This is one of those recipes that is not really a recipe and is a great way to use up any odds and ends of vegetables that are left in the fridge. It is modified based on what vegetables are in season, and you can make it spicy or not. Other than that it just uses dry or canned things that can be kept in bulk, so it is also a good dish to make if there isn’t much else in the house.
For those of you who may not be acquainted with quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’), it is a great ‘grain’ (pseudocereal, actually) originating in the Andes that is a very complete source of protein and is high in fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Combine that with green lentils, kidney beans and fresh vegetables and you could hardly get a healthier meal!
Quinoa and Lentil Stew
1 large onion
Seasonal leftover vegetables (pictured are carrots and leeks, but in the summer we use eggplant and zucchini, etc)
Coriander seed, cumin seed, ground coriander, chili powder, black pepper
2 cups green lentils
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups red quinoa
1 small can kidney beans
1 small can chickpeas (optional)
1.5-2 quarts chicken stock (or water + bouillon cube)
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot. Chop all your vegetables and add the onion to the pot first, along with all the spices and salt. Add the rest of the vegetables a bit at a time and let them fry up for a while, then add the green lentils. Next add the can of tomatoes, squishing them up with your fingers and removing any tough bits. Add hot chicken stock (or boiling water and a bouillon cube) to fill up most of the rest of the pot. Let this simmer on the stove for about a half an hour, uncovered, to reduce some of the liquid, then add the quinoa and the can of beans and/or chickpeas and continue to cook until everything is tender (covered or uncovered, depending on how much liquid is still in the stew).
Eat as is or topped with grated cheddar cheese or parmesan, or even fresh goat’s cheese.