What's for Dinner: Spicy Creole Quinoa Stew

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Spicy Creole Quinoa Stew

This version of the Low-country favorite stew is thickened with red quinoa, a super-healthy seed that triples in volume when it's cooked. (It's a full protein.) I added andouille sausage for additional spice. Serve ladled over steamed rice or with crusty bread to sop up the broth.

2 tablespoons grapeseed

or vegetable oil, divided

2 boneless chicken breasts or 4 boneless thighs, cut into small chunks

2 fat links andouille sausage (about ½ pound) sliced

¾ cup chopped onion

¾ cup chopped celery

¾ cup chopped green bell pepper

1½ teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon sweet paprika

4 cups chicken broth

15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

½ cup quinoa seeds (I used red quinoa)

1 bay leaf

¼ to ½ pound cooked shrimp

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and cook the chicken and sausage until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Place meat in a bowl and set aside, covered with foil.

Reheat saucepan over medium-low heat. Add remaining tablespoon oil and stir in onion and celery. Cook, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, until celery and onion start to become tender. Add a tablespoon or two of water if pan becomes dry.

Stir in green pepper, garlic, cumin, thyme, oregano, cayenne and paprika. Heat with the vegetables for 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, quinoa and bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Add reserved chicken and sausage and shrimp, simmering until all ingredients are hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Serves 4.

-- Adapted from "Grain Power" by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming (Penguin, Dec. 31, 2013, $29.95)

Gretchen McKay: gmckay@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.

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