Thursday, April 21, 2016

Southwestern Superfood Stew

I have never wished so badly for smell-o-vision for my blog....until now. This stew smells so good and tastes amazing. It has a tortilla soup quality to it that is super satisfying and hearty.

I know this is the wrong season for stew recipes. Even though it is spring, this stew came to be because:
1. It has been super cold and snowy in Colorado this week and I couldn't get warmed up.

2. My co-worker had quinoa vegetable soup for lunch at work the other day and I was like - quinoa in soup? Genius!

3. I visited our students (I work in an Elementary School) at Outdoor Lab in the mountains, and they served chicken tortilla soup for lunch. I was like - tortilla soup,  hmmm smells yummy! And tortilla soup minus the chicken would be way better.

So I thought on it for awhile, and came up with this sweet potato, black bean, quinoa stew in a savory broth, and it turned out to be one of my favorite recipes yet! It just really hit the spot and was a delicious savory vegan tortilla stew.

Southwestern Superfood Stew


1 tsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced (bite sized)

1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

3 tbsp masa harina mixed with 1/4 cup cold water (optional thickener, also adds nice flavor)
2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

fresh minced cilantro

You could also add jalapeƱo for more heat or fresh corn if you have it.


Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, then add the carrot, celery, and sweet potato. Stir and let the veggies begin to cook a bit, for about 5 minutes. Then add all the spices and stir to coat the vegetables (cumin, coriander, oregano, turmeric, cayenne, and nutritional yeast).

Next add the rinsed quinoa, diced tomatoes, black beans, vegetable broth and liquid smoke (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Check to see if the vegetables are cooked through. I like them tender, but not mushy.

Once the veggies are about done, mix the masa harina with the cold water (to avoid any clumps) and pour it into the soup. Let this cook and thicken the broth for about 5 minutes. Take the soup off the heat, toss in the fresh spinach, and let it wilt. Taste and adjust the seasoning, I usually end up adding about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Add some fresh minced cilantro if you like and enjoy with a salad and some corn chips. Yum!

For 8 servings. Nutritional information from

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 344 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 51%Vitamin C 20%
Calcium 7%Iron 22%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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