Introduction: Easy Savory Winter Vegetable Stew With Quinoa

About: Am a full time artist/artisan and love all things handmade. I teach people how to make personal shrines, and design home decor accessories that will actually become an estore eventually. Mixed media boxes and …

  This is a really tasty vegetable stew, that thanks to quinoa, has a complete protein but no gluten or cholesterol. I am a big pepper fan so you can adjust downward if you don't like that taste, but you can live off this for days and not need any other protein. It's very simple to make and throw into the crock pot to cook overnight. I work hard, so the fewer steps preparing meals the happier I am. It is especially good to know it's a healthy meal, low calorie, and tastes like you slaved for days over it.
  If you are gluten intolerant, rice crisps add a nice crunch as a side dish. My friends like to garnish it with cheese or a bit of sour cream, both delicious if you aren't vegan. The quinoa, I can't say enough good about. It can be made as a side dish, with broth instead of water and mixed with stir fry. Am trying to finesse more recipes this winter, when the crock pot is always going. This is my particular favorite veggie mix.
TIP:  chopping or dicing the veggies is important--- your spoon should pick up lots of different tastes, as opposed to one big mouthful of potato or turnip. Mixing those finely chopped ingredients means a different mix with every spoonful, and makes this so nice to eat. It's not boring mouthful to mouthful. Lots of us forget the more old fashioned turnip or rutabaga, both of which are nutritious and tasty in soup. For any of you with sugar issues, use less potato or none at all. It will still taste good.

Step 1: What You Need

*a gallon size crock pot
*2 boxes organic vegetable broth
*2 onions, diced a (chopped up leek is mixed in, too)
*2 boxes of crushed or chopped tomatoes
*2 potatoes, chopped into half inch cubes
*2 carrots, diced
*one large turnip, chopped into half inch cubes
*about a half cup of diced rutabaga
*fresh dill, about three tablespoons chopped up
*fresh parsley, about four tablespoons chopped up
*a few stalks of celery, chopped finely (I pulled off three, but ate one with some peanut butter)
*black pepper, one tbsp.
*paprika, one tsp.
*1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (vegans can skip this)
*garlic, 3 cloves minced, or 1tsp. powdered
*Salt (I used a tbsp. of pink Hawaiian sea salt but any will be fine)
*one cup pre-washed red quinoa (put in last)
*garnishes: grated cheddar or sour cream, and any sort of cracker compliments the stew

Step 2: My Favorite Step

  Throw everything in the pot before you go to bed and cook overnight on high. Have wonderful dreams of your soon-to-be delicious soup for lunch or dinner the next day. Feel great that your body is not going to be awash in fat. All that chopping worked up an appetite, right? You can see in the picture that I like to be amused while chopping. I do keep a careful eye on where my knife is relative to my fingers, no matter how funny the entertainment is, or how hot the toddy.

Step 3: The Last Touch: Add the Quinoa

  The next morning, put in the cup of quinoa and keep the pot on high for at least a half hour. You can turn it down to low when the quinoa is cooked--it only takes about twenty minutes or so (I like to give it an hour at lower crock pot temperatures). It will really thicken the soup. Inca red quinoa just disappears in a tomato base dish but adds a lovely flavor without the cholesterol in meat. It is ready to eat at any point after that. I am still finishing this batch two days later, still delicious and still not spoiled because there is no fat to go rancid. If you get bored eating it for days, well feed your hungry friends or freeze it in individual servings.