Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quinoa Non Carne

I have been in such a recipe slump for a long time, cooking mainly from books or things I have memorised but finally I bring to you AN ORIGINAL!
After a recent trip to Costco we got quite a few things in bulk that have been hanging around the pantry waiting to be made into something delicious. With a rumbly tummy I pulled out quinoa, canned tomatoes, 4 bean mix and thought to myself, "what can I do with these?" Then a lightbulb went off - Chili Con Carne!
I googled a few basic recipes to see what else I would need...... Onions (didn't have any) Capsicum (none of those either) Meat (Um, NO!) So a quick traipse through the fridge and I had myself an almost con carne recipe. Here's what I used (feel free to add and subtract whatever you like)

Olive Oil
Half a bulb of garlic (thinly sliced)
A thinly sliced green chili (These are less hotter than the red ones cos I'm a baby)
A packet of fajita seasoning (you could use taco seasoning or something similar)
A can of lentils
A can of tomatoes
A can of 4 bean mix
4 tbs salsa (or more if you like)
1 cup quinoa
10 small vine ripened tomatoes
3 mild pickled chilis (They come in a jar, kind of sweet and mildly hot)
2 tbs Tomato Paste

Heat about 2 tbs oil on a medium heat. I used my Le Chasseur cast iron dutch oven) Throw in the garlic and turn the temperature down to a medium low. Cook for about 3 mins. DO NOT BURN! Burnt garlic tastes VERY BAD! If you see the garlic getting dark brown, turn the temperature down!! Add chili and cook for another 2 mins. Add the fajita mix and stir, then add some more oil to make a nice thin paste. Cook for another 3 mins.
Add the canned tomatoes, lentils, four bean mix and salsa. Stir through to combine. Throw in the quinoa, vine tomatoes, pickled chilis and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer then turn down to low, put the lid on and cook for 10 mins. Check, stir, taste and adjust if needed (maybe more salsa or tomato paste) Cook for another 10 mins with the lid on. After the 2nd 10 min round of cooking, take off the lid, stir and if you need to, add some water to keep it like a stew. The quinoa likes to suck up all the liquid! Cook for another 10 mins with the lid off.
Serve and EAT! You could serve this with some guacamole or maybe just some nooch sprinkled on the top.