Recipe: Super Tasty Quinoa Dinner

FullSizeRenderMy little neighborhood in Queens was buried under over two feet of snow yesterday- so I rummaged through the pantry to look for something to eat, as one does in such a situation. I like quinoa, but if it’s cooked with just water it can be pretty bland and I need some flavor in my life. Allow me show you how I like to cook it.

Sauteing your peppers and onion first to get them caramelized, as well as using tomatoes with jalapenos adds a lot of flavor. Feel free to use plain tomatoes if you don’t enjoy a little heat, but you should try it, it’s really quite mild and adds a little zing! On the flip side- if you want to intensify the bite add in a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne to the onion mix when you add the garlic. Yum!157c4d87-b21d-437f-af5b-519d8117dd55

Directions- Makes approximately 5 cups

1 tsp olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 small bell pepper, seeded and diced (red, yellow or orange)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (14.5oz) Del Monte Petite Cut Tomato with Jalapeno

vegetable/chicken stock or water

1 cup quinoa

salt pepper to taste


3 cups fresh spinach, rinsed, trimmed and roughly chopped


In a medium sized saucepan add the olive oil, red pepper and onion. Cover and sweat the onions for two or three minutes until the onions are translucent. Uncover and saute until veggies start to get a little bit of color, approx. five minutes. If it starts to get too dark, too quickly, turn down the heat and splash in a little stock to de-glaze the pan.

While that cooks- drain the canned tomatoes, reserving the tomato liquid in a measuring jug. Top off the liquid to 1.5 cups with stock or water.

**Add the minced garlic to your pan and saute for a minute more to cook the garlic slightly.

Add the liquid and tomatoes to the pan, bring to a simmer. Add the quinoa, lower heat, cover and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Turn off the heat. At this point you can add the optional spinach (I didn’t have any this weekend, and I’m not going to tromp through three foot snowdrifts to get some 🙂 so there aren’t any in my pictures, but I normally would add it) add the spinach to the pot and put the lid back on for two or three minutes minutes to wilt the spinach. Fluff with a fork.

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Salt and pepper to taste, chop up a bit of cilantro to garnish if you’re into that sort of thing- which I am. This is one of my favorite sides with a nice grilled fish or chicken, and it’s hearty enough to have as a vegetarian main on it’s own or with the addition of some grilled tofu.

**note- the reason that I don’t add the garlic at the beginning is because I like to caramelize the onion and pepper to get the fullest flavor possible and minced garlic would burn and taste bitter well before any browning would happen.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Thick slices of smoky bacon, delicate peppery basil leaves and creamy avocado come together in the sandwich to make every bite just heavenly. Make a meal out of it and serve with crisps or chips. I think this has to be my most favourite sandwich, I’m salivating just typing this up! It’s not just the combination of flavours, but the contrast of textures that makes this sandwich so satisfying to munch.

So grab these ingredients and get to making it; Bread, Mayo, Bacon, Basil leaves, Small onion, Lettuce leaves, Avocado and Salt & Pepper.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Look at the crumb on that!!

Take your bread and slice it. If you know anything about us then you know the love we have for a home made boulé. Feel free to lightly toast you bread if that’s your preference.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

The prefect strip barely a whisper of fat

Everybody has their own way of cooking bacon, but this is how I cook mine. I lay the strips on to  a cooling rack, which has been placed over a baking tray, and then I grill it. I find that the rashers stay flat cooking it this way.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Sorry, just had to get a closer look a those rashers

This bacon is from Mountain Products Smokehouse, and I think it’s fab-U-lous!!

OK, back to the sandwich, I am constantly side tracked.

If you want your onions cooked, now is the time to do it.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Just a dollop

My condiment of choice this time is mayo, I think I’ve also made this sandwich with mustard too, both yummy options.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Spread it thinly or thickly it's up to you

Check your bacon, and turn it for crispy perfection on both sides.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

I just can't get enough

I’ve sliced up half an avocado, I thought about using more, but decided that would be greedy.

Bacon Basil SandwichA little sprinkling of salt , just enough to draw the flavour of the avocado out.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Slightly charred

I like to keep the small boiler onions around as they are the right amount for one. Depending on my mood I’ll either cook them or have them raw in this sandwich.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Delicate in appearance, bold in taste

One or two leaves aren’t enough for me..

Bacon Basil SandwichI like to taste them in every bite.

The star of the showMinimal shrinkage, minimal curling. I slice each rasher in half and pile it high. All that’s left to do is add some lettuce and top it off with the other slice of bread.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Sandwich Perfection

Go get your chops round this!!!!