I feel a bit like a broken record sometimes. This recipe, like many others, was born of pantry ingredients and a blasé attitude towards cooking. I’ve been busy and, as a result, not cooking or blogging. In fact, for the first time, feeding myself feels like a chore. I have even depleted my precious freezer-ful of Trader Joe’s packaged vegetarian goodies. Sad times.
Feeling like I needed something wholesome and real, I glumly poked around my kitchen the other night, zeroed in on a can of pumpkin puree leftover from the Fall, and finally the rusty wheels of inspiration started turning. Very creakily.
What resulted was a Mexican-inspired pumpkin bean stew, with some quinoa thrown in for good measure. Cilantro, garlic , cumin and lime come together to give pumpkin puree a decidedly non-Thanksgiving kick.
Tasty and hearty, I hope this stew chases away your kitchen doldrums, like it did mine!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried quinoa
1 19 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or other bean, such as black or pinto)
1 28 0z. can pumpkin puree
1 bouillon cube
6 cups boiling water
1/2 a lime
1/2 tbsp salt ( and more to taste)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced for garnish
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-low heat.
Add the onion, sprinkle with a little salt, and fry for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil a kettleful of water.
Add zucchini and bell pepper to the onions and cook until slightly softened.
Add cumin, chili powder, garlic and quinoa and cook, stirring, for a few minutes.
Add beans, pumpkin, bouillon cube, salt and 6 cups boiling water.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes or until veggies are tender and quinoa is cooked.
Squeeze in the lime juice, and stir in the cilantro. Taste for salt. I added more.
Serve with avocado and a sprinkle of cilantro on top if you want to get fancy.
Makes a big pot of stew. I froze a LOT of it for a rainy day. Add more water if you’d like a soupier consistency.