Dreena's first up, so here is my Warmly Spiced Quinoa Chickpea Stew with Figs from the foodtv.ca set of recipes. Though I've called this recipe a stew, truly it's a cross between a casserole and a stew. It's prepared like a stew on the stove top, but its consistency is not soupy, so is more similar to a casserole. Whatever you want to term it, this dish has a captivating bouquet of spices and seasonings, and I really want you to try it. Whether you love quinoa, or don't know what to do with it, or think it's bland... give this recipe a whirl!
And this isn't a "hot" spicy dish... this is an aromatic, earthy, slightly sweet-spiced dish with curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, and allspice. The quinoa and chickpeas are simmered in a wine and vegetable-based broth, married with onions, garlic, bell pepper, and spices. The dried black mission figs (purchase them organic if you can, in the section of your natural foods store where you find dried apricots, raisins, etc) are incorporated just as the stew is finishing so they can soak up the juices and get plump and moist. The finished dish is embellished with pistachios, and fresh herbs if you like. One-pot meals don't get much easier, nutritious, and tasty than this - lotsa' bang for your cooking buck!
1) I have posted edits to the foodtv.ca recipes. The link is also on the sidebar. I'm not certain when the edits will be completed on the foodtv site, so please refer to the link when preparing the recipes.
2) Also, please provide the link to these foodtv.ca recipes:http://www.foodtv.ca/Search/SearchResults2.aspx?query=dreena+burton&site=foodtv_recipes_live
on your own blog if you like, as well as on any chat boards/forums you frequent. I regularly hear, mostly from young vegans and college students, that they aren't able to afford new cookbooks. So give 'em this link! (as well as the link to my sample recipes.)
Now, it's YOUR TURN to show and tell! - - - I received an e-mail asking about how I organize and contain my spices. uh-oh. As I explained in my reply to this e-mail, I also do not have an ideal spice system. I have a rack holding 12 spice jars (can a spice rack really hold all the spices we use regularly?), then a drawer holding additional spices I use a lot, and then larger amounts of spices in my pantry (bay leaves, whole nutmeg, cumin seeds, etc). Certainly not idyllic. Knowing that many of you are superb organizers, and bursting with creative ideas... how do YOU organize your spices? If you have a blog, snap off a photo and post it! I'll update this post with a link to your blog! Will be fun to see who does what - and which set ups are very efficient!
Before I sign off, I want to mention another spicy bit! Robin Robertson has just released her new "Vegan Fire & Spice" cookbook. I haven't seen this cookbook myself, but if her sample recipes in VegNews are any indication, your taste buds will be smokin' with flavorful and fiery dishes from around the world. So, if you're one of those people that wants some heat, and enjoys exploring new seasonings and bold spices, have a look at Robin's new collection of recipes. (btw, I am awed by how quickly and steadily this woman can churn out cookbooks! She's phenomenal.)
Now, pull out your measuring cups and spoons and cook up this aromatic, flavorful quinoa recipe...
and go eat, drink & be vegan!