I was feeling a little anxious last night about today’s eating-fest holiday. I could already feel my stomach stretching (angrily) from the meals to come, but I was hungry for dinner – horror of all horrors. I was craving something hearty and full of flavor, but I couldn’t fathom ruining my appetite for Thanksgiving dinner. Clearly I take this holiday very seriously.
This bean stew is chock full of vegetables, both the delicious starchy kinds and the more healthful palate-cleansing kinds. It is adapted from a Chilean stew, which uses corn instead of the quinoa that is used in this dish. The base of the stew is made from pinto beans, quinoa, onions, tomatoes and squash. It is a stew to feel good about, especially knowing that your Thanksgiving dinner is safe.
Andean Bean Stew
Adapted from the New York Times, Recipes for Health
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tbs oregano
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 3 tbs chopped fresh basil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
This recipe starts early – either the night before you plan to cook, or 6 hours prior. Take your pinto beans and place in a tupperware with 2 quarts of water. Cover and let set for 6 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to start the stew, drain the beans and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with water until it covers the beans by about 2 inches, and add about a teaspoon of salt. Bring the pot to a boil, and then drop the heat to a simmer. Skim the foam off the top of the water, and then cover and let simmer slowly for an hour, or until the beans are tender.
When the beans have about 20 minutes left to cook, put your olive oil and chopped onion in a medium-size pan, and cook the onions until see-through. Add your minced garlic, and cook for another 3-5 minutes. To the onions, add your chopped tomatoes, including the liquid. Cook down until the liquid is almost gone, then add the mix to the pot of beans. Add your squash cubes, quinoa, bay leaf and oregano to the pot of beans, and taste for sat & pepper. Let simmer for another 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add your fresh basil. Let the stew stand for about 30 minutes while covered, and then serve.