Have you ever opened your pantry door and sighed in frustration as you realize you are hungry, but have no clue what you want to eat. No CLUE. This is a frequent occurrence for me, usually in the middle or end of the month when the grocery list is long and the fresh vegetables in the fridge are scant. On occasion I resolve this problem with take-out (in Ann Arbor, No Thai was a favorite) or a quick run to the grocery store for supplies. Sometimes though, those options are just not viable, like in the middle of a tropical storm when most people, including the grocery store, are dealing with a power outage. So I was left with the end of a bag of baby carrots, the last apple, some turkey smoked sausage I forgot I had, and the last few crumbles of feta. The result was tastier than I expected.
Quinoa with Smoked Sausage, Carrots, and Apples
2/3 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1 medium onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 cup carrot strips
1 large apple
2 links, turkey smoked sausage
1 ½ tsp Herbs de Provence (marjoram, sage, thyme, & savory)
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1) In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 1/3 cup water to a boil. Once boiling, generously salt and pepper and add quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer. Stir occasionally to make sure the water is being absorbed and the quinoa is not burned.
2) Finely dice onions and garlic. Thinly slice carrots and cut apple in small cubes, about ½ an inch in size. If sausage links are pre-cooked, thinly slice on a bias. If they are raw, cook links over low heat with a small amount of oil. Slice when cool enough to handle.
3) Add 2 turns of extra virgin olive oil to a large fry pan, heat for 1 minute over medium-high heat, then add diced onions, garlic, and carrots. Sprinkle Herbs de Provence over vegetables and stir in well. Sauté for until onions are translucent and the carrots are cooked, but not soft. Add smoked sausage and cook until hot, about 7 minutes.
4) Add cooked quinoa to the mixture and toss well. Add apples, almonds, and feta. Serve hot.