Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quinoa Sausage Chili and Cornbread Focaccia

I love quinoa. It's low in calories and high in protein, is easy to make, and is also extremely versatile. I used to make a soup back in high school using quinoa, vegetable broth, tomatoes, and Tofurky sausage. I loved it. I've since lost the recipe. This is my attempt to recreate it.

2 small to medium shallots, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups quinoa
16 oz. can diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers
1 Rapunzel vegetable bouillon cube
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup tomato sauce
2 Tofurky sun-dried tomato sausages

Saute the onion and green pepper in a small amount of oil in a large pot until tender. Rinse the dry quinoa in a mesh strainer, a little bit at a time, and then add it and the tomatoes, water, and bouillon to the pot. Increase the heat and add your spices and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice your sausage into rounds (or into half moon shapes) and fry in a bit of oil until brown on each side.

When the quinoa is cooked and the chili has thickened, add the sausage pieces and stir.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Here's a bonus recipe for you! This cornbread focaccia was wonderful. We ended up finishing it before we finished the chili...

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 cup olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup masa harina corn flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
A pinch of crushed red pepper

Add the yeast to the warm water and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the oil and sugar. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the watery yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough becomes thick. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface and knead for five minutes.

Roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 9-12 inch round. Transfer to a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Lightly poke a spiral of small holes in the dough, not very deep, evenly around the round. Brush with some olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown! Cut into 8 wedges and enjoy.

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