Friday, October 22, 2010

Crock Pot Quinoa Lentil Stew For a Crowd

This may be the best dish I have ever cooked. Heavily seasoned with Indian spices, this stew cooks very quickly for a crock pot meal (just 6 hours on low) and fills your home with the warm scent of cinnamon.

Seriously, I think you could cook camel dung with this recipe and it would taste fantastic.

I don't have a photo of the resulting stew, so you will just have to take my word for it.

This recipe was inspired by Quinoa Red Lentil Stew on Savvy Vegetarian. I used regular lentils because red lentils were the most expensive legume at my local supermarket.

Crock Pot Quinoa Lentil Stew For a Crowd

1 1/2 cups lentils
1 cup quinoa
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups cut up carrots
1 cup cut up celery
2 cups cut up summer squash
1 cup cut up broccoli
2 bay leaves
2 sticks of cinnamon (about 2-3 inches long)
Several thin slices of fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp curry
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp rosemary
12 cups of water or broth

Wash the lentils and inspect for pebbles. Rinse the quinoa. Place the lentils and quinoa in the crock pot. Split carrots lengthwise and cut into pieces about 2 inches long and a 1/4 inch thick. Cut celery into chunks about 1/2 inch thick. Slice summer squash into 3/4 inch rounds and then dice. Chop broccoli stalks and cut the florets into bite size pieces. Add vegetables to slow cooker.

Mince garlic and slice ginger. Add to the stew with the spices and herbs. Pour in water or broth. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

I doubled the original recipe to fill my 10 qt slow cooker. I used water, not broth. I used carrots, celery, summer squash, and broccoli, but you could use just about any vegetables you have on hand. If they are already cooked, save them and add to the stew about 20 minutes before serving.

I also used a different variety of spices from the original recipe. I feel  it just isn't worth the money to buy too many spices for a new recipe. And it's not green to keep buying new herbs and not using up the ones you have on hand.

I got a good deal on cinnamon sticks due to it being the fall season, and I bought fresh ginger and garlic. But I exercised some liberty by substituting a premixed "curry" for turmeric and coriander and an Italian seasoning blend for basil and thyme. I hope you allow yourself some liberty as well and make this recipe your own.

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  1. i love bean stews and i love quinoa!
    i want to try making jamaican rice and peas substituting the rice for quinoa.

    have a great weekend!

  2. Yes, I am fond of saying "anything rice can do, quinoa can do better."