Once considered a fad food only for organic hipsters, quinoa has gained quite a following in the past few years due to its proven reputation as a high-power superfood. This ancient grain is renowned for increasing energy and stamina, making it a perfect pre-performance food for endurance athletes.
Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids in addition to supplying a number of vitamins and nutrients. These qualities make it one of the most complete foods found in nature. The iron content found in quinoa helps supply muscles with oxygen so you can continue to perform your best through tough workouts or long after the beginning of the race.
Nutty in flavor and slightly crunchy, quinoa is the perfect gluten-free substitution for pasta or rice. Its taste is mostly neutral lending itself to many uses in breakfast, lunch, or dinner dishes such as this Italian chicken sausage quinoa bowl. To up the flavor profile, cook the quinoa in broth. Keep it in-line with a clean eating lifestyle by using an all-natural, uncured sausage, and you’ll have a meal fit for any athletic endeavor.
Italian Chicken Sausage Quinoa Bowl
(Photo courtesy of Kari Lund)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 2
- 8oz quinoa (enough to make about 3 cups prepared)
- 1 ¾ cup broth of any kind – or amount of water specified on quinoa package
- 4 Italian chicken sausage links (all natural, uncured), sliced into rounds
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- ⅓ cup packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups fresh chopped spinach
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- Salt to taste
- Prepare quinoa as directed on the package, but replace the water with broth for cooking.
- While quinoa is cooking, heat oil in a large sauté pan and add chicken sausage slices.
- Once chicken sausage has browned, add remaining ingredients to the pan and stir-cook until spinach is wilted.
- Salt to taste. This will depend on how salty your sausage is and you may not need additional salt.
- Place prepared quinoa in base of bowl.
- Add sausage/spinach mixture to top of quinoa and enjoy!
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