It’s summer. You don’t want to waste a lot of time cooking, but you still want to prepare meals that are healthy and nutritious. There’s a quinoa bowl for that! This Summer Quinoa Bowl with Ground Sausage, Tomatoes, and Zucchini contains fiber-packed whole grains and veggies and the protein kick of ground sausage that will keep you and your family feeling full – and avoiding that dreaded post-meal crash. It also keeps great in the fridge for leftovers; in fact, for me it has been one of those dishes that has seemed to taste better and better with each serving, which is always a plus!
When purchasing ground sausage, you can always go for one of those tubes of it that you’d traditionally buy to cut into breakfast patties, but also note that many butchers should sell uncased ground sausage, as well. I got the meat for this dish from the Amish butcher that I frequent; it was packed just like ground hamburger meat, in one-pound packages, which for some reason surprised me. I hadn’t equated that ground sausage meat as being in the same category as the (likely way more processed) ground breakfast sausage meat sold in the tubes. The benefit of buying such meat from a local butcher or more health-oriented grocery store is, of course, that you’re more likely to find offerings of higher quality – hopefully of the organic, hormone-free, and humanely-treated caliber. I’m an unapologetic meat-eater, but consuming as much of my meat in the latter category as I can is what I strive for. Good karma points!
-1 cup quinoa
-2 cups water or stock
-1 lb. ground sausage
-1 small onion, chopped
-2 tbs. grapeseed oil
-1 cup grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise into halves
-1 small zucchini, cut into wheels, and then those wheels cut into fourths
-1/4 tsp. dried oregano
-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. black pepper
Prepare quinoa according to package instructions (standard preparation is to rinse quinoa in a fine strainer, then add to a medium-sized pot with two cups of water or stock, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes). While the quinoa is cooking, add the chopped onion to a large frying pan with one tablespoon of the grapeseed oil; cook over medium heat for about four minutes, stirring frequently. Then add ground sausage (make sure it’s broken up well) and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, stirring periodically to ensure that sausage cooks evenly and there’s no redness left.
To another large frying pan, add the other tablespoon of grapeseed oil along with the zucchini and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once everything is ready, mix the quinoa, sausage-onion mixture, veggies, and spices all together in a big mixing bowl. And that’s it – you’re ready to serve! Makes four to five generous servings.