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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coconut Quinoa Lentil Stew

I was poking through the Dining & Wine section of the Times a little while ago and stumbled across a recipe for Andean Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Quinoa. I really liked the quinoa-bean-squash idea, so I adapted it to use up things I had in my kitchen. In the end I changed almost every ingredient, but I love anything that sits in a big pot and gets better every time you reheat it.

The flavors turned out really well. I especially like the coconut flavor... it's not sweet and it doesn't hit you over the head. The quinoa-lentil mix was quite tasty, and it's surprisingly quick to throw together for something that seems like it should take hours too cook.

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large sweet potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
Cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
1 can (14 oz.) tomatoes
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup small red lentils
Vegan bullion cube
2 cups water

1. In a large pot, saute the onion in olive oil for a few minutes until it's soft. Then add the chopped garlic and saute for just a minute so it doesn't burn.
2. Add the sweet potatoes, paprika, oregano, bay leaf, cayenne and saute for another few minutes.
3. Add the tomato and cook until the tomato is reduced and thick.
4. Add the quinoa, lentils, coconut, water, and a big handful of parsley.
5. Cover and cook on low heat until the quinoa is translucent, and the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft. Season with salt.


  1. Yumm and such a pretty color! Are you bringing leftovers for our dinner tonight?!! love ya.

  2. Can I use veggie broth instead of the bouillon cube and 2 cups water and regular lentils instead of red lentils? Thanks! Love your blog by the way. I just discovered it.

  3. Hi, Katrina!

    Absolutely! I used the bullion because the cabinet space is limited in my little kitchen, but veggie broth would work great too. Since regular (brow) lentils are a little larger than red lentils they might take a bit longer to cook and might need more liquid. I'd start with the 2 cups of veggie broth and if the lentils aren't tender when that liquid is absorbed you can add a little more until you like the texture.

    Thanks for your comment and thanks so much for reading!
    Happy cooking!

  4. Katrina,

    I just checked out your blog - love it! And it made me realize that we should add a gluten-free label to Two Blue Lemons! I'm in the process of tagging posts that are gluten-free. Thanks for the inspiration!


  5. Hi. When i do add coconut? Thank you. Looks really yummy.

  6. Hi, Julee!

    Sorry about that oversight! You'd add the coconut when you add the quinoa and lentils, but since this is a pretty rustic stew I don't think you can go wrong! You could add it when you add the tomatoes as well. The post should be corrected now.

    Hope you enjoy it! Thanks for your comment and thanks for visiting the site!


  7. Amazing! Thanks for sharing this! It came out wonderfully. I used about a third a teaspoon cayenne, had a good kick but not overpowering. <3

  8. Estrid, Thanks so much for your comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! I love to hear how people but their own spin on things! Thanks so much for visiting and for sharing your thoughts with us!


  9. Hi Anna - I'm a fellow IIN 2010 grad - so happy I found your site. My 23 year old daughter is trying to balance her body from ravages of an autoimmune disease and dr. recommended she try to go vegan for a month or so. Your delicious - healthy recipes will hopefully aid me in offering her recipes to bring her healing. Thanks so much! Regards, Ida Tropiano

  10. Hi, Ida!

    Thank you so much for your comment and for visiting Two Blue Lemons! How exciting that you are also an INN grad! It's actually my sister Sarah who went to INN (we co-author the blog), but I am the vegan half of Two Blue Lemons (Sarah is vegetarian half) so I'm excited to hear about your daughter's vegan experiment. I would love to hear how it goes for her and if she likes (or dislikes!) any recipes that she might try.

    Thanks again for getting in touch! And I wish your daughter the best of luck in healing. I'm sure she feels lucky to have such a caring mother!

    Take care,


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