Lentil Quinoa Stew
I have never written a recipe post before. I do love to cook, and I am always trolling blogs for recipes, so what the heck. Here goes nothing.
I was inspired by Heather yesterday to take “imperfect action”. I wanted to make something that was really healthy but also very satisfying to eat (I like to feel full; I didn’t get this way by not liking food!). I wanted to feel good about what I was eating instead of making another lousy choice.
The slow cooker was an appealing choice yesterday with the kids at home for Yom Kippur (read: didn’t feel like actually cooking) with stuff that I already had on hand (read: too lazy to go shopping). I started looking around online for recipes and found a few things with some of the ingredients I had, so I knew that I could theoretically cook what I had in the slow cooker.
Here’s the ingredients I used. You could vary them based on whatever you have in the pantry or vegetable bin:
2 medium sized potatoes
1 red bell pepper
4 medium carrots (or a bazillion baby ones like I used because that was what was in the bottom of my vegetable bin)
1 shallot (you could use onion here, but I was out and a shallot was all I had)
2 cloves garlic
1 c quinoa
1 c lentils (I had green ones on hand but whatever would work fine I am sure)
2 cans diced tomatoes (don’t drain them)
4 c chicken broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley (only because I had it in the bin and it is about to turn, you could probably skip this if you don’t have any)
Here’s what I did:
Chop the potatoes up. I did them into slices and then quartered the slices. I left the peel on because
I am lazy they are full of nutrients. Throw them into your slow cooker of choice.
Chop up all of your other veggies. Rough chop is fine. Mince the garlic pretty finely. Like my fancy Farmers’ Market garlic here? It’s so pretty….
Once you’re done with the veggies it will look like this in your pot. Then rinse off the quinoa and lentils in a strainer: Apparently this is quite important. Toss that into the slow cooker.
Then just throw in everything else (sensing a theme here?): the tomatoes (don’t drain them) the spices, the chicken broth. I stirred it all around to get it going. Afterwards, my counter looked like the above photo. Apparently I used Adobo in there too. Whatever sounds good to you.
Turn your slow cooker on low. Like mine? It’s my mom’s from like 1985. This one replaced the avocado green one she used in the 1970s. Because I am
super cheap environmentally friendly, I’ve never replaced it. It still works like a charm! Set it on low and let it go at least eight hours. Don’t try it at the six hour mark, trust me.
After a good eight hours on low (or I suppose four hours on high) you will be rewarded with a thick, well flavored stew. I called it “chili” in an effort to get my kids to eat it. They like “chili” but not “stew” or “soup” (I blame the semantics on my husband). Anyway, even though I tried to disguise the new meal as an old one they were familiar with, I think the sprouty quinoa threw them off visually. Neither were super pleased with it, even though I thought it was fan freaking tastic. But they did eat it. Well, mostly.
So there you have it. Lentil Quinoa Stew. You could make this totally vegan of course by using vegetable broth.