Quinoa is a beautifully adaptable ingredient. It illustrates bold flavors and colors at breakfast, lunch or dinner, even as a snack. The quinoa consumption at our house is escalating as I received my first monthly shipment of a years’ worth of this quality pantry item. My Quinoa Banana Bread Pudding recipe (to view recipe and pictures visit https://www.facebook.com/AlterEcoSF) was selected and featured at Alter Eco a few weeks ago. They in turn, kindly sent me a plentiful supply of goods.
Here is the first, of probably many ways, to use this seed like grain in new inventive dishes. Breakfast quinoa bowls are a nutritious morning or dinner option, so completely simple and delicious you will want to make it over and over again. Extra time saver: make quinoa and vegetables ahead, then reheat before serving while cooking the other components (eggs and sausage).
A savory weekend or weeknight fun-in-a-bowl delight. Gluten and dairy free options below. Make sure others are around to share because you may end up eating two or three servings yourself if not monitored (I have no idea what that is like, or speaking from experience – just looking out for you).
BREAKFAST QUINOA BOWLS
gluten & dairy free option
• 1 cup QUINOA, dry
• 1 3/4 cup WATER
• 1 large ONION, sliced
• 1 large RED BELL PEPPER, sliced
• 1 medium ZUCCHINI, chopped
• 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
• SEA SALT & PEPPER
• 3 cloves GARLIC, minced
• 4 LARGE EGGS
• 8 links CHICKEN SAUSAGE *
• 1/2 tsp CRUSHED RED PEPPER (optional)
*Gluten free option: Use a GF chicken or turkey sausage (I used Applegate brand Organic Chicken & Sage Sausage Links in freezer section – 100 calories/3 links).
1. Rinse quinoa and boil in a small saucepan with 1 3/4 cup water with sea salt. Cover and reduce heat; cook for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and let set 10-15 additional minutes until liquid is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
2. Sauté onion, pepper and zucchini in 2 t. olive oil with sea salt and pepper until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add garlic the last 1-2 minutes and cook, stirring frequently.
3. Microwave or sauté sausages* until heated through, cut into bite size pieces if desired. Cook egg desired method (over easy, over hard, sunny side or scrambled).
4. Place equal amounts of quinoa in 4 bowls. Top with vegetables, two chopped (or whole) sausage links and one egg. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, sea salt and pepper to taste (or any other preferred seasoning like dried rosemary, parsley or italian seasoning). Top with hummus, salsa or drizzle of olive oil, if desired (I used garlic hummus, it was delicious). Serves 4.
VARIATION: Use any favorite vegetables or brown rice for quinoa.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 310 calories, 14g fat, 3g sat fat, 245mg cholesterol, 32g carb, 4g fiber, 3g sugar, 19g protein