During the colder winter months, (at least here in Ohio), I tend to make more soups, stews, and chili. Dishes that are easy, healthy, comforting, and warming.
I came across a recipe for Quinoa Chowder back in the summertime and saved it for a winter’s meal. It was very good and met my guidelines for being easy, healthy, comforting, and warming! (Plus I got a new kitchen gadget for Christmas that I could use for this – a stick blender – woohoo!)
Quinoa is a new thing for me since going gluten-free just more than a year ago. It is a grain that is safe for g-free folks. It has incredible health benefits and is considered one of the “super grains”. Quinoa contains a complete set of amino acids and has one of the highest protein content of any other grains. It is also very easily digestible.
If you’re gluten-free, then you know how you can’t just grab a can or order a bowl of soup at the store or restaurant. Especially for chowders and gumbos, the risk of running into wheat flour as a thickener is high. But it is easy to switch a recipe up when you make it from scratch. For gluten-free thickeners, you can use g-free flour, cornstarch, or even blended potatoes or instant potato flakes!
This recipe was naturally g-free – no substitutions. Plus it is naturally vegan as well, if that matters to you. (I am trying to cut back on my meat intake since having a kidney stone recently.)
Using the stick blender is fun! But if you don’t have one, you can carefully transfer the cooked soup to a regular blender.
Both of my gluten-free kids (ages 6 & 3) liked it and so did I. We made g-free bread sticks from scratch, trying another new recipe that night as well. They were okay, but for a better taste and something quicker, I would recommend using a Chebe bread stick mix. I really like their bread sticks. And voila! Here is a warm, comforting g-free (and vegan) meal!
2 cups water
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup potato, cubed
1/4 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
2 cups vegetable broth (make sure to buy g-free canned/boxed broth or use g-free vegetable broth bouillon cubes)
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (or 2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes)
In a large stock pot, place water, quinoa, potato, carrot, onion and vegetable broth (or 2 more cups of water and vegetable broth bouillon cubes); bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Add corn and bring back to simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste. With an immersion (stick) blender, pulse for a chunky or desired consistency. (Or carefully transfer soup to a regular blender.) Garnish with parsley and a dab of butter. (I mixed the parsley in and went without the butter.)
(Makes 4-6 servings)
Enjoy! Here’s to your health!
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