How do you say Quinoa?

Last week I was pinning away on Pinterest under the category of food and came across this picture:

Pinned ImageUpon further clicking and research, I found the recipe on this blog, Cookin’ Canuck. The photo grabbed me for a few reasons:

  • It’s a stew, and I LOVE stew
  • It’s a chicken based stew, something I don’t have alot of recipes for
  • The colors are gorgeous so it must also be really healthy

After reading the entire blog post and checking out the recipe, I knew I wanted to make it too, with one small edit. The original recipe calls for olives and I’m sure their acidity worked great with the dish but Eric and I don’t really enjoy olives so I threw some deep green kale into my dish. The kale added a little bitterness and even more color to an already beautiful dish and kicked up the healthy quotient another notch. This recipe includes butternut squash, quinoa (a whole grain I had never used before and couldn’t pronounce), tomatoes, chicken and kale; all I see are vitamins!

So about this quinoa…yes, I’d seen it written before but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say it. So,to wikipedia I went and found this definition and pronouciation:

Quinoa (play /ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot(Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a truecereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

The tumbleweeds part was a little weird but I did get the pronunciation and have been saying keen-wah ever since.

After my vocabulary lesson, I went to the grocery store and picked up all my ingredients including quinoa, which I found in the organic section. I did decide to use my homemade chicken stock in the recipe because my freezer is filled with it but I know that boxed chicken stock would work just fine.

Start the stew recipe by peeling and slicing up the butternut squash, making sure to scoop out the seeds.

Steam all the squash for about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash from the pot and place in a small bowl off to the side.

Continue steaming the remaining half of the squash for about 6 minutes so that it is soft enough to mash.

While the rest of the squash is steaming, bring the chicken stock to boil, in a separate pot, put in the chicken thighs and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken thighs and cover to keep warm.

Once the squash is steamed, move it from the pot to a bowl and mash.

Be sure to keep the first squash pieces separate and whole.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onion until it starts to brown.

Add in the garlic and oregano and cook for another minute.

Add in the tomatoes and butternut squash both mashed and the larger pieces. Stir well.

Add the chicken stock and quinoa. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is translucent.

While the quinoa is cooking, shred the chicken with a fork or your fingers. Add the chicken and chopped kale once the quinoa is cooked.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally stir in the fresh flat leaf parsley.

Serve with a slice of crusty bread and feel your body say thank you for all the healthy ingredients!

I loved this dish, it will become a staple in our Winter meal rotation. It makes alot too, which is perfect for a week’s worth of homemade lunches! The flavors really are right on and the quinoa was a nice consistency, lighter than I expected (much lighter than pasta) and added great texture.

Here’s the recipe which I found at Cookin’ Canuck:

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6

  • 1½ lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 3½ cups chicken broth
  • 1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • ⅔ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ¾ cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives (or 1 bunch fresh kale if you prefer)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
  7. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  10. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  11. Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
  12. Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in parsley and serve.



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