Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's Cooking? Quinoa, Carrot and Lentil Stew

What is cooking in my kitchen this week?
Well, it has been a banner week as far as I am concerned; we have not eaten hummus all week.  Here's the deal:  Martha Stewart would run shrieking from our home and lifestyle.  I am a very fun wife, but haven't yet learned to be a productive housewife.  When John and I got married I really did not do the whole 'wife' thing; meaning I didn't cook very often, and was a rotten house keeper.  We both had other priorities: climbing and camping every weekend, training at the rock climbing gym two nights a week, creating in the pottery studio two nights a week... oh and I had two jobs.  John and I did all of this together, and dinner was whatever we could scavenge.  That was a typical week.
Anyway, part of my journey now is trying to learn how to run a household... and still train at the gym and find an outlet for my creative needs. 

Now it is also super important that we have healthy good food for our son. Although hummus is healthy, I just wouldn't feel right about feeding it to him twice a week for dinner.

But, this week was a banner week for cooking!  I made something delicious!

From "Quinoa 365  The Everyday Superfood", by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming

Quinoa, Carrot and Lentil Stew
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1 cup diced red onion
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup diced red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the quinoa, lentils, stock and water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the carrots, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the red pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the cilantro and adjust the seasoning.  Serve immediately.

I have made this soup several times and it has always turned out great. Cilantro has been out of season in my garden since I started making this soup, so I have never used it.  Today was the first time I found organic red peppers in the market, and this batch was the first that I used the red pepper.  What I am trying to say is that this is a very forgiving recipe! Fast, easy and forgiving!  And great for this chilly winter.

"Quinoa 365" is a great cookbook.  I have made this soup, a moist chocolate cake (wheat free), chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  All were fabulous, and all use Quinoa (of course).


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