Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quinoa, Carrot & Lentil Stew

Mine with toasted potato bread.
The kids got half-sandwiches with butter and leftover cranberry sauce.

Meatless Monday: Originally a World War 1 & 2 campaign by the U.S. Food Administration to conserve resources, is now a public health campaign (revived in 2003) backed by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. I've known about it for several years, but I was a vegetarian back then... Now that we eat meat, I want to make this a part of our weekly routine. Interesting tidbit I did not know: Wheat-less Wednesday was also part of the original campaign. Sounds like a good idea to me. I wonder why that part was not revived?

Yesterday, I finally had a chance to peruse my new quinoa cookbook, which I love. I adapted this recipe to suit what we had in our fridge and spice cabinet, and guess what? The whole family (18 month old included) loved it. Asked for seconds, even! It's simple; it's cheap; it's easy. It can swallow up whatever vegetables need swallowing. Red lentils basically melt away, leaving a slightly thick and wholly satisfying texture. If you don't enjoy quinoa on a regular basis, you should!! Lastly, I'm thinking if you know someone who's into health food, this cookbook would make a pretty sweet Christmas gift. It even has dessert recipes! (Which, I promise, will be my next use of this super-food grain.)

1/2 c. quinoa
1/2 c. red lentils
4 c. vegetable stock
1 c. water
3 large carrots, sliced thin
1 small red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
black pepper

Rinse quinoa and lentils, then combine with stock and water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to an active simmer. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, cumin, fennel seeds, salt and ginger. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It's done once the lentils have dissolved and the carrots are soft-ish. Dish it up and sprinkle each bowl with a pinch of nutmeg and black pepper.

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