Good Day Mates,

A little while ago I posted an image on instagram of a stew similar to the one I’m sharing with you here today and had a lovely response from you guys. One woman asked for the recipe and so here it is; a simple winter vegetable and aduki bean stew. I’ve gotten requests for making more dinner recipes incorporating beans and pulses so to those of you waiting for one of those recipes; this is for you as well! The truth is that when I make a meal like this I don’t usually bother with a recipe, I just look what’s in my vegetable drawer (which often is my whole fridge, haha) and what I have in the cupboards in the ways of grains and legumes. Then I just follow a few simple steps to an easy dinner in. The great thing about this is that also you can do exactly the same thing!

If you don’t have a specific vegetable, grain or bean that is listed in the ingredients list of this recipe – simply use what you have at home and be the master of your own kitchen. I really believe that learning a few simple basics like what steps to take to make a simple one pot stew (not counting the one to prepare the beans) or a good and filling salad or Buddha bowl is the way forward and the a great start to healthier eating habits. Well here is my way of achieving a meal which is nourishing and satisfying in a relaxed and straight forward manner and I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe and play with it to your heart’s content.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when altering this recipe and it’s cooking time. Maybe you’re choosing a grain like buckwheat instead of the suggested quinoa in which case there won’t be much difference but you could still add it a little later than suggested in my method and let the stew sit for 10 minutes or so after taking it off the heat. If you choose brown rice for example you might want to cook it separately as it takes roughly 45 minutes to cook and only add it into the stew for the last five minutes or so. In terms of beans the choices are endless and don’t be scared off by me soaking and cooking my own beans here, if you don’t have the time or simply don’t want to – use canned/cartonned beans. Your choices are, as I said, endless and that’s the beauty about cooking! Another great thing about this recipe is that you can use up any leftovers that might be sitting in the fridge.

If you have a cup of grain and some cooked beans left over from a previous meal then simply use those and if you have some vegetables rumbling around at the bottom of the vegetable drawer each time you open it and you don’t really know what to do with them then use them here. Make firm contact with your intuition and pick items you think will work well together, everyone is a good cook deep inside (at least that’s my belief and amen to that). If you are buying seasonal vegetables then I think it’s usually quite easy to pair your items in a successful way but really; anything goes! As long as you, and the people you are possibly eating with, are happy and satisfied at the end of your cooking and eating experience you’ve done a good job. All in life is a learning curve and cooking is a wonderful process to get involved in – it will nourish your mind, body and soul! x

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PORTIONS: 5-6   /  TIME: 50-60 min

1/2 cup dried aduki beans + 1 kombu/kelp strip, soaked over night or at least 8 hours
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup carrots (roughly 2 medium carrots), cut into coins
3/4 cup celery (roughly 2 medium celery ribs) cut into 1 cm long chunks
1 cup cabbage, sliced
1 1/2 cup chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size
400 g can chopped tomatoes
Water + 1 stock cube (or vegetable stock)
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 tbsp dried thyme (for extra herby punch)
2 bay leaves (not for eating, just flavour additions)
1 tsp smoked paprika
Tamari/Shoyu/Soy sauce/Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Drain and rinse aduki beans and the kombu strip and place them in a pot. Cover generously with water and bring to a boil, and once boiling turn down the heat to a simmer.

Let the beans simmer whilst you prepare the vegetables. Once you’re done with your prep work you should be roughly 10 min into simmering the beans and you can heat a stew pot (large) with a little oil.

Add onions to the pot and cover with the oil before covering with lid and sweating for roughly 5 min. Then add the carrot coins and sweat for another 4-5 min before adding the rest of the vegetables including the minced garlic as well as the herbs and paprika powder. Sweat for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Once the vegetables are slightly tender and have released some of their juices add quinoa as well as the beans that are now half cooked (discard the kombu). Cover with 1 1/2 cups of water and a vegetable stock cube or vegetable stock as well as the chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down to a simmer and let simmer for roughly 20 minutes or until quinoa and beans are cooked through.

Enjoy with a side of your favourite grain and/or your favourite simple salad.

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