Dirty Quinoa

Quinoa!  Oh, how I love quinoa!  If quinoa is new to you, it’s time you try it.  It’s a grain and when cooked in water it fluffs up like rice or couscous.  (Thus, it can make a great substitute in dishes where you might think of using rice or couscous.)  It comes in red or white, but I seem to see it more regularly sold in the white variety.  Quinoa is very good for you as it has a higher protein content than any other grain and it’s a complete protein to boot (meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids).  It’s gluten free, rich in fiber, low on the glycemic index, and includes lots of healthy nutrients (including calcium, iron, and protein).  It cooks up similar to rice (using 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water), but I suggest rinsing the quinoa before cooking.

Now. . . this recipe was delicious!  It was a nice change-up to our weekly menu.  We loved how the flavors came together, and the texture was great.  We love a little spice in our house, so we think that using the hot sauce is a MUST.  It really takes the overall flavor to a new level.  I loved how I could make this all in one pan.  Even better, I loved that we had leftovers for the following day because I couldn’t wait to eat more of it!

Dirty Quinoa
Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

1 lb lean ground Turkey
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/2 medium green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green onion, sliced thinly (dark green parts separated from white/light green)
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups chicken broth/stock
1 bay leaf
Cayenne (optional)
Tobasco sauce (optional)

Brown lean ground turkey in a non-stick pan over medium heat until mostly browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Stir frequently until the vegetables begin to brown. Add garlic and white/light green parts of the green onion. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour in quinoa and stir to mix. Add cooked ground turkey, chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally) until the liquid has been absorbed. Season to taste. Serve topped with green onions, additional chopped bell pepper (if desired), along side your trusty bottle of hot sauce.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  371
Protein:  29g
Carbs:  35.7g
Fat:  12.6g  (2.8 = Sat)


7 thoughts on “Dirty Quinoa

  1. Jodi says:

    My family loved this dish! We will definitely make it again. What is the serving size as it made quite a bit– we had about 5 good sized servings.

    • Mimi says:

      So glad you liked it! As for the serving size, I usually just divide the skillet into four sections and serve it up that way. I haven’t actually measured the exact serving size. I’m sure you could easily get 5-6 portions out of this . . . especially with kid-sized portions.

  2. Kristen says:

    I made this for dinner last night and my kids loved it… even little Gavin ate all of it. Thanks for the great recipe.

  3. Juls says:

    Made this last night and it was a hit. Love the hot sauce too. Everyone can adjust to their own level of heat! I love things that my kids will eat and not realize they are eating vegetables! Thanks for another great idea.

  4. A says:

    As you know, I’m on a big quinoa kick, which means I’ll be trying this recipe out soon. I checked out the Protein Bar, but they aren’t franchising yet. . .if ever, but they are open to location suggestions. I’m telling them SLC is a must :). Off to run!

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