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Italian Sausage & Summer Veggie Toss with Quinoa

While on the whole this hasn't been our garden's most prolific year, we seem to have our usual abundance of zucchini.  And I keep trying to come up with different and yummy ways to use it to keep us from tiring of it.  (You can see all my other zucchini recipes here.) This dish was nice and speedy--perfect for the first week of school.

We've come to enjoy quinoa (that's ki:nwa, not key:no:a) recently, and I've started to sub it in in recipes where I'd normally consider using rice.  We all really liked it tossed with these veggies and sausage a few nights ago, and from my daughter the meal earned arms-in-the-air "I LOOOVE THIS" praise.  She claimed some of the leftovers for lunch two days in a row. :)

All of the seasoning measurements in this recipe are close approximates.  I almost never measure spices anything unless I am baking, so you'll want to taste as you go along and before serving to prevent over or under-seasoning this.  

Italian Sausage & Summer Veggie Toss with Quinoa
serves 4

1 cup quinoa cooked according to package instructions

olive oil
3 mild or hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 large onion, diced
5 roma tomatoes, diced
1 sweet green pepper, large diced
1 very large or 2-3 small zucchini, halved and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 tsp. salt or more to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper or more to taste
dash red pepper flakes (may omit if using hot sausage)
2 tsp. mixed Italian seasoning or more to taste
1 tsp. dried basil or more to taste

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown sausage on all sides, then break up into bite-sized chunks and add onion, sauteing until soft and beginning to brown.  Add garlic and green pepper and saute for 2 minutes.  Add zucchini and seasonings--salt, pepper, red pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil--and cook 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, stir, and cook for 2 additional minutes, or until all the veggies and sausage are thoroughly cooked and veggies are soft.  Check for seasoning and serve tossed with cooked quinoa.

I purchased a bag of quinoa on Amazon after failing at finding it locally in bulk.  If your family eats it regularly, I'd love to hear where you like to buy it! 


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