Quick Quinoa Risotto and Chicken Andouille Sausage

Trader Joe’s is an inspiring place. I think every time I walk out of one of their stores, my wallet may be lighter, but I’m feeling ready to conquer any recipe I come across. I mentioned in my last post that I’m not a chef – I’d barely even call myself “handy” in the kitchen, but I’m getting there slowly but surely.

Last week, post-Trader Joe’s trip and amped up with motivation to crush another recipe, I got to work on this yummy (and quick!) quinoa risotto with chicken andouille sausage. I was never a quinoa girl before, so there was most certainly a learning curve when I was making this – did you know that a little goes a long way?! I definitely didn’t… I wish I had taken a picture of how much I actually made – enough to feed a small army at least. The cheesy, creamy tomato risotto balances out the spicy andouille sausage perfectly and was a great lazy Sunday meal with enough leftovers for a delicious Monday lunch.

Similar to last week’s post, this meal is packed with protein and flavor and is obviously Celiac friendly!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Now, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Season with salt to taste.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, slice the andouille sausage into half inch slices.
  3. Once water is boiling, add quinoa and stir. Turn heat to low and cover for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add a splash of olive oil to a hot pan and add sausage. Cook on high, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once quinoa is done, add in tomato sauce, chicken stock, cheese, and seasonings.  Stir.
  6. That’s it! Take a big ol’ heaping of risotto, divide between plates (or bowls if that’s more your style) and top with sausage. Garnish with any remaining shredded pecorino romano cheese.

Enjoy!

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I can’t wait for you guys to try this recipe – it’s seriously so simple and scrumptious. Let me know what you think – I’d love to hear from you!

Bon appétit! 

Homemade, Hearty, and Protein-Packed Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Let me first start by saying that I am not a chef by any means. I’m definitely still trying to figure out this whole cooking thing. I would; however, like to give a shout out to Blue Apron because my boyfriend and I had their meal boxes coming once a week for about a year and let me tell you – it really did help expand both my palate and my skills in the kitchen.

We’re in the thick of cold and flu season here in Detroit and it’s now my boyfriend’s turn to catch the plague. We’ve been pumping him with all the cold medications, but I really wanted to make something cozy for him to munch on. To me, there’s nothing better than homemade chicken noodle soup to make you feel better when you’re sick.

Here’s what you’ll need to make a yummy, gluten-free chicken noodle soup:

  • 1 Jumbo crock pot
  • 2 Small pots
  • 3 Chicken breasts
  • 2 Containers of gluten-free chicken stock (64 oz.)
  • 2 Large potatoes
  • 1 Box Banza chickpea pasta
  • 3-4 Stalks of celery – chopped
  • 1/2 Onion – chopped
  • 2 Cups carrot – chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Any additional seasonings you may enjoy (thyme, parsley, garlic, etc.)

What I love about crock pot meals is that they’re seriously the most simple meals to make – you just plop everything in there, put it on high for 4 hours, and wait. This meal is going to go from about a 3 [on the 1-10 scale] to a 4 only because you’ll need 2 other pots to cook your potatoes and pasta.

Now, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Place chicken breasts in crock pot.
  2. Pour in both containers of chicken stock.
  3. Chop celery, onions, and carrots to your liking and add those to the crock pot.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and any other seasonings to taste.
  5. Turn crock pot on high and set for 4 hours.
  6. Stir occasionally.
  7. With 30 minutes remaining on the timer, take chicken breasts out and use 2 forks to shred. Add shredded chicken back to the crock pot and stir.
  8. Cube potatoes and place in pot of salted boiling water for 20 minutes. We originally started cooking the potatoes in the crock pot with the rest of the soup but found that the potatoes weren’t cooking quickly enough – this is why I say to keep them separate until the very end. We want to make sure you’re not eating partially cooked potatoes!
  9. Banza pasta typically requires 9-11 minutes to cook. I recommend cooking for about 8 because once you add to the crock pot, it will continue to cook even on “warm” setting. Nothing is worse than overly cooked and gooey chickpea noodles.
  10. Stir both potatoes and pasta into crock pot.
  11. Salt and pepper to taste. (Did I mention I love salt?!)
  12. Divide into bowls, serve, and enjoy!

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The addition of potatoes to chicken noodle soup is a new development for me, but my boyfriend, being 1/4 Irish, never knew any other way to make it. I’ve got to say, I really enjoy having them in there – it adds a little bit more substance and heartiness to the soup. This recipe is packed with protein – from the chicken to the chickpea pasta – and leaves you warm, full, and hopefully feeling better!

I’d love to hear if you try out this cozy recipe! Leave your thoughts below or send me an email via the contact form.

Bon appétit!