I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that as a family man I do a lot of cooking. I cook pretty much every night now, because it is both healthier and less expensive than eating out. I can control ingredients and this way we can eat mostly organic. Everything we feed Addie now is either organic (mostly) or at least pesticide free (occasionally) and anyway it also tastes better so it's a win-win.
One of our main staples is now a stew that I make with quinoa, and she loves it, so I am posting the recipe here for anyone that wants to try it. Assume that everything should be organic where possible so I don't have to keep typing it. :)
The Pomi strained tomatoes are not organic, but I have tried with other organic strained tomatoes and the taste is just not the same.
Also, keep in mind that you are using two pots - one covered sauce pan for the quinoa (2-3 quarts or larger), and one stew pot for the final product (at least 3 quarts).
2 small or 1 large red onion
4 stalks of green onion
a few cloves of garlic
about half a cup of olive oil
2 cups of water
2 cups of veggie broth
just under a cup of quinoa (we love rancho gordo)
3-4 medium or 2 large potatoes - we use red, sometimes russet, or mix it up for fun (1 of each perhaps?)
1 carton of Pomi strained tomatoes
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp turmeric
sea salt to taste
Italian seasoning and/or herbs de provence
shredded parmegan or asiago cheese to finish
1-2 tbsp of white vinegar
step 1 - get the quinoa started
Start this first because it takes the longest. Get the bottom of a sauce pan (anything that you can cover later) layered with olive oil over low-medium heat. Wait for the oil to get hot, and then dump the washed quinoa onto it. You can stir it in the pan with a wooden spoon or lift up the pan and kind of shake it around, but either way just get all the quinoa lightly covered in oil and let it sizzle for about 5 minutes.
step 2 - chop choppy
Get another stew pot going, also with the bottom covered in olive oil, over a low-medium heat. While this is heating up, or before if you like, dice up the shallot and the onion(s) and throw that in the pot once the oil is hot.
step 3 - water the quinoa
By now, the quinoa has been sizzling for a few minutes and you just be starting to smell that is is getting toasted. You don't want to burn it, so once it starts to smell toasted dump in the water, stir it a bit, and turn up the heat a bit to medium. It needs to cook at a light rolling boil for 15 minutes. you can stir every few minutes, and once it starts boiling, you can add some salt and some seasoning. A few pinches of each.
step 4 - add potatoes and stuff
In your stew pot, your onions and shallots should have been cooking for a while over low heat. If they are starting to look slightly translucent, then it is time to add the potatoes, the leek and the garlic. Wash and cut the potatoes vaguely julienne style. The leek I just slice in little quarter inch circles and then I cut them in half. Throw it all in at the same time with a little more olive oil. Throw in the garlic (crushed or diced as you like) and stir it up. Pretty soon you should see the leek liquify a bit, and the whole pile should lower a bit as the onions/shallots/leek continue to liquify, and the potatoes start to soften up. This is when I add my first round of seasoning - a good teaspoon of salt, 1 tbsp of turmeric, 1 tbsp of paprika. Save the rest of the turmeric and paprika for later. As long as you are stirring a lot, you can let this cook for 5-10 minutes and feel free to add a little more olive oil if it threatens to burn.
step 5 - cover the quinoa
The last step for cooking the quinoa is to cover it and cook over low heat (from previously medium see step 3). Not much to do here, just make sure that most of the water has boiled away, lower the heat and cover it up. Depending on your pot, you might need to add another few ounces of water. In step 3 it should look like soup, but by now the quinoa should be puffed up and you should have just a small amount of water covering the bottom half inch of the pot - so you only really see it when you stir it. If it's not there, add some more water. Covered up, you let it steam for another 15 minutes.
step 6 - add the broth
Back in the stew pot, your potatoes should be half-cooked - slightly soft but still a bit crunchy. This is where you add the veggie broth to finish them off. Pour it in, stir it up, and let in sizzle for about 7-8 minutes. Leave the heat at medium-low.
step 7 - strained tomatoes
Add all 26 ounces of the Pomi to your stew pot, and stir it up some more. Once it is bubbling a bit, lower the heat to the lowest setting and just let it steep. This is where you add the diced green onion, and the rest of your seasoning. Taste and feel free to add more salt, but don't be too generous with it because in step 8 you will add the quinoa and that might salt it up a bit as well. This is also where you add the white vinegar so it has a little time to reduce.
step 8 - add quinoa
By now your quinoa should be cooked, if there is no water left just pour the quinoa right into the stew pot and stir. If your potatoes are not completely cooked by now, you can let it steep until they are. Serve whenever it is ready. Finish with some shredded cheese and enjoy.
This should take somewhere around an hour from start to finish, and should yield somewhere around 6 servings.