It’s Vegetarian Week 2, and apparently I can’t get through a vegetarian week without quinoa raising its unpronounceable grainy face somewhere. Plus since I was the only one who didn’t have to go to work today, dinner was obviously going to be on me.
“Peruvian” Quinoa Stew
“Peruvian” is in quotation marks because I somewhat doubt the provenance of the recipe. First, acquire and chop up all of the following:
- About two cups’ worth of onions; I used four little ones
- Two cloves of garlic
- Two small zucchini or one really big one
- Tomatoes (I used a can of diced; you can chop the hell out of a fresh one or a couple of fresh ones if you like; it won’t matter)
- A bell pepper
- A stalk or two of celery
- A carrot or two
I generally do a mise en place setup; in other words, get all my shit chopped up and in little bowls before I start actually cooking anything. Put the onions and garlic together, the carrots and celery together, and the zucchini and bell pepper together.
Before you start sautéing anything, get the quinoa going: boil about a cup of water in a small pot, and once it’s boiling put in half a cup of rinsed (RINSED!!! TRUST ME!!!) quinoa. Cover it and leave it alone for ten to twelve minutes; basically pretend it’s rice. You can start cooking everything else once the quinoa is in the water; the timing will work out nicely.
Get a big flat-bottomed wok or Dutch oven and put a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in it. Sauté the onions and the garlic together for about five minutes on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, then toss in the celery and carrots and put a lid on the Dutch oven. The celery and carrots should cook for about five more minutes; take the lid off and stir a couple of times while that’s happening. Check the quinoa at this point and see if it’s absorbed all the water. If it has, keep it covered, fluff it like it’s rice, and pull it off the heat; if not, add everything in the next part and then pull the quinoa after you’ve got the pot covered:
Add the following to your vegetables:
- Your tomatoes;
- A cup of vegetable stock;
- two teaspoons of ground cumin;
- a teaspoon of ground coriander;
- half a teaspoon of chili powder;
- a teaspoon of dried oregano;
- a few shakes of cayenne pepper
Stir it up, cover the pot, turn down the heat a bit, and let it simmer for another ten or twelve minutes. If the veggies are soft by then, toss the quinoa into the wok and stir everything up. You’re done.
Add a bit of cheddar cheese and maybe some sour cream once it’s in a bowl. Delish.