First Stew of Autumn – Quinoa with Moroccan Butternut Carrot Stew

A few days ago on my way home from Chico, CA with DZ, we stopped at a few roadside stands. The first one was advertising peaches, so I quickly swerved off the road hoping to savor the juicy taste of Summer that had just slipped away. Instead, what I found was a delightful little shop selling some fruit & veggies, knick-knacks and the best part, PIE! After touring the place a few times, I came to the conclusion I was not going home without a Cherry Pie. Let me just say, this was the best purchased dessert my mouth has ever had the pleasure of tasting.

The next stop was a fruit stand across the street from where I needed to fuel up. This place was wonderful! A beautiful autumn wreath in reds and purples decided to come home with me.In addition, their prices were good, so we picked up Sierra Beauty apples, watermelon, strawberries, butternut squash & as a surprise for Rob, local honey. I have not been disappointed with our treasures.

The apples are very crisp, tart, sweet & juicy; not too far off from a Honeycrisp. Dustin has been enjoying the watermelon. I meant to share some with my friend and her family. Will need to drop some off today before it goes bad.

Strawberries are Dustin’s favorite and he has been eating them every chance he gets. This morning was no exception. He trotted off to school with his bag of strawberries in hand. Now that he is a big boy, he no longer wants me to cut them up. He is too funny. :)

The most exciting part, for me, was the butternut squash. I knew it was going to rain and that is no better time for something with butternut squash. Here is how I determine dinner… I take the ingredients I have and enter them into my search engine. On this particular day, it was butternut squash and quinoa. (I know, I know there was no surprise there. Wait until I post the recipe I modified for banana quinoa muffins) Anyway, Survey says…Quinoa with Moroccan Butternut and Carrot Stew. This recipe was found on One of my favorite sites for dinner ideas.

Quinoa with Moroccan Butternut Carrot Stew was originally published by Bon Appetit (January 2006). I have modified the recipe to suit my tastes and what I have in my house. A friend of mine gave me some turmeric, so I decided on this recipe because I wanted to see if I liked the spice. The verdict was yes and it also works as an anti-inflammatory (an added bonus). This is a 2-part recipe, as the quinoa is cooked separately. Meal can be made in advance and reheated at dinner time. Makes enough to share with friends; I did. :)

Your Kids will Love it!

Quinoa with Moroccan Butternut Carrot Stew (serves 10-12)


  •  Butternut Squash 4-5 lbs cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Lg. crisp apple cut similar size to squash (I used Sierra Beauty, but a Fuji or Granny Smith would work)
  • 1 15oz. Can Garbanzo beans (rinsed)
  • 1 15oz. can of petite cut tomatoes in sauce (do not rinse)
  • 1 cup carrots peeled, cut into approx. 1 inch pieces
  • Yummy Goodness

    1 cup of red onion chopped

  • 4 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
In a large skillet, I needed 2, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft and slightly brown. (Caramelizing your onions adds and extra dimension to the flavor of your dish) Add garlic and spices, while stirring frequently, cook for about 1 minute taking care not to brown or burn the garlic. Add tomatoes, chicken broth and lemon. Bring to a boil and add remaining veggies and apple. Cover and simmer until the squash and carrots are fork tender, approximately 20-30 minutes.


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup carrot, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (feel free to use more)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Mint, finely chopped
In a skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and carrots; sauteing until veggies begin to brown. Add garlic and spices; cook about one minute. (make sure not to burn your garlic, this will add an unpleasant bitterness to your dish) Place quinoa in rice cooker, add the cooked ingredients and chicken broth. Leave in cooker until your stew is ready. Fluff with fork, when about to serve and stir in cilantro and mint. (Can be made ahead)
If using pot to cook quinoa, add an additional 1/2 cup of broth and follow cooking instructions on the package.
I serve this dish with fresh lemon, so you can have a little extra tartness. Super delicious and my whole family liked it.

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Dinner Do-Over

Since we had so many leftovers, the next night I browned breakfast sausage with turmeric, cumin and pepper. Once cooked, I added the remaining stew and simmered until hot. This was served over Quinoa pasta, which can be found at some grocery stores or local health food establishment.


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