real food. real life.
I'll keep this one short, as the title really does all the talking. It's a stew. I'm calling it a stew. It's hearty, deep in flavour, and full of chunky vegetables. I used what I had, but ideally, it would be even better with potato or sweet potato, turnip, squash, parsnip - yum! But the cauliflower was delicious, I'd use that again for sure.
Best part - leftovers the next day were even better.
Enjoy this easy, one pot meal! Hannah approved, although this kid will eat most things, it seems!
Spiced Vegetable & Quinoa Stew
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 head broccoli
1 red pepper
(Optional replace/add vegetables of choice: potato, sweet potato, turnip, squash, parsnip - all would go really well in this stew!)
spices used (estimating about 1-2 tsp each: fennel seeds, garam marsala, cumin, oregano, ginger, turmeric, paprika
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
What to do:
1) Cook onion, garlic, carrots, and celery over medium heat in soup pot, in a bit of oil or water for 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
2. Add all other vegetables and stir in spices. Cook for a few more minutes until things are sizzling and smelling ammmmmazing.
3. Add diced tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Stirring to ensure things don't stick. Let boil for just a minute or two until carrots start to soften a little.
4. Add in quinoa and reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir then cover and let sit for about 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked to your preferred texture. Flavours will deepen as it simmers, too. Stir and serve up with crackers or a delicious piece of homemade bread!
5. Store leftovers in fridge and definitely enjoy for lunch the next day as it just keeps getting better as the flavours sit! SO good!
*This meal would work well in a slow cooker, as well. Just add all ingredients, cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-4 hours, or until vegetables and quinoa are desired texture.
Seriously, we couldn't stop eating this. For supper, for lunch, with rice, with pitas. And, bonus, it made a TON of food, so we froze the rest and just defrosted it for supper tonight It was so yummy, so on the blog it goes! It will definitely be a repeated meal in our house.
Vegan and wallet friendly, it's a crowd pleaser, for sure. Filled with spices and flavour, I would bring this to a potluck any day. I know even the toughest critic couldn't resist a second helping. It's THAT good. Totally sounding a bit overconfident here, but it's worth it.
We have been busy busy opening schools, raising bossy toddlers (yes, you read that right, BOSSY, not busy, BOSSY, I swear not on purpose am I raising her to be that way, it's in her genes, I guess) and getting ready for a summer full of vegetables gardens and sandbox playtime. Cooking has been adapting to our new pace of life, most definitely a bit faster than we'd really like, and the adapting to changing palates of Miss Bossy-Pants. I am happy to report that this meal is Hannah-certified A-Okay. She ate all versions of it (with rice, in a pita, leftovers, etc.) without a fuss (well, except when I tried to hurry her up by putting it on the spoon for her - I should know better).
So, here ya go. Don't forget about this little (big) gem when you need a tasty meal that's ready when you get home. It's delightfully tasting and smelling, inexpensive, diet/lifestyle-friendly meal that feeds a crowd. Enjoy! (And by feeds a crowd, I mean it literally - this will make lots! Be prepared!)
Slow-Cooker Curried Lentils
What to do:
Ok, if you're ignoring that slow cooker/crock pot in the bag of your cupboard or you don't have one, for no real major reason, dig it out and start with this recipe! Seriously easy and it makes the best chilli. And HEALTHY! I promise! I think that's why I didn't use the slow cooker before - I had only ever seen recipes for slow cookers that used pre-packaged ingredients like a can of soup over chicken, or ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, etc. to make sweet and spicy sauces. I knew I couldn't eat that stuff and so I thought that's what slow cookers did.
They are, honestly, awesome for making your supper for you. I don't use it a lot, because I love chopping, stirring, sautéing, over the hot stove. But for days when you know suppertime is going to be rushed and probably not 'together as a family', use a slow cooker! Give yourself a bit of time in the morning to get things in the pot and then set to low. By dinner time, your house smells amazing, supper is ready, and your meal is bursting with flavour as it's been slowly steeping all day!
For this chilli, I used all the ingredients I would use otherwise over the stove. The only extra prep work that I did was cooking the meat in a pan before putting in the slow cooker. Then just topped it with all the rest of the ingredients, stirred, cover on.
All day, as piano and tutoring students came and went, I got comments about how amazing dinner smelled.
I'm definitely a fan of the slow cooker now. No more ignorance. It's amazing.
Total Time: 10 minutes prep + 6--8 hours in the slow cooker on low
Ground Pork - or any ground meat - OR MEAT FREE! - I don't use a lot, usually half of the small package at the grocery store... not sure how much that really is. Sorry, lack of measuring...
Veggies of choice - we used 1 half sweet pepper, 1/2 cup frozen corn, 1 handful of spinach.
1 can diced tomatoes + 1 can water
1 can tomato paste
1 organic chicken or vegetable bouillon (or just omit and use water, or omit water/bouillon and use stock)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
Spices - I don't tend to measure, but it should work out to about 1 tablespoon of chilli powder, garlic powder and cumin, 1 teaspoon cilantro... also optional: hot pepper flakes.
2-3 Bay leaves
Dash of sea salt/pepper
Also, just for fun, in this recipe I added: 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 cup maple syrup... yes, I know, totally random, but I did and it make the chilli not as spicy but sweeter, I loved it!
What to do:
1) Cook meat until no longer pink in a pan before adding to slow cooker.
2) Add all other ingredients. Give a little stir. Place cover on top and set to low for 6-8 hours. Chilli should smell delicious and should be saucy. Yummmmm, Enjoy!
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
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