Tuesday 11 March 2008

peruvian quinoa stew

I like this recipe. It was a warm, heart dish but on top of it all, it covered off three ticks from my list of 2008 Food Challenges:
- cook with quinoa
- cook a recipe from the cookbook Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
- learn about food from the Andean nations

Quinoa is an ingredient I had never used before. Now I have made a couple of dishes and I'm loving it. I bought Fair Trade red quinoa which is chewy in texture, nutty in flavour and is aptly named "Incan power fuel". You can a lot about quinoa by reading Wikipedia, World's Healthiest Foods or Canela y Comino.

The Moosewood Collective seems to be an American sub-culture and put more emphasis than most on healthy eating and vegetarianism. Our friend Ashlee bought us the book for Xmas or a house warming or Jonas' bday. Don't know when, but we know it's been a good read.

The recipe I chose to cook first from the Moosewood Collective was this Peruvian stew contributed by a Peruvian chef who worked at Moosewood.

I also found a Chilean stew so you might see it pop up later on so I can cover off yet another Andean nation.

Guiso de Quinoa (Peruvian Quinoa Stew)

Recipe by Faustino Cutipa from Moosewood. Serves 4.

½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 cups onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped finely
1 bell pepper (capsicum), chopped finely
1 cup zucchini, cubed
2 cups undrained tomatoes, canned or fresh
1 cup vegetable stock (or water)
2 tablespoons chopped coriander stalks
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons fresh oregano (1 teaspoon if dried)
Pinch of cayenne
Salt, to taste
Chopped fresh coriander, garnish
Grated cheddar, to serve
Sour cream, to serve

1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve.
2. Place in pot with water and cook, covered, on medium low for 15 minutes until soft. Set aside.
3. While the quinoa cooks, sauté the onions and garlic in a deep pot in oil for 5 minutes on medium heat.
4. Add celery and carrots and cooked another 5 minutes, stirring often.
5. Add the bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and stock.
6. Stir in cumin, chilli powder, ground coriander, coriander stalks, cayenne and oregano and simmer for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
7. Stir cooked quinoa into the stew and add salt to taste.
8. Serve topped with your choice of fresh coriander, grated cheddar and sour cream.

This very tasty and healthy vegetarian stew is excellent hearty meal for winter. Perhaps I strayed from the original chef's flavour concept for the recipe, but I added in tablespoons of fresh coriander stalks to the stew to give it a fragrant, almost summery feel. It really lifts the flavours.

Since the recipe has a heavy emphasis on coriander, as well as a little oregano, I'll like to submit it to Weekend Herb Blogging, being hosted by Kel from The Green Olive.



  1. It sounds very tasty. I know nothing about Peruvian food, although there's a Peruvian restaurant a few miles from my house. I've only cooked with quinoa once, need to try it again.

  2. Looks delicious. I love commming here as i know i can expect always something different

  3. I know that box!
    I just found the same, exact red quinoa! I love it - it's pretty as well as tasty.
    Love the recipe, I haven't tried it in a stew yet!

  4. I need to try quinoa too!
    I've just tagged you with a meme. I hope you don't mind. it's here:

  5. this was excellent! my partner's family is from Peru and he said it tastes just like his grandmother's! thanks :)

  6. Found your post duplicated here:



    Tammy L


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