Peruvian Quinoa Stew

13 March 2009

This is a hearty and delicious meal that the whole family will enjoy. My husband isn't too fond of vegetarian meals, but really likes when I make Peruvian Quinoa.


½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, cut on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick slices
1 bag of frozen bell peppers and onions
1 cup cubed zucchini
1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 cup water or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of cayenne (or more to taste)
2 teaspoon fresh oregano (OR) 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Grated Cheddar (OR) Monterrey Jack cheese (optional)

1. 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 soapylooking "suds" when the seeds are swished in water.

2. Place rinsed quinoa and water in pot (covered) and cook covered on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until soft.
3. While the quinoa is cooking place the garlic and olive oil uncovered soup pot and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes
4. Add celery and carrots to the soup pot and cook an additional 5 minutes,stirring often
5. Add the onion and bell pepper mix, 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.
6. Stir in cooked quinoa and salt to taste.
7. Top with grated cheese and fresh cilantro
8. Serve immediately.

*If vegetarian is out of the question you can add 1/2 lb of chopped grilled chicken. This truly is enough meat to spread throug out this recipe.

Serves: 4


Quinoa: $.50
Onion/Pepper mix: $1
Zucchini: $.50
Organic diced tomatoes: $1.15
Carrot/Celery (estimate @ 2lbs/$1): $.25
Spices/Garlic (hard to estimate b/c I buy in bulk): $.25

Total: $3.65 ($5.65 if you add the chicken)


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