New Meal Monday: Veggie Quinoa Stew

As I was thinking about trying to cook something new and looking at different recipes, I determined, being February in Vermont, a nice hot stew would be a good choice.  However, in our household finding a stew that works for my virtually-vegetarian wife can be a tricky task.  A simple internet search for "stew recipes" assumes you must be looking for beef stews.  However, with a little digging I came across a recipe for a vegetable quinoa stew.  I took a  long time to decide to make this recipe, as I was pretty unsure about it each time I read it.  It was the first thing I'd made in a long time that I really wasn't sure about, but the dish was so different from any other stew I'd seen that I figured it was worth a shot!  I'm glad we did because it was both delicious and fun to make!  The surprising thing about this recipe was that while it's hearty enough to be a good winter stew, it also feels as though its something that could be easy to eat well into the spring.  This was lucky for us, because when we made it we were having really unseasonably warm weather for February in Vermont! 
Also, I don't typically pay any mind to how a meal looks, but this stew contains a great array of colors and really looks fun and appetizing when its finished!
At this point, some of the best vegetarian recipes I've found come from the group at America's Test Kitchen, and while we've made a few tweaks, that's where we discovered this. It's delicious, creative, fun to make, and not all that difficult!

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 chopped onion,
  • 1 red pepper cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pound red potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Optional toppings:

  • Salt and pepper
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1 Avocado diced
  •  minced fresh cilantro

How you do it:

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic, paprika, coriander, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in broth and potatoes and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in quinoa and simmer for 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in corn and simmer until potatoes and quinoa are just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Stir in tomatoes and peas and let heat through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Salt and pepper tot taste.  Top each serving with feta cheese, avocado, and cilantro.
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