Sausage Apple and Honey-Garlic Quinoa

Learn something new each day – keep your eyes, ears and most of all your mind open.

That’s how I felt about quinoa.  It’s just a tiny little grain, I thought… I’ll just use rice instead, I thought.  Then I kept seeing recipes from friends that incorporated quinoa, so the next time I went to the store, there was a good deal on a big bag of organic – so I finally thought I’d give it a try. Boy am I glad I did! 

I’m not a vegan or even vegetarian, but I have been trying to go gluten-free for awhile now (and failing miserably for the most part).  This tiny little super food is a step in the right direction.  It’s gluten-free!  So those with gluten-intolerance, on a celiac diet or even those following the Body Ecology diet (for autism) can dig into this with glee!

I was so clueless about quinoa, I’ve even been pronouncing it wrong!  It’s pronounced “keen-wah” and was originally harvested by the Incas… it makes me think I should look further into the Paleo diet that’s becoming more prevalent for healthy eaters out there.

Now, I didn’t start this post with the intention of it being educational, but I have found lots of good things to say about quinoa, so I thought I’d share:

 

  • Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
  • Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
  • Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
  • Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.

 

If you want to know more, I found my information here.

Now, let’s get down to business!

Sausage, Apple and Honey-Garlic Quinoa

Ingredients for this recipe:

  • quinoa
  • sausage (optional – this is supposed to be vegan, but I’m a meat-eater)
  • 1 small apple
  • almonds
  • honey
  • garlic powder
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the Almonds:

Take an approximate 1/4 cup of whole almonds, throw them on a rimmed baking sheet, and put in a preheated 375 degree oven for up to 7 minutes… they will start getting really fragrant – that’s when you want to take them out.  Chop finely.

Making the Quinoa: 

Rinse the quinoa in a very fine sieve.  The aforementioned website says to soak for 8 hours to eliminate the phytic acid.  I did not do this step, but I did do a rinse.

  1. To cook, just take 2 cups of water per 1 cup of quinoa and put in a medium saucepan.  For this recipe, that was enough. 
  2. Once the pan comes to a boil, reduce to medium-low, cover and let sit for about 15 minutes – until the water is evaporated and the quinoa is a little chewy, a little crunchy. 
  3. Fluff with a fork, just like rice.

Making the Sausage: 

Not literally making it from scratch… I’m not that ambitious!  We had bought 3 1 lb sausages, so I cut it in half and sliced and diced it – the best I can describe it is, when you slice the sausage into rounds, cut each round into 1/4s.

I didn’t do anything special to it except toss it in a pan and warm it up.  The kind we bought had a really strong flavor, so I didn’t want to detract from the rest of the dish by overwhelming it.

Making the Dressing:

I’m not one for measuring when I’m cooking (only when I’m baking!), so I will attempt to approximate what I used.

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or more)
  • juice of half a lemon
  1. Put honey, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small cup or bowl (something with enough room to stir vigorously)
  2. Add oil, a little at a time; stir until well combined; add lemon juice and stir vigorously (I would have whisked, but I was using a small cup and even my little whisk wouldn’t fit)

I suggest you taste it at this point and add more of whatever ingredient you need.  Mine originally had a really strong olive oil taste, so I added more honey and garlic powder, till it was just right.

For the Apple:

I was told the best way was to slice it really thin… like, 1/8 inch slices.  That was NOT happening, so I just cut 1 apple into cubes, then halved the cubes to make them manageable.  Chop this at the last moment to keep it fresh.

  1. When the quinoa is done, add the sausage, apple and almonds to pan; stir to combine.
  2. Pour the dressing over the whole thing an stir until coated.
  3. Enjoy!
It’s easy enough for a quick weeknight meal, but elegant enough for a dinner party or to serve to your in-laws!
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Sausage Apple and Honey-Garlic Quinoa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s