Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Saturday 6th February: Root vegetable & quinoa stew

I've been buying a lot of root veg lately. It's in season and in my mind it suits the drizzly, cold weather. Sure, I'm looking forward to all the summer veggies, but there's something comforting about a big bowl of winter root vegetables.

Last week I'd bought a swede. I like the taste of swede, but I always get part way through chopping a swede and think, why did I buy a swede? They are a bugger to prepare.

The result of having a busy/tiring week meant that I ended the week with quite a lot of fresh veg still sitting expectantly in the salad drawer of the fridge. So, on Saturday evening I thought I'd better do something about it.

Winter veggies can be colourful too...

It was also my first time cooking a dish with quinoa, which is all the rage at the moment, I understand. I have to admit I cheated, though, and bought ready cooked quinoa. We all have to start somewhere.

Serves 2

1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, sliced
1 leek, sliced into chunks
1/2 a swede, peeled and cut into cubes (good luck)
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced in half and then cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp tomato puree
700ml vegetable stock
250g cooked quinoa and puy lentils (this came as a packet from Waitrose - but you could also use just quinoa or just puy lentils)
salt and pepper to season

Heat the oil in a saucepan, and chuck in the veg. Cook gently, stirring until it has started to soften. Add the herbs and spices, and cook for a minute or two more, stirring. Add the tomato puree, stir, and cook for another minute. Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and then simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the cooked quinoa and cook for another 5 minutes.

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