warm quinoa bowl with greens and mixed veggies

Image

Lunch is the meal I struggle with the most. Usually during lunch time, I’m at work or school and the easiest option is running to starbucks or au bon pain, or any similar option. In the mornings I’m not usually functioning enough to make myself something to bring along, so this week, I prepared a little something that I can grab and go with. This recipe is really just a base idea for something you can customize with whatever your favorite veggies are, or what ever you need to use up in your fridge!

Ingredients

1 lb of ground turkey (I use 93% lean)
1/2 lb italian sausage (I use sweet links and take them out of their casing because they are usually cheaper than the preground sausage)
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 onion
1 large clove of garlic or 2 small
your choice of greens and veggies (I used baby spinach, brussel sprouts, italian peppers, and leeks)

Instructions

Brown your ground turkey and sausage in a large pan with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. I also threw in a little bit of chili powder, paprika, basil, oregano, and parsley. While the meat is browning, follow the cooking instructions for your quinoa. When the meat is fully cooked, remove it from the pan, and add your onion, garlic, leeks, and peppers with some more olive oil. Once these have started to soften add your brussel sprouts and spinach. Add the crushed tomatoes and ground beef and mix it all together. When the quinoa is finished cooking, add that to the meat and veggie mixture. Once everything is mixed together, you can use this as stuffing in stuffed peppers or stuffed squash, or you can just eat it plain. I also like to add a slice of fresh mozzarella on top as an extra treat, and melt it for a couple minutes under the broiler. Serve and enjoy!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Advertisements

too hot to cook- an easy summertime dinner

Image

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

so i do have to mention a couple of things regarding this tomato salad- you should also add in  some fresh basil, salt, and pepper. and for types of tomato i usually use roma tomatoes but any type will work! i used some heirloom tomatoes this round. another thing with the tomatoes, you do not have to peel them, i personally just don’t like the texture of tomato skin! also, the sausage will vary in time to cook- i usually check it about fifteen minutes into the baking process and they’ll be done when the inside is no longer pink! i love this tomato salad because it’s so refreshing and with the added avocado it really is quite filling!

stuffed squash

Image

Stuffed Squash

  • 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

Step One:

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!

Step Two:

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!

Step Three:

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!

Step Four:

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!

Step Five:

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.

Step Six:

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!

repurposing leftovers!

personally I hate leftovers. Which isn’t good for me considering I’m only cooking for myself. So tonight for dinner since I didn’t have time to do anything, I repurposed my green garden soup!. I added a touch more garlic, basil, and olive oil, and turned it into a pesto! I used thin spaghetti, a dollop of ricotta, and my left over sausage links and it made for the perfect quick dinner!

20130326-172257.jpg

green garden soup and savory scones

Image

i first saw the recipe for a garden soup on le pirate and knew right away that i wanted to try it. it was simple enough to make and it turned out better than i imagined! i tweaked the recipe a little, but was pretty true to form.

Six or seven large (very large) zucchini, chopped
One big head of broccoli, chopped
One leek, white parts only, chopped
Four cloves of garlic, minced
One onion, diced
500ml of chicken consomme
Sea salt and cracked pepper
A big handful of basil
A big handful of mint
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

“In a large pot, saute the garlic and onion and the leek in a little olive oil until transparent. Add the zucchini and the broccoli and stir about for two to three minutes. Then add the stock. Put a lid on the saucepan and let it come to the boil. Simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Then add in your big handful of basil leaves. And your Parmesan. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Then, use a hand blender, or a food processor, to blend it all until smooth. This isn’t a thirty second job, persevere for at least five or ten minutes in order to attain the most glorious and velvety consistency that you ever did imagine. Divide between bowls, reheating first back in the pot if necessary.”

i added a few handfuls of spinach as well, and while blending i added a few scoops of ricotta cheese and a little bit of cream cheese to add to the creamy texture! i topped with some crispy bacon bits, another scoop of ricotta, and a spring of fresh mint!

i also needed something to go on the side of course, so i tried my hand at making a savory scone. most scone recipes are pretty basic, and then you just throw in whatever you want. i followed this basic recipe:

4 cups of flour

3/4 cup of buttermilk

a few tablespoons of sugar

4 tablespoons of baking powder

1-2 teaspoons of salt

2 eggs

1 stick of butter

to this, i added some crumbled italian sausage, caramelized onion, rosmary, fennel seeds, sage, and lots of fresh cracked pepper. i just eyeballed most of these measurements so dont worry about being super specific. to mix the batter, add together dry ingredients and cut in the butter. then mix in the wet ingredients, and whatever else you want to put in the scones. once all mixed i just plop the batter onto a cookie sheet, and back for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

i really enjoyed this meal and i hope you will too!