This is a hearty, very colourful stew to which the red quinoa makes a distinctive contribution. It's the kind of meal that can be conveniently cooked in one large saucepan, so is probably best treated as an informal supper for two people, though obviously it can be adapted as you wish. The ingredients can also be varied. For instance, sprouts or cauliflower are excellent in place of the broccoli; a leek cut into rings can be used rather than the onion; garlic added, if liked; chunks of carrot instead of the red pepper.
Red quinoa. 110 g (4oz). Rinse in a fine sieve under cold running water. Put in saucepan. Cover with 300ml (or just over ½ pint) of cold water. Bring to boiling point. Reduce to a low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes adjusting the amount of water if necessary.Turn the heat off, cover the quinoa and leave it to absorb all the liquid. It is then cooked. Use as much of the quinoa as you need for this dish (about half, I would suggest) and keep any left over for another occasion.
Onion, one, medium or large (according to taste), peeled and cut into chunks
Potatoes, half-a-dozen, small to medium-sized, scrubbed or peeled, kept whole
Broccoli, one head, cut into florets. If there is a thick stalk to the broccoli, remove the hard outer skin and cut into sections
Sweet red pointed pepper, one, topped tailed seeded and cut into rings
Mushrooms, closed cup, half-dozen, medium sized, stalks trimmed, left whole
Salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, gently fry the onion and red pepper for a few minutes to soften. Add the potatoes and mushrooms, stir well to coat and cook for a further couple of minutes. Cover with stock, add salt and pepper, bring to boiling point and simmer gently. Allow about fifteen minutes for the whole potatoes to start cooking. Then add the broccoli florets and stalk and continue to simmer gently until all of the vegetables are cooked. Finally stir in sufficient red quinoa to produce a thick sauce, adding more stock if required. Heat through.
Serve with fresh bread (to mop up the gravy), butter (optional), and cheese.