I had never heard of quinoa until recently when I opened our pantry and saw that my vegetarian roommate, Allie, had a box of it. I was even more interested when I looked at the back of the box and read the nutrition facts (super low-cal, high protein.) I almost immediately turned to Google to get the skinny on this mysterious, whole grain/seed health food. While surfin’ the web, I came across a great recipe for Quinoa Turkey Meatloaf, courtesy of the Denver Post (I’m always looking for innovative ways of using ground turkey since it’s a staple in my fridge.) I decided it was time to see what this quinoa stuff was all about and simultaneously gave this recipe a go! I know what you’re thinking: “Wait a minute, did she just say meatloaf? I STILL have nightmares from my childhood of meatloaf dinners. Hell no.” Think again! This recipe was fantastic: full of flavor and SO HEALTHY, just the way I like it! For side dishes, I threw asparagus on the grill and made skillet potatoes (the way my Dad taught me.) Here’s what you’ll need:
2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb red potatoes, olive oil, garlic (use your personal judgement…I like lots, to my boyfriend’s dismay)
Ok, start off with making the quinoa. The box we had was pre-rinsed so all we had to do was follow the directions on the back (bring water to boil, reduce the heat, cover/cook until all water is absorbed ≈ 15 mins.) So easy!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Now for the flava! In a skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and jalapeño. Saute these for roughly 5 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for a minute before transferring to a large bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
Transfer to the loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes more and then remove from the oven.
For the asparagus: in a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir with a fork. Lay asparagus side-by-side and pierce onto skewers, forming a raft like Tay so beautifully modeled below.
Brush these with the oil mixture and place on the grill. Cook until desired tenderness.
The potatoes are simple. They’re my favorite when prepared this way and are a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Taylor sliced the taters thinly for me, which was a huge help. While she tended to the asparagus on the grill, I heated olive oil in a frying pan and placed the slices in.
I seasoned the potatoes with chopped chives, left over from the meatloaf recipe, and some of the garlic sea salt I discussed in my last post. YUM!
The timer went off shortly after finishing up the sides and we let the meatloaf cool for about five minutes before digging in.
You can tell we really hated it, right!?
All in all, solid performance by the quinoa. Try it out! I highly recommend it: super easy, tasty, filling and best of all, it’s good for you! The recipe I used suggested using leftovers for a sandwich. Too bad we didn’t have any left to test that concept out…next time.
Sprinkled with Love,