Tuesday, May 12, 2009
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
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.