Looking for a great low calorie, nutritious and delicious diet meal? Going vegetarian? Then this quinoa vegetarian stew is just what you're looking for! And because it's made with quinoa you get a totally healthy meal with plenty of protein without meat. Once again I have to thank the family who makes Blackberry Creek Natural Handmade Soap for bringing yet another great, all-natural recipe to my attention.
Their all-natural soap and other products keep you healthy on the outside. Quinoa recipes keep you healthy on the inside. They introduced my family to quinoa and natural soap and we've been living healthier ever since!
If you're new to quinoa, click here check out my What Is Quinoa page...
Peruvian Quinoa Stew
(Reprinted with permission from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, by the Moosewood Collective, Copyright 1994 by Moosewood, Inc.; Simon & Schuster/Fireside, publishers)
Rinse quinoa well with cold water. Use a fine mesh filter or coffee filter. If you're a klutz like me use the fine mesh filter or a lot of quinoa is going to wind up in the sink!
Quinoa is coated with a natural substance called saponin that protects the grain by repelling insects and birds. Rinsing the quinoa is important to avoid a raw or bitter taste. You can tell if there is saponin by the production of a soapy looking "suds" when the seeds are swished in water.
Good news! If you are using Ancient Harvest Quinoa you can skip this step. It's already rinsed!
Place rinsed quinoa and water in pot (covered) and cook covered on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until soft.
While the quinoa is cooking place the onions, garlic and vegetable oil in covered soup pot and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes
And celery and carrots to the soup pot and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring often
Add the bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, and one cup water or vegetable stock to soup pot. Stir in cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne and oregano to soup pot simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Stir in cooked quinoa and salt to taste.
Top with grated cheese (and optionally chopped cilantro - See cilantro note below)
1 cup water
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, cut on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick slices
1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cubed zucchini
2 cups un drained chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
Exercise caution on this ingredient. There are two kinds of people - those who love cilantro and those who hate cilantro. Nobody is in between. So, if you know you like cilantro go for it! If you don't know whether you like it add it at your own risk. You might break some leaves off of fresh cilantro in the grocery store. Crush it between your thumb and finger and smell it. If it smells good you're probably a cilantro lover. If it smells like old gym shoes you probably hate it. My advice? Try the quinoa stew without it and see how you like it. Or, since you're adding it at the end as a topping, just try a little and see how it goes.
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