Cheesy Quinoa with Kielbasa

It’s December.

When did this happen and why did nobody tell me?

Okay, okay. The decorations in my house and the beautiful tree (which IS getting decorated tonight if I can stop procrastinating!) would indicate that I’m well aware that it’s December. But, I’m having a hard time remembering that November happened. Heck, I vaguely remember October!

I feel like the days are just flying by right now and this is the time of year when I really want them to last. I absolutely love the Christmas season and it always seems to go by too quickly. Do you ever just want to savor everything? I know I do – I can’t wait for a night when I can go home, hang out by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate, listen to Christmas music and stare at our beautiful Christmas tree (again, once it’s decorated!).

But right now, I feel like I’m in a race with time. Working long hours to try to get lingering deadlines met before people are out for the holidays. Coming home and trying to put together Christmas lists. Getting Christmas cards ordered. And don’t you know, the parties are coming up. I love me a good party…but when I don’t get to be “at home” for 5 or 6 straight nights, I am just exhausted!

It is this time of year when I find it really difficult to eat well. I always feel like I just don’t have the time to cook, so it’s easy to grab something on my way home…because I have too many things to do once I get home. That’s fine every now and then, but when those nights are frequently wedged between dinner parties and cocktail hours, sheesh, no wonder my clothes feel a little snug come Christmas Day!

So here’s a little recipe I adapted from Food Network Magazine that is easy, filling and pretty darn low in fat/calories. I also feel like it’s a bit of a comfort food – so perfect for a chilly night. It takes about 30 minutes total – so a simple meal for this busy (but wonderful!) time of the year.

I hope you can take the time to sit back and enjoy this beautiful and festive season with some delicious food, quality company, and anything else it takes to get you feeling all holly ‘n jolly. You know, like some peppermint schnapps in that hot chocolate.

Cheesy Quinoa with Kielbasa (Serves 2 / 10 WW points per serving)

Cheesy Quinoa_Ingredients

Adapted from original recipe found here.

1 1/2 tsp. olive oil, divided

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth + 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

7 oz. turkey kielbasa (I prefer Jennie-O), sliced thin

8-10 spears asparagus

1 cup fat-free cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat oven to 350. Brush 1/2 tsp. olive oil over asparagus and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes. Remove and set aside until cool and then cut into 1-2 inch pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tsp. olive oil. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add broth, water and quinoa. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Cover, reduce and simmer for 15 minutes until cooked through and liquid is absorbed.

Steps for Cheesy Quinoa

In a small non-stick skillet, add kielbasa slices and saute over medium for 4-5 minutes. Stir in onion, flipping kielbasa slices and cooking another 4-5 minutes.

Once the quinoa is cooked, add to a medium bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 of the shredded cheese until blended.

Plate the quinoa and top with chopped asparagus and kielbasa and onions. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

 

Dig in and enjoy!

Cheesy Quinoa with Kielbasa

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Eating Light – Mexican Quinoa Casserole

Today, I invite all of you to head on over to my sister’s (aka my Biffer) blog to check out my guest post. I was able to contribute to Day 10 of her 31 day challenge on blogging about LIGHT – so I provided a recipe for eating lightBaked Mexican Quinoa Casserole

My sister has been on a major quinoa kick – so I figured I’d follow along. Check out my recipe for Mexican Quinoa Casserole on her site: Our Morning Glories.

It’s an awesome recipe for Meatless Monday – but honestly, I ate it for two meals after that! It’s packed with protein so it fills you up without filling you out (see what I did there?). So stop by her blog, stay a while and read about my stinking adorable nephews, and make sure to give this recipe a try!

Mexican Quinoa Casserole_cookingonthebrightside

Also, if you love you some quinoa like we do, check out some of these other recipes she has posted:

Cashew Quinoa

Quinoa Apple Salad

Thai Veggie Quinoa (where the broccoli is raw, right Biffer?)

Lemon-Cilantro Quinoa

And of course, you can find Buffalo Quinoa Cakes on my blog. Because here, we do all the buffalo-flavored things!

Hope y’all have a great weekend!