Quinoa Pasta with Broccoli, Snow Peas, and Chorizo Sausage

Quinoa Pasta with Broccoli, Snow Peas, and Chorizo Sausage 2

Why don’t we address the giant elephant in the room: I’ve been AWOL for over a year, and I apologize for that, I really do.  However, I’m returning with cool cooking experiences under my belt and some even better ones about to start (including a foray into a two Michelin-starred kitchen!).  Now here’s a picture of a cute baby elephant.  Please don’t go to the circus.

Baby-Elephant-HD-Photos

Source: hdwallpaperstop.com

Today I’m presenting you a pasta with a twist if you will, the base of which is a gluten-free quinoa pasta.  I purchased quinoa elbows from the Whole Foods in Venice, CA, where customers can buy as much or as little of the pasta as they want.  If you do indeed want to make this dish with quinoa pasta, I suggest using the Ancient Harvest brand.  The main difference I’ve noticed between quinoa pasta and “regular” pasta is that there is, as you might guess, no starch or gluten to provide a thick consistency and hearty bite.  With that said, I enjoyed the lightness of these elbows and wouldn’t mind cooking with them again.  Quinoa in general is a great source of calcium, phosphorous, and iron.

To provide a salty and flavor-packed component, I bought one pork chorizo sausage link, which came out to about 3 ounces.  You might opt for other sausage varieties: spicy chicken, lamb merguez, or something without a kick if you’re so inclined.  If you can’t find snow peas, you can easily omit them, or substitute another crunchy vegetable. Lastly, while I tried to keep this dish at one serving size, I found that it was almost impossible given the quantity of broccoli and sausage. So, I hope you won’t mind having leftovers for the next day or later in the week!
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Fennel and Cod in Soy Lime Sauce

Only five ingredients in this beauty!

Like I said, this recipe only uses five ingredients (not counting salt and pepper).  So if you’re thinking that this is a fancy, experience-required recipe, you can guess again!

Before we get to the recipe I would like to show you how I cut my fennel, in case there are some of you at home (or at work now) who are not familiar with cutting this flavorful, licorice-tinged vegetable.  Some of my friends are interested in cooking (here’s looking at you, Olivia!) and have become quite good at it.  Other good friends of mine are either too busy, don’t see the point, or are intimidated by getting started in the kitchen.  I used to fall into the latter category.

But I think you have to ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen?  You will fail miserably – that is almost inevitable in your early cooking career.  But you will also pick yourself up and try it again, and once you get the hang of it you’ll find that you’re not only good at it, but that it’s also more rewarding than you ever imagined.

Anyways, to properly cut fennel, first start with a full stalk, which you can buy at most grocery stores.  Smell the fennel – perhaps it will remind you of those black licorice-flavored Twizzlers you never liked?  Don’t worry, that flavor is very mild once mixed with the soy sauce, lime, and honey.

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