Sausage, Spinach, and Quinoa Skillet

This is fall in a skillet. I’ve made it three times in as many weeks, and will probably make it again soon–it’s that good! Sausage, spinach, cranberries, quinoa, all cooked in chicken broth and apple cider. Yes, apple cider. Intrigued?

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Sausage, Spinach, and Quinoa Skillet

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

You’ll need:

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 12-16 oz sausage–whatever type your prefer
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cups spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 dried cranberries

How to:

1. Slice your sausage and dice your onion. Put olive oil in a large skillet or pot which has a well-fitting lid. Heat over medium high.

2. Add sausage and onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach. It will look like a lot at first, but then wilts after a couple minutes. Add salt and pepper.

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3. Once the spinach is fully wilted, add the cider and chicken broth, and increase the heat until it boils. Add quinoa, turn heat back to medium, and put the lid on it. Leave the lid on, and let it simmer for 25 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.

4. Remove from heat, add cranberries, put the lid back on, and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.

5. Serve!

What’s for dinner? Winter Edition.

A few weeks ago, I shared some basics of meal planning. I’m a firm believer, simply because it saves me time and money, and we (almost always) have something delicious and wholesome on the table for dinner.

20140114_084943All my theories and tips are all fine and well and good, but how do they play out in real life? Both the husband and I work full time. We often don’t get home until 6:30 pm, so don’t have infinite amounts of time to make dinner. Here’s what we’ve been eating recently to work around our time constraints:

Tacos or Fajitas. They’re so easy, and can be prepped ahead of time if you’re on top of your game. Bonus points for making your own taco seasoning or fajita marinade–it’s not hard!

Italian Wedding Soup. Make your meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. If you do, this is a very simple weeknight meal.

Jambalaya. One of our favorites, because it’s so versatile. I often leave out the shrimp to keep the cost factor manageable.

White Chicken Chili. Just had this one last night. So delicious. To make it even easier, dump everything in the crock pot before you leave for work, put it on low for up to 10 hours, and dinner is served right when you walk in the door. If you do it this way, you don’t have to cook your chicken first–just add two raw chicken breasts, and it will be juicy and cooked to perfection by dinner time. Shred and serve.

IMG_5723Meatloaf. Another great one, though it requires you to be home an hour before you eat. In order to cut down on prep time, I make this recipe the night before, and cover with saran wrap in the fridge. Then all I have to do is slide it in the oven.

Chicken Fingers. 30 minutes start to finish, and you’re done. Serve with a veggie side and some ketchup for dipping.

IMG_5915Pea Soup. Maybe not one for the masses, but we like it. Another recipe that’s easily made ahead or quickly made on a weeknight.

Loaded Nachos. This has become something of a Sunday night tradition. And I like it.

IMG_6116Chili. Ever faithful, traditional, meat and beans chili. Comfort food at it’s finest right here.

IMG_4537Barbeque Chicken. Take the desired amount of chicken breasts or thighs. Put in baking dish. Slather with BBQ sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Lemon Pepper Salmon. Thaw desired amount of salmon. Sprinkle both sides with lemon pepper. Saute in 1 Tbs. olive oil for 4 minutes (or so) a side. It’s done when it flakes.

Whole Roasted Chicken. Nothing like it. Like the meatloaf, this one is very little hands on time, but does require you to put it in the oven 1.5 hours before dinner.

IMG_2021It takes some planning, but eating well on a weeknight is doable, no matter your schedule!

What have you been eating recently? Have any quick, weeknight meals I should add to my list?

Mix it up

Please make this avocado pasta. It’s quick. It’s relatively healthy, depending on the pasta you use. It’s tasty. And it really is done in 15 minutes. No complaints here.

I decided to change up my lunch routine today. Usually, I make a salad or have a bowl of leftover soup. But today, I wasn’t feeling it. Dinner is going to be late. I needed something that was going to stick to my ribs. So I made pasta. With avocado. And it was brilliant. And will most assuredly stick to those ribs well into the evening.

I followed Angela’s recipe, and it led to this wonderful dish. Creamy. Delicious. To make the avocado goop, I didn’t use a food processor as she recommends, and I mashed it with a fork. It worked!

The only downside? No leftovers. Avocado doesn’t really do well if you want to save it. The upside: if you have leftover avocado goop, use chips and eat it like guacamole.

Happy Wednesday, friend!