- 1 lb ground beef (with low fat content, say 85/15 or 90/10)
- 2-3 pieces of mild italian sausage
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 c. quinoa
- salt & pepper
- cinnamon & five spice powder (it’s made up of cinnamon, white pepper, star anise, cloves, and fennel)
- chili powder
- bay leaf (if you have it)
- mixed veggies! – in this version i use yellow and green squash and celery
Cut all of your squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulpy insides. Place the squash halves cut side down in a microwavable dish and put about an inch of water in the bottom of the dish. microwave this for about ten minute and check to see if the inside starts to soften. add time if needed! – to oven roast, follow the same steps, including the water, and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until soft! After this, start chopping all of your vegetables into bite size pieces, and try to be consistent with the size. Set aside to be used later!
Roughly chop an onion, and mince two cloves of garlic. Add this to a large sauté pan along with the pound of beef and the sausage links. *** You need to remove the sausage casing to properly make this recipe ***. Brown the meat, onions, and garlic until fully cooked through (no pink spots!), and be sure to season this with salt and pepper!
While the meat is browning, in a small sauce pan add one cup of quinoa with about two and a half cups of water or chicken stock. Bring this to a boil and then allow to simmer for the allotted time on the package (usually about 20 minutes). If you do not have or want to use quinoa, you can substitute in rice or another type of grain!
Once the meat and onions are cooked, you can add in your choice of veggies, in this case , green and yellow squash and celery, and allow to cook in with the meat for about ten minutes. Also when you throw in your veggies, you will want to start adding in your spices. I usually eyeball this part, but when using dried spices and herbs, a teaspoon is usually a good starting point. So maybe a tsp of cinnamon, a tsp of five spice, some fresh ground pepper, another pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of chili powder. You will also add in your bay leaf at this point!
When the quinoa is finished cooking, scoop into the meat and vegetable mixture and mix it all in, continue to cook the mixture for a few more minutes.
Once your mixture is just about finished cooking, you will being to fill your squash halves. Do this in a buttered/oiled glass dish, and try to fit the squash in as tight as possible. Start adding the mixture to the squash, and don’t be afraid to be generous! Once all of the squash are packed full you can choose to add on some tomato sauce if you have it, and some parmesan cheese! Bake this at 350 degrees for about a half an hour and serve!
this dish reminds me of autumn but its so easy that i don’t mind making it in any season! its a very flexible recipe and if you have any spices or flavors that you prefer feel free to try that out and let me know how it went!