Thursday, February 20, 2014

Eric's Quinoa and Sausage Crockpot Stew

Eric gets full credit for this fabulous dinner.   We all loved it - and,  and! - it was a crockpot thing so we threw it in the pot, covered it up and went into town between snowstorms.  

Awe.  Some. 

It's a hearty blend of quinoa and beans, gussied up with carrot slices, onions and garlic and a pinch or two of garden herbs.   

We liked it thick as a stew, but if you added extra water or broth, it would make a terrific brothy soup, too.  

Eric's Quinoa and Sausage Crockpot Stew
www.rurification.com

1 lb sausage, crumbled, browned and drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can great northern beans
2 chopped carrots [or more!]
5-6 cups water
1 3/4 cups mixed quinoa, well rinsed
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf

Cook up the sausage with the onion and garlic.  Drain the fat off and put in the crockpot with everything else.   Cook 6-7 hours on low.    If your quinoa takes up too much water, add more.   You can add extra water or broth to make a thinner, brothy soup.    Add a few stalks of celery for you celery lovers out there.   It's pretty hard to go wrong here.

A note about quinoa.  We get red, black and white quinoa from our local international market [Sahara Mart] in the bulk section.   Then we get home and mix it all together and store it in quart jars.    We like the white quinoa by itself in some things, so we always buy extra of that and leave a jar of plain white, too.     

Rinsing the quinoa is very important!    I drop it in the bottom of a large soup pot and run water over it until the pot fills.   Then I stir it around.   The water will cloud up, but the quinoa will settle pretty quickly.    I pour the old water off and do it all again two or three times.   If your pot is the right height [tall!], you can just run a constant gentle stream straight in the pot and the quinoa will stir up, but stay in the bottom with the flow while the old water pours out the top.     You can also bundle it and rinse it in a towel or several layers of cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.    Whatever works.



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