Quinoa has been called the soul food of the Andes. It is pronounced “keen-wah” and comes from Peru and Bolivia. To the Altiplano Indians who live in this region it is a nutritional super food and more valuable than gold.
This is a nutritious and hearty vegan stew. It is heavy on garlic so if a strong garlic flavor is not your thing, cut the garlic back to 1 clove or eliminate altogether. Serve with a fresh cornbread and chow down!
½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion (diced)
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 stalk celery (diced)
1 carrot (1/4-inch thick slices)
1 bell pepper (cut into 1-inch pieces)
½ zucchini (cut into 1-inch cubes)
2 cups tomatoes (chopped)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup vegetable stock
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped fine)
Rinse quinoa, place it in a pot with the water and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until translucent. Set aside. While the quinoa cooks, sauté onions and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the celery and carrots. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and tomatoes, along with the spices (cumin, chili powder, coriander, and oregano) and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Stir in the cooked quinoa and add salt to taste.
When fully cooked, transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm.