Friday recipe: spiced lentil and quinoa stew

January 10, 2014 —

Have you made a list of New Year’s resolutions? Are you checking it twice? If it includes eating more healthfully, this recipe from certified health education specialist and self-proclaimed foodie Elaine Gordon offers everything you need in a nutritious, delicious cold-weather comfort food. It’s packed with protein, flavor and satisfying texture. This recipe makes eight to 10 servings and can be served on its own or over brown rice.

Spiced lentil and quinoa stew

Photo: Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Photo: Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes (2 cups)
  • 2 medium onions, cut into small dice (2 cups)
  • 2 cups uncooked red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup baby-cut carrots, cut crosswise into thick rounds (1/3-inch)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 large (2 ounces) shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 6 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Flesh of 2 avocados, cut into small dice, for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the sweet potato, onions, lentils, carrots, quinoa, shallot and garlic, stirring to coat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and all the pepper.

Stir in the broth; increase the heat to medium-high. Once the liquid comes to a boil, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Uncover and stir in the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, ginger and allspice until well incorporated. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook for 35 minutes.

Taste, and add some or all the remaining salt, as needed. Serve warm, topped with the avocado, if desired.


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.

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