Recipe by: Hilary Morden, cocoabeanthevegetable.com
Serves: 2
Prep Time: Quick & Easy

Ingredients

10-12 ounces italian sausage

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup ecuadorian quinoa

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 shallots

1 1/2 cup loose baby spinach, clamshell

1/2 english cucumber

3/4 cup cherry vine tomatoes

1/2 lemons

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1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add about a quarter inch of water to the pan along with the olive oil. Let the pan heat for 2 minutes. Add the sausage, then wait for the water to come to a boil. Place a lid on the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 15 minutes and then remove the lid and turn the heat back up to medium. Continue to cook the sausage, flipping to brown it on all sides, for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. While the sausage is cooking, rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve with water and add it to a small pot with 1 cup of water, the garlic powder, sage, and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Cook the quinoa until tender and the water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Mince the shallot and coarsely chop the spinach. Add them to the pot with the quinoa, tossing to combine. The heat of the quinoa will lightly cook the shallots and spinach. Let cool.

4. In the meantime, dice the cucumber, and quarter the cherry tomatoes. Slice cooled sausage into 1-inch pieces. Once cooled, add the veggies and sausage to the quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Squeeze about 2 tsp. of lemon juice overtop the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve right away or make it ahead and refrigerate!