A Quick, Healthy Quinoa Dinner
I LOVE QUINOA! It's a versitile, complete plant-based protein containing tons of nature-made nutrients to nourish our bodies. It just feels good to serve my family (which has exponentially grown in the last several months!) meals made with quinoa. And what also feels good when time is short and the family is hungry is this: A healthy one-pot meal with lotsa flavor and requires only a little time to make. If your in a busy season, here's one I highly recommend!
- 1 small onion, chopped (I prefer yellow, personally)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbs butter (I always use grassfed) or ghee
- OPTIONAL: 3 pre-cooked spinach feta chicken sausages*see notes*. Cut into small bit-size pieces .
- ¾ cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth**
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 3 cups fresh chopped spinach
- Olive oil for drizzling at the end (about 2 tablespoons)
- ½ cup feta cheese
- Optional: ¾ cup chopped black olives (I chose not to use them this time because two of the five girls protest olives--but I prefer them!)
- *OPTIONAL: Serve this dish in halved, baked butternut or buttercup squash. I LOVE buttercup for this recipe!
- If you are using the sausage (just an option for those looking for a heartier one-dish meal), slice and saute' it so that is it already cooked and slightly browned.
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter/ghee. Then, saute' the onion and garlic until slightly opaque and softened. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute' just a minute or two more.
- Add the quinoa, broth and seasonings to the pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer about 18 minutes, or until quinoa is fully cooked and broth is absorbed.
- Add the chopped spinach to the mix and cover the pan, cooking just until the spinach is wilted.
- Turn off the heat and drizzle the dish with olive oil and add the olives. Stir. Crumble the feta cheese over the entire dish.
- Serve and enjoy!
- **If you are planning to serve this dish in the buttercup sqaush to add to the presentation or taste, simply bake the squash ahead of time by halving it, scooping out the seeds and baking at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until soft enough to poke with a fork. When the meal in the pot is done, fill the squash with the hot mix. You can also pop the whole thing in the oven to reheat.
*You may make this as a vegetarian meal without the sausage. But since I've got a man in the house (and at least one girl) who dearly loves the heartiness and texture of meat, I have been experimenting more with healthy animal protein. Annies brand sausages are antibiotic free and have organic options. I like the spinach feta variety for this meal.
**I often keep Rapunzel vegetable broth cubes on hand so I don't have to store large containers of broth for soups and dishes during the winter months. You simply add 1 cube per cup of water to the recipe and stir well as the cube dissolves.
***Use organic ingredients whenever possible.