So a few weeks ago I went to a reunion of sorts with a bunch of my college girlfriends. As was to be expected, we were catching up with what was happening in each other's lives and since this was so close to the maiden voyage of my vegan ventures, I brought up the fact that I was giving this whole vegan thing a try.
A few of my friends had some questions and all weighed in regardless of whether the input was solicited or not (we are an opinionated bunch), but at one point, a couple of my friends were talking about something I had never heard of. They kept talking about something that sounded like a mixture of a Spanish and Chinese word.
Me: What the heck is Key-nwa?
Friend 1: Are you serious?
Friend 2: YOU CALL YOURSELF A VEGAN AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT KEY-NWA IS?
Me: Umm...spell it?
Friend 1: Quinoa
Me: Ohhhhh, KWIH NOH AH!! I know what that is...
The conversation went on for awhile longer to where I was shamed for my lack of knowledge and mispronunciation. How dare I?
Well, here's the thing. First of all, I've never really cooked with this stuff, second of all, as was mentioned before, this whole vegan thing is NEW. I guess maybe I shouldn't call myself a vegan...
So I decided to try cooking some Keynwa.
I decided to cook this Keynwa on my snow day marathon cooking session. I felt the need to have some sort of stew cooking in the crock pot for a large portion of the day. I don't know what it is, but my Betty Crocker/June Cleaver tendencies were in FULL FORCE during the SNOMG and I'm a little concerned with that, but my innate self was telling me to nest and make nice. So I did.
I found this recipe for Slow Cooker Lentil and Quinoa Stew from the Healthy Eating Site.
Here's what I did wrong:
-Instead of using strictly 7 cups of water, I used 3 cups of vegetable stock and 4 1/2 cups of water...I wanted to make sure there would be flavor.
-I had lentils...they looked green...they were the only ones in the grocery store.
-No miso, once again, so I used 2 tablespoons of terriyaki.
-For some reason I thought Rosemary would be a nice herb to add to this stew...bad idea.
The flavor was bland in the end, and for some reason I felt that ketchup would jazz it up. So I added probably about 3-4 tablespoons. Now, I love ketchup...like really love it. As a child I used to put ketchup on everything. Now, although I've cut back, I have been known to suck down ketchup packets on long car rides to keep me awake. Try it. It works. But, all this is to say that I love ketchup, but I RARELY think it adds to a recipe before the dish is completed. So, this was a weird thing for me to do. But, I think it drastically improved the flavor of this stew.
It was a nice hearty stew and it has given me some great ideas for thickening up my next bowl of chili!
Here's the recipe from the Healthy Eating Site.
2 cups brown lentils
1/2 cup quinoa
7-1/2 cups water
1-2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 small sweet potato, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teas wheat-free tamari (or soy sauce if you aren’t on a wheat-free diet)
2 tablespoons miso
2 tablespoons tomato paste
mixed herbs (any of: oregano, thyme, tarragon, marjoram, sage, cumin)
Rinse and drain lentils, being sure to pick through them to make sure there are no stones. Rinse and drain quinoa. Add to slow cooker.
Dice potatoes and sweet potato, and chop garlic. Add to slow cooker along with herbs (dried or fresh and finely chopped), tomato paste and 6 cups of the water.
Cook on high for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. When the stew thickens and cooks down after about 2.5 hours add 1 additional cup water. Usually the lentils and quinoa will cook before the potatoes do, and potato cooking time will vary depending on how big the pieces are. Once everything is cooked, turn off the heat, add tamari and let set a further half hour.
Mix the miso and remaining 1/2 cup of water, then add to the stew and mix well.
***By the way, when I bought this Quinoa at the grocery store, I pronounced it my way first and then corrected myself, and the grocery store guy told me he pronounced it Kwih-noh-ah too. So there.