Virtuous and Tasty Indian Inspired Slow Cooker Quinoa Stew


Yesterday was Mardi Gras and if you were in New Orleans I’m sure you caught yourself a ton of beads, plastic cups, and other prizes. Fat Tuesday is the time to eat and drink and do everything you plan on giving up for Lent. Now that you’ve gotten all that out of your system, it’s time to settle back down and start eating healthy again.

In New Orleans it’s not only Catholics that give things up for Lent, so you can use today to recommit to some of your eating and health goals. Or simply meeting the goal of not spending as much time in the kitchen while you are eating healthy. This recipe will meet all of those goals.

You won’t feel deprived with this light curry flavored stew. It’s gets a nutritional boost from quinoa and it’s completely plant-based. I use some not-chicken bouillon, but you can make your own if you’d rather not use a store-bought one. You can also use vegetable broth instead of the water and bouillon.

I used veggies I already had around the house so you can change out potato or rutabaga for turnip, or use carrots in place of sweet potatoes. This is a very versatile stew.

I use garam masala to spice this up a bit. It’s not spicy-hot but spicy-flavorful.  Garam masala is a blend of frequently used Indian spices. You can even make some from scratch. Try mm_food4me’s garam masala recipe or Sommer Collier’s from A Spicy Perspective.

Prepping all the ingredients goes fast even if I’m putting it all together in the morning. So if you didn’t prep your ingredients the night before you can still make this stew half asleep. Just remember there’s less temptation to eat off of your plan when you walk into the door and a healthy dinner is already cooked and ready to go.

Like many of my slow cooker stews, this one isn’t a looker. But once you look beyond that and see into its versatility and simplicity you’ll fall in love with it as much as I have.


Indian Inspired Slow Cooker Quinoa Stew
see this recipe on Key Ingredient

gluten-free, soy-free
serves 4 to 6

  • 4 to 5 cups water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups homemade)
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup peeled turnip, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped (about 1 stalk)
  • 1 tablespoon not-chicken bouillon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (store-bought mixture or homemade)
  • salt, to taste

The night before: Chop veggies and store in the fridge.

In the morning: Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on low 6 to 9 hours. Taste, re-season if needed (you may not even need the salt if your bouillon is salty.)

This is a good one to make if you are going to be away from the house a little longer than usual. If your slow cooker runs hot add a little extra water if it will be cooking longer than 9 hours.


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