Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peruvian Quinoa Stew

For those who have never been introduced to quinoa:

“Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it has all nine essential amino acids, and can be prepared equally well as a savory or sweet dish. A variation of a breakfast cereal, for example, with honey and dried fruit, is delicious.” It's been called the "mother of all grains" when in reality, it's not a grain but rather a plant of the goosefoot family, which includes spinach, beets, and pigweed.

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!

Peruvian Quinoa Stew

Serves 4
Total time: 35 minutes


1/2 cup quinoa
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 undrained chopped fresh or canned 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) Monterey 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!

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 onions, garlic and vegetable oil in covered soup pot and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes

4. And celery and carrots to the soup pot and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring often

5. 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.

6. Stir in cooked quinoa and salt to taste.

7. Top with grated cheese (and optionally chopped cilantro

8. Serve immediately.

Verdict: This is such a satisfying dish. It's definitely going to become a regular for me. StumbleUpon


kat said...

It sounds like a really healthy ingredient. We've never tried it so I might just have to pick some up. I wonder how it would be replacing our morning oatmeal

Joelen said...

this looks delicious and I'll have to scope out that quinoa!

That Girl said...

I love quinoa!!! Especially because it's Passover friendly.

the ungourmet said...

I love Quinoa. I have a box of Red Quinoa in my cupboard that I really need to use. I bet I could put it in this recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

Elra said...

One of my favorite healty grain is Quinoa, though only use them in salad. Stew sounds like a good idea.

ARUNA said...

wow looks like a very healthy dish....never heard of it!

girlichef said...

I've also never used quinoa in anything other than a salad. This stew sounds very satisfying, I'd love to give it a try!

doggybloggy said...

this is great stew...it looks so rich and hearty....

Joan Nova said...

I putting it on my shopping list immediately. You made it look so delicious and sound so healthy. Great post.

Pam said...

I really want to try this - I am just now trying more quinoa.

melissa said...

Been a while since I had quinoa. That ingredient list just screams flavor.

Bunny said...

It looks delicious Giz, I'll have to try this.

Grace said...

i really enjoy quinoa, and this seems to be a perfect application for it! the little change in texture that it offers would take a soup or stew from good to excellent. :)

Hopie said...

Mmmm, I love quinoa, but I've never thought of putting it into a stew. This looks delicious! I'm bookmarking :-)

5 Star Foodie said...

Wonderful quinoa preparation - the stew looks awesome!

♥Rosie♥ said...

I have a pkt in my cupboard Giz and now I know what to use on your wonderful dish ;0)

elly said...

The flavors in this sound delicious. I LOVE quinoa!

noble pig said...

This sounds so incredibly amazing, i can't even fathom it! What an amazing recipe!

Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

I don't think I've had quinoa in a stew before, but it looks great!

thanks for sharing!

Maris said...

I would totally cover this in grated cheese! The flavors in this all sound great. I've never tried quinoa but I do really like most grains so I think I would like this too.

alexandra said...

I almost threw some quinoa into a pot of beef and vegetable soup I was making yesterday but wasn't sure about the result and so refrained. Now I know. This looks fabulous! healthy and delicious.

Lori Lynn said...

It looks excellent. I love Peruvian food! My favorite is the aji amarillo.

Hopie said...

I tried it and posted it on my blog as a bookmarked recipe! So yummy! :-)

Nithya Praveen said...

This seems so healthy,never thot of using it in cooking.You have a nice blog out here.

Kevin said...

I have been enjoying quinoa lately and this stew sounds really good!

Dazy said...

I'm trying this today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

Arielle S said...

I made it, but I'm pretty sure I did something wrong. I'm almost positive my mouth shouldn't be on fire every time I put a spoonful into my mouth. I like it, I would probably like it more if I had been able to do it right.