Life’s a feast: Slow-cooked butternut, chicken and quinoa stew


Seriously, what’s not to love about throwing a few ingredients in a pot, then spending a day on the slopes/work/relaxing and coming home to an instant, nourishing bowl of deliciousness? This Thai-infused stew-cum-soup is all that. It’s a definite crowd-pleaser – four out of five of my family loved this, my seven-year-old excluded. This dish is a subtle way to start introducing those unique fragrant Thai flavours to young palates. The addition of quinoa bulks up the protein factor, resulting in full tummies for all. And the butternut gives a good hit of vitamin A, which is a great immune booster. Enjoy!

1 medium butternut about 8 cups, cubed
400ml can coconut milk
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons honey
1-2 tablespoons red or green curry paste,
depending how strong you’d like it
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoons sea salt
4-5 kaffir limes (optional, I used dried ones from the Asian Market at The Landing)
700-800g chicken thighs or breast
2 cups quinoa, cooked
cup peanuts, crushed a little in mortar and pestle
cup coriander, chopped
Juice of half a lime

1.Put the butternut, stock, honey, curry paste, ginger, garlic, salt, lime leaves and chicken in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. If you do not have a slow cooker, preheat your oven to 140 degrees and place ingredients in a sealed dish for 3-4 hours.
2.Meanwhile cook your quinoa following directions on the pack. I use my rice cooker with a ratio of 1 cup of quinoa to 1 cups of water.
3.Remove chicken with a slotted spoon, shred with two forks, discard lime leaves and pour in coconut milk. Leave for a further 10-15 mins to warm through. Blend butternut mix with a hand blender until smooth.
4.Add back the chicken, quinoa, peanuts, coriander and lime juice. Stir to combine and serve hot.

NB: I like to leave a little coriander, peanuts and add a little fresh chopped chilli to garnish before serving. You can add a variety of other vegetables to add nutritional value, just briefly blanch them. Pop them in the soup before serving so they don’t get overcooked and lose any nutrients.