! you are the sweetest xoxo!:)
      there seems to be a common thread with me here. vivek picks u random prepackages stuff too.. luckily he reads labels now, but there is no shortage of new diet restriction items!

  2. says

    Come on, your pictures are gorgeous! But I know what you mean about food photography. I have never seen dried oyster mushrooms before. I have to go find them now.

    • says

      Thank you Mihl! i love your pictures. i did not know the dried oyster shrooms existed either till i found them in the refrigerator(thankfully not hte freezer;)

  3. says

    Oh my, I use to like the company when Justin would come grocery shopping with me but our bill was always at least $50 more when he tagged along – anything that looked good got tossed in ;0

    I never want to miss that “it” shot and find myself taking at least 30 or pictures per recipe….it use to be like 60-75 pics, so my quanityt is down a bit…someday maybe I will be able to be happy with a handful of shots :) like when I get my dream studio with 24 hours of dayloght and a tethered set up!

    I love dried Maitake but haven’t tried the oyster mushrooms sitting the pantry :)

    • says

      30 is super good! i need to get there. i am never sure of how i feel about the set up and usually clueless about composition, so i usually go crazy:) if we get decent daylight in seattle for 2 horus a day most of the year, i will be satisfied. unfortunately summer is almost gone and soon there will be crazy white balance to deal with

  4. says

    Chris is the same way. Price per pound means nothing to him. Then he asks why the huge 5 pound bag of organic grapes cost $15. It’s pretty adorable.

    I love your photography and I love this bowl! Quick, one-pot meals are my favorites. Then throw in oyster mushrooms and chickpeas… I want to come over!!! :-)

    • says

      i hear ya. those labels are not meant for men.:) come over any day. you, chris, the twins and anyone else you want to bring along! i have a small home but we can all share the floor!

  5. says

    I can easily take 50 photos of the same thing. Sometimes it is nice to have options! I think it does get easier with practice. :)
    Loved your grocery shopping story – I think I am more like your husband though! I am just attracted to catchy packaging and sometimes forget to check things like prices. I’m getting better!

  6. says

    I make something really similar almost every day to take to work–either rice/quinoa with chickpeas, veggies and Earth Balance. It’s a great foundation because you can swap out the grains or beans for a different version or add in a different spice, nutritional yeast, etc. for so much variety. As for your pictures, for what it’s worth, I’m always impressed 😉


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