Looking for healthy dinner ideas that are quick and easy and actually taste good? We are loving this healthy sausage kale quinoa skillet lately.
I know that many of you have expressed that you’re trying to make dinner for small children or even more of you have mentioned that you’re now empty nesters and suddenly you’re learning to cook all over again. With small children you’re probably trying to find things that they will eat without melting onto the floor under their chair to pout, trying to find something healthy that teaches them good habits and helps you kick that baby weight and of course something easy to keep up with schedules.
Of course there’s the empty nesters as well. We often hear that many of you are feeling tired after 40 years of making dinner for your family and now that there’s just two of you it’s hard to find quick and easy dinners that wont leave you with leftovers for a whole week.
So! This is it, our healthy sausage kale quinoa skillet is a great dinner idea for empty nesters and for moms on the go. There’s a product I found at our local Costco and grocery store that we are using but I’m also going to do another post on how to create your own frozen quinoa packets in case your store doesn’t carry one.
How do you Pronounce Quinoa?
I just had to throw the question, how do you pronounce quinoa in since it’s one we get asked often ever since our cookbook, Our Sweet Basil Kitchen came out. There’s a cilantro lime quinoa recipe in there everyone is loving but can’t pronounce it. Quinoa is pronounced, keen-wah. Not key-no-uh.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is not a grain. We eat it like a grain, any pasta or rice dishes I often substitute quinoa in, but it is in fact a seed.
Why is Quinoa Healthy?
Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids. Some things your body can make itself while others need to be ingested by eating certain foods. That is true with these 9 amino acids so quinoa is awesome! It’s a complete protein and totally gluten free.
Healthy Sausage Kale Quinoa Skillet
Alright, so how do we make this dinner? First, let me emphasize that this is a great dish to throw leftovers into or use whatever veggies you like, for example peas, sun dried tomatoes, chicken, beef, etc. We recognize some people don’t like kale, but have you tried baby kale? It’s sweeter and you make like it when cooked in the dish. Or skip it entirely or change it to spinach.
We like to use apple chicken sausage, but again you can use any meat you would like or leave it out for a vegetarian dish.
Now, we use the freezer packages of cooked quinoa and kale, but if you’re not you’ll need to first cook some quinoa. Any color is fine, they all taste pretty much the same.
In the bottom of the skillet, heat a little olive oil and garlic until fragrant. Quickly add in your sausage and veggies and sauté until tender and browning. Add in your quinoa and kale and season with salt, pepper and fresh grated parmesan cheese. If you’d like more flavor you can use lemon pepper, pesto or anything you’d like!
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Zucchini, chopped
- 2 Apple Chicken Sausages, chopped
- 1 Cup Sweet Corn
- 1 Package Quinoa and Kale frozen *or see note
- ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, and sausage and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the corn and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and kale and season with salt and pepper to taste, Garnish with a healthy amount of parmesan cheese to taste.
It’s some of our favorites in a whole new way. Cowboy caviar quinoa is a mashup of the classic cowboy caviar salsa and a healthy quinoa side.
This easy pesto asparagus quinoa recipe is one of our favorite dinners and takes hardly any work on your part, which is pretty much awesome.