Saturday, May 2, 2009

Quinoa with Fire-roasted Red Peppers and Spicy Sausage

I first have to apologize for the lapse in postings on this blog. It has been a crazy few months, and time seems to be flying. I have been busy with the end of classes, and the end of work, and the end of living in St. Louis. Many of you may know, but I will be leaving at the beginning of June to begin a new phase of my life. I will first spend two months volunteering with an organization called Save the Children in Swaziland, Africa, and then I will be heading to New Orleans to begin a degree in International Health and Development (Public Health, essentially) at Tulane University. If you happen to be interested in what I will be doing in Africa, you can visit to read my Swaziland blog while I am away (and you can help sponsor me, too, if you so choose!). So, while there may be a slight hiatus on the blog, I will be back in the fall with new recipes! In any case, with the flurry of preparations for moving out of my apartment, getting ready to head to Africa, finding a place in New Orleans, and the other hundred things I feel like I have to do before June 1, it's been difficult to find time to cook anything, much less be creative in the kitchen. But I can sense that it's been too long for me, and I desperately need a day to myself where I can relax and bake all day, humming along to some good music. While I might not get a whole day to do that anytime soon, I took advantage of a small pocket of time today to try out a new dish, one that is a little spicy and very satisfying in its flavor. You could just as easily make this with some good brown and wild rice, if you would prefer, but I was in the mood for some hearty quinoa and decided to go with that instead.

Quinoa with Fire-roasted Red Peppers and Spicy Sausage

2 links of Fire Roasted Red Pepper Sausage from Trader Joe's (or your favorite spicy sausage), sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion
3 - 5 cloves garlic (or 2-3 tsp. crushed garlic)
1 small red pepper, chopped coarsely
1 small green pepper, chopped coarsely
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 - 1 small can fire roasted green chilies
3 - 5 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups broth (I used chicken flavor)

Place the quinoa in a pot with the 2 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Add 1 tbsp. ground coriander and 1 tbsp. tomato paste, stir well, and bring to a boil again. Cover, reduce heat, and steam as directed for about 15 minutes. In another pan, place the oil, onion and garlic, and saute for about 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the chopped red and green pepper, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp. coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, and the can of fire-roasted green chilies and stir well. Continue to saute for another 3 minutes or so, and then add 2 - 4 tbsp. tomato paste. Cook over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes. Slice the two links of sausage and arrange in a skillet. Fry over medium-high heat for about 6 - 8 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside. Once all parts are done, add the onion-pepper mixture and the cooked sausage into the cooked quinoa and mix well. Add more seasonings to taste if desired. Tastes even better the second and third days!


Grace said...

girl, i desperately want to live in new orleans with you. can that happen, maybe next spring semester? maybe i'll just rent a studio near you. but keep it in the back of your head, anyway. <3

Claire Berman said...

Oh Grace, that would be absolutely lovely if you were in New Orleans at the same time as you have to make it happen b/c you've gotten my hopes up :)