21 May 2014

Babysitting and a hearty chicken & quinoa stew

Brisbane is slowly heading into winter. Slowly. I love winter and the reason is twofold. One, I don't have to wade my way through the humidity with clothes sticking to areas of my body that they were never meant to meet. And two, I get to enjoy making - and eating - delicious slow cooked stews and other warm, comforting, not necessarily meant for everyday consumption, food. How can you not like winter in Brisbane?

This change in temperature has prompted me to make my sister's family a hearty chicken and quinoa stew. Simple, healthy and comforting.

So why does my adorable sister and her family get this? For the last few days I've had to move in with them due to my parents having a mini break up at Noosa. So why does this 36 year old need to be babysat by her sister? Basically we all decided, my psychiatrist included, that I tend to go to very dark places when on my own. So, here enters wonderful family and friends who agree to take me in while I find my feet again, and while my poor parents have a break.

The one thing I can do as a thank you is cook a meal. My sister and brother-in-law are flat out with work and looking after their three wonderful daughters, who are 8, 5 and 2. A meal cooked for them all is one less job they need to complete, right? Also, those girls mean everything to me so I'm extremely happy to be with them and helping out (although only in a small way). And the excitement in those girls eyes when I came with my suitcase was quite simply priceless.

This dish is for all you busy people out there. It's so simple and super tasty. Even if you aren't a cook this one is worth a try.

Hearty chicken and quinoa stew

Hearty chicken and quinoa stew
Adapted from Cookin' Canuck
Serves 8

1kg chicken breast
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
4 cups (500ml) chicken stock
400g can diced tomato
700g butternut pumpkin, cubed
1 cup uncooked quinoa, washed
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 cup firmly packed, roughly chopped olives
400g can cannellini beans
400g can butter beans
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley, leave some for garnish
lemon wedges to serve

Gently fry the onions and garlic together until translucent. Add in the chicken, stock, tomatoes, pumpkin, quinoa and mixed herbs. Bring to the boil and simmer until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken and shred. Add back into the stew. Add olives and beans, cook for a further 10 minutes. Turn heat off, add chopped parsley.

Serve with a wedge of lemon and parsley on top.

You don't get much easier than that.


  1. There is nothing better than a hearty chicken stew (or indeed soup) to take you to a happy place. Take care now xox

    1. You are too right, Liz. Sending you get well wishes, too.