Tonight I was in a pinch when our friend Chance came over for a last-minute dinner. Knowing him, and knowing Daniel, I knew it needed to be really filling but very healthy. Quinoa is always a staple in my kitchen (I buy it in bulk at Costco, yet it seemingly never runs out). I also had all the ingredients for a ratatouille on hand.
My Mom taught me to make ratatouille when I was younger. Just throw together some onions, eggplant, zucchini (which always seemed a near-continuous crop from my parent's garden) and bell pepper together with some olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs and viola! Dinner.
To add some protein to tonight's dinner I added some really lean ground beef, sauteed in the same pan after I finished the vegetables. The veggies had sauteed to perfection while the quinoa simmered away - it's so easy and versatile, I swear I could find an infinite number of applications.
I thoroughly mixed it all together in the same pot the quinoa had cooked in (my Mom was also a fan of one pot dinners and I can attest I have a distaste for dishwashing) and added some more seasonings.
Turned out delicious and so easy. Done is less than 30 minutes and packing four vegetables, lean protein and the complex carbohydrate of quinoa (which does double-time with as much protein as lean meat).
Served from the pot on the table, it proved a perfect, fast family-style dinner. And, the loving boyfriend that Daniel is, the meal was topped off with a bottle of champagne to celebrate my first day of work!
If you'd like a more detailed recipe for this fantastic dinner, email me.