Tonight I wanted to try a few foods I have never made / eaten before. Knowing I would be alone for dinner this evening I felt safe to take the risk. First, I started out making my own turkey sausage. This was something I had never thought to do before, but now I feel like I will rarely buy the pre-made stuff anymore. This was delicious and pretty healthy since I used low fat ground turkey.
Putting it together was easy enough and I conveniently had everything in my pantry already. I mixed the turkey with brown sugar, coriander, cayenne, ginger, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. I set it in the fridge and off to work I went.
When I came home I heated a skillet to medium heat and cooked up the turkey, crumbling it with a spoon as it cooked. I drained it of the excess juices, reserving them and set it aside in a bowl to cool a bit.
Next, I began my mushrooms. I removed the stems and cleaned out the gills with a spoon. I wiped off the caps with a damp paper towel, sprayed the tops with olive oil (you could brush olive oil on if you don’t have spray) and then set them in a baking dish.
Next I made the sausage mixture, by adding part skim ricotta, asiago cheese, scallions and sun dried tomatoes to the sausage I had just cooked. I topped each mushroom with sausage mixture and then sprinkled them all with Italian blend cheese.
Next I prepared my quinoa side dish. While I had never made stuffed mushrooms before, I had never even tried quinoa before! I knew the texture and what I was looking for flavor wise from doing some research prior to making this.
First, I thoroughly rinsed my quinoa. Unless your quinoa says pre-washed you should rinse it. Quinoa has a bitter coating on it that could ruin your dish. While the water strained off the quinoa I heated a saucepan with butter and sautéed onion and garlic with a little cumin and black pepper. I also added a bit of my reserved liquid from straining my sausage, in hopes it would help tie the two dishes together a little more.
Once the onion was translucent I added the rinsed quinoa and toasted it for about 5 minutes before adding my vegetable broth and bringing to a boil. Once boiling I turned it down to a simmer and covered it. I knew both the mushrooms and quinoa took 20 minutes to cook, so once the cover was on I put the mushrooms in the oven and set my timer.
At the end of the cook time for the quinoa I added fresh thyme and parsley, as well as diced red bell pepper and some salt to taste. It was delicious and I knew I was ready to serve. The mushrooms came out bubbling and golden.
The quinoa was like couscous but a little nuttier. The mushrooms were spectacular and I couldn’t even tell it was turkey sausage instead of regular. I will definitely be making both of these again!!