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Quinoa with Sausage, Pine Nuts and Spinach

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Quinoa is a very healthy grain and it can be used as a more nutritional alternative to rice or pasta. 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup whole grain quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 6 oz mini portabella mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 3 cups packed spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 cup white sauce - béchamel or CSWS (optional)
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely chopped (optional)

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, add the quinoa and 3 cups of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.  Cook until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on high and stir in the sausage, breaking it apart while stirring. Add the bell pepper and onion; cook stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked and the vegetables are soft. Add mushrooms and spinach; cook until the mushrooms are soft and spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat and fold in the pine nuts and quinoa.

Place it in individual bowls and drizzle the top with some white sauce and scallions. Serve it immediately.

Notes:

Quinoa is a very healthy grain and it can be used as a more nutritional alternative to rice or pasta. It cooks really fast and tastes great. In this recipe, I added sausage, vegetables and pine nuts (for a crunchy bite) and topped with white sauce (CSWS) and scallions. It is a complete meal full of great nutrients and flavor.

The white sauce is optional but I definitely recommend it, especially with you make my Cynthia Special White Sauce (CSWS.) Click here for the recipe. My white sauce recipe can be a little time consuming but it is very flavorful! When I make it I usually double the recipe so I have extra to use in other dishes. It goes great on top of any kind of white fish and over chicken. I also love to add it to pasta and top with parmigiano reggiano cheese as a side dish for steak.

Nutrition Facts:

6 Servings

Amount Per Serving (without white sauce)
 
Calories 529.2
 
Total Fat 35.6 g
 
Cholesterol 57.3 mg
 
Sodium 564.1 mg
 
Potassium 386.5 mg
 
Total Carbohydrate 34.6 g
          
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
          
Sugars 3.5 g
 
Protein 18.6 g

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