Peruvian Quinoa Stew


A quick-cooking, high-protein grain from Peru, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is readily available. Its mild, nutty taste and fluffy but chewy texture make it a good foil for spicy foods.


2 cups quinoa
1 qt. water
_ cup corn oil
2 qt. chopped onions
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1_ cups diced celery
2 cups thinly sliced, bias-cut carrots
3 cups California ripe olives
1 qt. diced green bell pepper
1 qt. diced zucchini
2 qt. chopped tomatoes
1 qt. chicken stock
3 tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. coriander
1 tbsp. oregano
Cayenne, salt, and pepper, to taste


1. Rinse quinoa under cold running water. Transfer to heavy pot. Add water and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until quinoa is soft, about 20 min. Remove from heat and reserve.

2. Sauté onion and garlic in corn oil in large pot, covered, for 5 min. Add celery and carrots to onions. Simmer, covered, for 5 min. Stir frequently. Add olives and next 8 ingredients. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 10 min. Add reserved quinoa. Adjust seasoning with cayenne, salt, and pepper.

3. Serve in large shallow bowls garnished with cilantro sprigs and grated white cheese, if desired.

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