This recipe takes orange things (turmeric and paprika) and adds them to other orange things (carrots and butternut squash). Then it takes something that wasn’t originally orange (quinoa), and makes it orange (with more carrots and more turmeric). You can’t help but feel your eyesight sharpen when you eat this.
Although the color is decidedly one-note, that is in no way the case for the flavor of this dish. This is something I’ve been making for myself for years. Faintly curried, with aromatic spices and plenty of protein (quinoa!), it’s a fabulous, healthy meal. It’s kind of a stew, so it just gets better in the fridge and, aside from peeling and cutting the squash, which admittedly is a pain, it’s extremely easy. Just a quick, flavorful braise and you’re all set for the week.
Sometimes I add chickpeas to this; in case you haven’t caught on yet, I freakin’ love a chickpea. LOVE. True love. (Cue involuntary quoting of the Princess Bride…Farm boy, fetch me that pitcher…Anybody want a Peanut?…). I totally meant to add them this time, but flat out forgot. I haven’t really missed them, but don’t tell them that, we wouldn’t want any hurt feelings. I promise you, you too want to Devour ALL the Orange Things. I figure by the time I hit the bottom of the Tupperware, I’ll be seeing in the dark.
Moroccan Squash and Carrot Stew (with Quinoa)
Adapted from Bon Appetit. Serves 4-6.
Don’t freak out about the length of the ingredient list. If you have a well-stocked pantry and spice rack, you’ll have most of it on hand.
2 T olive oil
1 c chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 t Hungarian sweet paprika
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t cayenne pepper (I used a pinch of red pepper flakes)
Pinch of saffron
1 cup water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 c peeled butternut squash (1″ cubes)
2 c peeled carrots (3/4″ cubes)
1 c quinoa, rinsed
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 c finely chopped onion
1/4 c finely chopped peeled carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t salt
1/2 t turmeric
2 c water
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 t chopped fresh mint, divided
- In a large, heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté about 5 min, or until soft
- Add the garlic and stir 1 minute. Add the paprika, next 8 ingredients, 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice.
- Bring to boil and add the squash and carrots. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the squash and carrots are tender when stabbed with a fork (~20 min)
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and add 1/2 of chopped herbs
While the stew cooks, make the quinoa:
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and carrot and cook just until the vegetables start to brown (~10 min)
- Add the garlic, salt, and turmeric and cook 1 minute. Add the quinoa and stir to coat with oil and butter.
- Add the water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until liquid is absorbed and the little white “tails” pop out of the quinoa (~15 min)
- Spoon stew over quinoa, sprinkle with remaining herbs, and serve