I think it's safe to say that hurricane Irene was a total let-down. Since this was the first hurricane to hit NYC since 1985 (aka WHEN I WAS BORN) I had no idea what to expect. So I joined the masses at any open grocery store on Saturday to pick up a few, non-perishable staples. I walked out with apples, noodles and garbage bags...oh yea - and beer!
Luckily, I keep a fairly stocked kitchen at all times so we had plenty of dry-food options like chips, crackers, peanut butter, bread, tuna, etc. But media forecasts predicted that power could be out for days on end. Naturally, my mind went to my stomach. What could I make that will stay fresh with no power? Personally, I'd probably eat anything - including dairy products but it never came to that. We never lost power and storm did not live up to it's expectations, in my neighborhood at least.
Backing-tracking....in a frenzy on Saturday, I made 2 cups of quinoa...just in case. Sure, I was storing it in the fridge but it's a grain and grains keep for a long time, right? On the bright side, having this on-hand sure did make my post-Irene dinner quick on Sunday night. I was far too lazy from put any effort into cooking, nor did I have anything extravagant in my fridge.
What's a girl to do? Get creative!! That's just what I did with this recipe. I had ground turkey, frozen pasta sauce and quinoa...so I threw 'em together. It was amazing!! Quinoa can be pretty bland, especially pared with ground turkey. Thankfully, I had save some of my homemade pasta sauce, from the first go around (when I added way too many onions and hand-crushed full tomatoes for the sauce.) Throwing this sauce into the pan created a perfect balance of juice to hold the meat and grain together, but it also added so much flavor to the dish. The onions, garlic and basil married so well with this protein heavy dish.
If you're ever in a jam for dinner - keep this recipe on the back-burner (pun intended.) In just 20 minutes you will have a flavorful, full balanced meal, that is sure to please.
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 cup prepared quinoa
1.5 - 2 cups pasta sauce, of your choice.
Cook meat until it is browned all the way through. Once meat is cook, toss in quinoa and mix with meat until heated through. Lastly, add sauce and mix to coat. Season with salt, pepper and other spices as desired.
It really is that easy! Enjoy. :)