Gluten Free Quinoa with Ground Turkey

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So, being of Italian ancestry, I looked at the preparation of Quinoa in perhaps a slightly different way. You know I’d have to put in something to give it a flavor boost! So I added a minced red bell pepper along with the generous amount of garlic. I guess the remaining ingredients are typical. Now, some folks say we should soak the Quinoa in water overnight or for a few hours, then drain. For easier digestion or better taste. Try it…what do you have to lose? (I’ll bet you thought I was going to say that I added tomato sauce! HaHa! Fooled ya!)

Ingredients for 4 side-dish servings:

  • 1 cup Quinoa. I used “Earthly Choice Organic Premium Quinoa”
  • 2 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil., plus 1 more tbl Oil.
  • 2 tbl Butter or substitute, separated into 2 parts…I used Earth Balance.
  • ½ lb. Ground Turkey
  • ½ cup diced Scallion. Discard the last 2 inches at the end.
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced.
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper, slivered or minced. However you prefer.
  • ¼ cup Frozen Peas.
  • 2 cups Water or 1 ½ water and ½ cup Chicken Broth.
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.
  • Fresh Parsley, minced. Optional.


You’ll need 2 skillets. In the first one, heat the olive oil and butter until melted. Saute the scallion until translucent. Add the Garlic and Quinoa. Stay at the pan and stir or turn as it gets coated. Don’t allow the garlic to burn, nor the quinoa. We’re infusing flavor, not really cooking it. Set aside after about 3 minutes.

In second skillet or fry pan place the other tablespoon of Oil and Butter and when heated, cook the Ground Turkey. Break up any large pieces with a fork. Keep turning over, until the pieces are cooked through. This will only take 5 minutes. Add the Peas and Pepper, simmer for only 1 minute more, and set that pan aside. Toss in some minced fresh Parsley for added boost & color. It doesn’t have to be cooked into the dish.

Resume working with the first skillet, and add the 2 cups of liquid, dash of salt and cover. Cook, covered tightly, for 15 minutes on low heat until all of the water is absorbed. You will see little spirals all about the quinoa as it breaks down & is cooked. That’s normal.

At this point, add the contents of the 2 pans together into one and keep covered until ready to serve. We liked the dish very slightly al dente, but preferences change & you may like your softer. Experiment. This is a fast dish. But very healthy: it’s a complete protein, good source of iron & fiber. And the best part…it’s an inexpensive meal.

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