Tag Archives: leftovers

What I love about quinoa

Quinoa has been getting a lot of love lately. And for good reason. It’s high in amino acids, protein, and fiber. Plus it’s gluten-free. I always have some quinoa in my pantry ready to pair with anything from a filling breakfast, to an elegant dinner, to use when emptying the fridge of leftovers.

It’s easy to prepare since it requires 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer 10-15 minutes until all of the water has been soaked up and the germ separates from the seed. Use how you see fit.

Quinoa Breakfast Parfait

The slightly nutty flavor of quinoa brings a savory edge to this yummy breakfast treat.

  • Quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Your favorite fruits (blueberries & strawberries for me!)
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Combine and enjoy! Add some milk if you prefer a cereal variation.

Quinoa for Dinner

Mustard Marinated Chicken on a bed of quinoa

Quinoa with Leftovers

One of my favorite ways to enjoy leftovers is to make a batch of spaetzle (german egg noodles) and add last night’s Indian, Thai, Chinese etc. for a lovely leftover creation. In an effort to be more versatile I realized that quinoa would be a great substitute for my spaetzle.

Just cook the quinoa as listed above (or as the box indicates) and add to your favorite leftovers. I find that it works best with dishes that have a lot of sauce as the quinoa will soak it up.

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Guest Post! Scavenged Dinner-Leftover Wine Pasta Sauce

As some of you know (or perhaps have guessed by this point), Ben and I both LOVE food…and we love to cook together. He is a pretty great cook and is phenomenal at whipping up meals out of the food that’s left in the fridge when we haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery store. That being said, he made a great dinner on Tuesday night for himself (I had book club) and was so sweet to put together a lunch “to-go” container for me for the next 2 days. It was some of the best pasta sauce that I’ve had. He offered to guest post about it, so without further ado…

On my ride home on the bus I realized that I wanted to make dinner so I picked up a jar of pasta sauce from the Seven-Eleven between the bus stop and Annie’s apartment. The jar of Ragu was the only thing that I bought to make this sauce. I bought the only jar that they had which was a plain type of sauce, I think basil and tomato.

A note before going further: I don’t really measure anything when I cook and I recommend you to do the same. I cook to taste. I add and add until I think it tastes or looks right. This does make for mistakes and recipes not coming out the way that I thought they would, but I believe that I makes me a better cook because I can learn from my mistakes.  So please forgive me for my vague recipe.

I started the water boiling for the pasta. (Every kitchen should always have some kind of pasta.) It doesn’t matter the type of pasta. This was soccer-shaped pasta that we got in a gift bag at a wedding.

I put a medium pot on the burner on medium-low. While the pot was heating up, I took one slice of thick cut bacon that I had in the freezer and cut it up into very small pieces. I used scissors to cut it because it was difficult to cut while frozen. I put the bacon into the pot and let all of the fat melt.

I grabbed some not so good looking Kale from the fridge and using my hands ripped it into small pieces throwing out the mushy bits (in total I used about a cup of kale). I turned up the heat on the pot and added the kale. (I did not add any salt because I was using some of my home-cured bacon which was a bit salty, but if you are using less salty bacon I would recommend adding a pinch of salt here.)

I added some dried minced garlic, dried parsley, and dried basil. I sprinkled each of them. Add as much of each to your level or preference of each of the flavors. I was heavy on the garlic, light on the parsley, and used a healthy dose of basil.

I let the kale get nice and fried and let the bacon get just a bit crispy. You will know when it is right from the smell. I ran into an issue here because I needed something to sweeten up the sauce. My original thought was to use honey because it was one of only a couple items left in the kitchen to eat. (If you try this with honey, please let me know how it goes).

I had a bit of luck here. Annie had previously been home and she had a glass of Gewurztraminer, a sweet aromatic wine that Annie is very partial to. She left it for me to finish and I decided that this would be sweetening agent that I needed. I added enough wine to cover the bottom of the pot with a decent layer to de-glaze the pot. This got up all the good flavors that were crusted to bottom of the pot. I let the wine sizzle of a minute or two then turned the heat down to low.

I added the pasta into the boiling pot at this point. I also added some of store-bought sauce to the sauce pot at this point. I added only enough to give it the desired volume of sauces. I think I used about half the jar. When the pasta was al dente, the sauce was warm and ready to eat.

I was really suprised at how well it came out. I think it was one of the best “scavenged dinners” I have ever made. In fact, it was a lot better than some of the nicer dinners I have ever made. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Jar of regular pasta sauce
  • 1 slice of thick cut bacon
  • Dried minced garlic
  • Dried Parsley
  • Dried Basil
  • Kale (Fresh would be best)
  • A glass of half drank Gewurztraminer
  • 1 lb of pasta
  • Kosher salt

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