1Soak quinoa several hours or overnight, rinsing and changing the water a few times. Rub the quinoa vigorously between your hands to scuff the surface of the seeds, which helps to release the bitter coating.
2Prepare the tomato sauce before continuing with the rest of the recipe.
3While the tomato sauce is simmering, coarsely chop your vegetables. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and when hot add 2-3 tablespoons of water or vegetable stock. I used a paella pan for this but any large frying pan will do. The liquid should sizzle when it hits the hot pan.
4Starting with the vegetables that take longest to cook, lightly sauté adding additional vegetables after a few minutes and light caramelization. In this case, I started with carrots and red onion, then added the cauliflower, broccoli, peppers and zucchini, in that order. Top up with liquid as you go to prevent scorching. Don’t worry if the vegetables are not cooked through. You just want to sear the vegetables a little at this point.
5Add the tomato sauce, chilli, and cilantro to the pan, followed by the rinsed and drained quinoa. It may not look like enough liquid but it probaby is. You’ll know towards the end of cooking time whether or not you need to add any of the reserved soaking liquid.
6Stir everything together in the pan to blend the ingredients. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and allow the ragout to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
fresh Tomato Sauce
1Sauté onion in a little water or vegetable stock until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic. Stir a minute or two and add tomatoes. Allow sauce to simmer slowly for an hour or two, or until tomatoes are fully broken down. You can puree the sauce if you prefer, but it isn’t necessary. Stir in fresh basil. Set aside.