Slow-Cooked Vegetable & Quinoa Stew

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Being away last weekend meant that I couldn’t create a big batch of healthy vegan food to sustain me during the forthcoming week! Needless to say, I grazed on some not-so-healthy options and yesterday decided that it was time to get back into my weekly routine.

I thought a stew would be a convenient way to pack in as many vegetables as possible and it seemed an appropriate choice now that the colder weather has finally descended upon us. I was contemplating whipping up sweet potato mash to compliment it but opted to bulk it out with protein-packed quinoa instead.

The ingredients below made enough for a HUGE pan-full of stew. I’ve had two portions so far and I estimate I’ll get at least another four portions out of it!

INGREDIENTS
•2 tbsps veg oil
•1 large onion, chopped
•3 cloves of garlic, crushed
•3 celery stalks, chopped
•1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
•3 carrots, peeled and chopped
•2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
•The leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme
• 1 tsp dried oregano
•1 tsp paprika
•1 tin of butter beans
•1 tin of chopped tomatoes
• 200ml red wine
•1l veg stock
•200g quinoa
•1 Bay leaf
•2 courgettes, sliced into circles
•200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
•Salt & pepper to season

Method
1) Heat the oil and gently sweat the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the next 10 ingredients and pour in 700ml of stock, setting the rest aside for later.
2) Add the quinoa, bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and leave to simmer gently for 35 minutes. Stir occasionally; the dish will dry up as the quinoa expands so keep adding the remaining stock when necessary.
3) Add the courgettes, mushrooms, salt, pepper and more stock if needed. Continue to cook low for 20 minutes or until the courgette has softened. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf and serve.

It sounds a lot to do but was actually really easy to make and just about any combination of vegetables can be used. I served with warm, crusty bread for a cosy feel.

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