Monday, January 18, 2010

Turkey and Spinach Quinoa

the most expensive cookware i own -- 6.75 quar...
Quinoa is a grain-like food that's native to Peru.  The Incas are said to have thrived on it, and called it 'the mother of all grains'. It's a very popular dish here. I say it's 'grain-like' because although it's cooked and served like a grain, it's actually a seed, and not grown from a grass plant, like the true grains are. The quinoa plant itself is actually more closely related to the beet and spinach plant than it is to rice or wheat. When I first came to Peru, I had no idea how to cook it.  Here's a recipe I learned.

What You Need:

1 1/2 C of quinoa
2 C of chicken broth
1 t ground cumin
1 1/2 lb. turkey tenderloin
1/4 t of salt
2 small onions, sliced (or scallions if you can get them!)
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 C of fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1 C of salsa

How to Make It:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Spray a cast iron Dutch oven with cooking spray.
Pour the quinoa into the prepared pan.
Add the chicken broth and cumin and stir it all up.
Place the turkey into the pan.
Sprinkle in the salt.
Add the onions
Layer the zucchini into the pan.
Spread the spinach leaves over the zucchini
Scatter the bell pepper slices over the spinach.
Spread the salsa out evenly over the top.
Cover and bake 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.

This is a great all-in-one meal.  I love it when I don't have to cook more than one cooking dish, don't you?  That's a Le Creuset French Oven in the picture up above, you can learn more about cooking with one if you click on the pic. 

I would imagine that this can also be done in a slow-cooker, but unfortunately, I haven't been able to get one here to Lima yet.  I'll keep it on the wish list. ;)

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