Cooking on the Amazon

by Captain Bill

Cooking on the Amazon

A guest post by Wendy Kazanjian

I spent time in the galley with our chef, Nora, during our recent riverboat trip on “Dawn on the Amazon,” perusing her many recipes, watching her and helping her cut up fresh vegetables for our meals.  She prepared a delicious soup using only the freshest ingredients and quinoa (pronounced keen wah).  Quinoa was a staple of the Incas and remains popular in regional cooking.  It is a grain that has a delicate flavor and contains more protein than most other grains and is a great alternative to rice.  There are over 1800 varieties of Quinoa. Nora buys her Quinoa at the Belen Market.

Amazon Quinoa Soup


2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 small onion
1 large tomato–no seeds
1 piece of squash or pumpkin
½ cup of peas
2 garlic cloves – minced
½ cup Quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ fresh chicken
7 cups of water to cover the chicken

Cut carrots, celery, squash, tomato, onion  and garlic cloves into small pieces.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat and stir in the vegetables and quinoa.  Cook a few minutes until lightly browned, stirring frequently, then turn off heat.

Cover the chicken with water, add salt and pepper  and cook for about 30 minutes.  Skim the foam off and remove the chicken.  Pull the meat off the chicken and discard all the bones.  Return the chicken to the broth and add the vegetable and quinoa mixture and ½ cup peas.  Cook on high heat for about 10 minutes and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if you like.

Cooking on the Amazon

Guest post by Wendy Kazanjian

Bill Grimes is president of Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises, and the Dawn on the Amazon Café.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Marion Fischer June 21, 2012 at 8:20 am

Thank you for this recipe. As soon as I locate all the ingredients here in Dallas, TX I will be preparing this. Several years ago I was part of a Mission trip in the Peruvian Amazon. We sailed from Iquitos and spent the last day of our trip there including the Market. Never have I felt such a love for a place and people as I did there. This recipe brings back some of my fondest memories. Thank You, Marion

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