Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash – Sweet acorn squash stuffed with spicy Italian sausage, quinoa, sweet dried cranberries and walnuts.  A perfect fall dinner that can be even be made ahead of time!

Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash - Sweet acorn squash stuffed with spicy Italian sausage, quinoa, sweet dried cranberries and walnuts. A perfect fall dinner that can be even be made ahead of time!


My 10 year old has off school today.  I have to say, I am actually kind of excited about it.  It has been awhile since we have just spent the day together.  I am trying to plan some of our favorite things to do together today.  After he does his chores that is.  I made the mistake of going into his room today.  The boy has a list of chores waiting for him when he gets home tonight.  I go in there every day, but for some reason today it was over the top a mess.   Hopefully he will be motivated to get it done so we have a fun day together! Complete with his favorite Street Tacos for dinner.

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Cheesy Sausage Meatballs

Cheesy Sausage Meatballs – A classic comfort food appetizer with a healthy twist.  Quinoa helps make these sausage balls healthier, without losing any great flavor.

Cheesy Sausage Meatballs - A classic comfort food appetizer with a healthy twist.  Quinoa helps make these sausage balls healthier, without losing any great flavor.

Are you ready for the holidays?  Is your tree up?  Is your house decorated?  I can finally say ‘yes’ to some those questions.  But am I ready?  Not even close!  I have no idea what I am going to do for presents.  My husband is nearly impossible to shop for, and I haven’t even started.  And, my son doesn’t seem to want anything exciting for Christmas.  He is very into sports, so a few jerseys from his favorite players and a couple games make up most of his list.  Santa is going to have a tough job with him this year!  On Christmas Eve we always give him a couple small presents to open.  Usually a pair of pajamas and a Christmas ornament.  This year he told me I didn’t need to get him pajamas, because he doesn’t really wear the matching pajama sets anymore.  Seriously?!  When did my 9 year old get so old!

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Turkey Quinoa Muffins Cups


Turkey Quinoa Muffin Cups

Not sure I am ready for Monday this week.  We had a busy weekend getting stuff done around the house, as well as a trip to Costco.  We are having a Super Bowl party next weekend, so we had to stock up on a few things, as well as get a few repairs done at home.  Saturday afternoon turned into an impromptu faucet replacement in a bathroom.  No damage was done, so that is good, but still not exactly what I had in mind for the weekend.

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Quinoa Bites

Crispy Quinoa Bites

The whole blogging world seems obsessed with quinoa right now.  There are so many different salads, cakes, and side dishes out there.  Lots of people even eat it for breakfast, kind of like oatmeal.  I have been experimenting with different salads and versions trying to find more ways to incorporate it into our diets as well.  It is so good for you, and so versatile, you can’t help but want to eat it!  I have had doing a “cake” on my list for awhile, so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was time.

I made this for lunch a couple weeks ago.  It was the perfect light lunch in my opinion. I used regular muffins tins, but you could use a mini muffin tin and serve it as an appetizer.  My husband suggested putting in some Italian sausage next time.  I was actually going to try that last week, but with my parents here it just didn’t happen.  The flavors would go really well together, and it would make for a great dinner option. I plan on making it very soon.

It may come as no surprise, but my 7 year old wouldn’t get even close to this.  We did force him to try one bite, but he wasn’t a fan.  I didn’t expect him to be, but had to give it a shot.  Now, when I do the sausage version I will be giving it to him as his meal, and hoping the sausage is enough to make him eat it :)

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Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing #SundaySupper

Mexican Quinoa Salad

I am happy to be back with #SundaySupper this week.  This is only my second time joining them, but it is such a supportive and great group to be a part of.  Today we are celebrating the 4th of July.  Seriously, check out all the amazing recipes at the end of this post.  I am really not sure how to pick what I am going to make on the 4th, there are just too many delicious options!

I am completely obsessed with avocado.  I put it on sandwiches, in salads, in pasta salads, eat it plain….you get the point.  I just realized that the last #SundaySupper post had avocado too :)  Anyway, when I saw this recipe for a quinoa with an avocado dressing I was one happy girl.  I have been trying so many different quinoa recipes lately, this just seemed like the perfect one to try next.

You could really change this up and put in whatever veggies you like.  I stuck with the more “Mexican” style veggies, if there is such a thing.  But really, anything you have on hand or is your favorite would work.  The avocado dressing is what really stands out in this to me.  It is so creamy, and buttery it just works well with the quinoa.   And a bonus of this salad?  It is great warm or cold.  Perfect for your 4th of July picnic or barbeque!

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Parmesan-Sage Quinoa Cakes

Parmesan Sage Quinoa CakesI am very excited to introduce you to Cassie today.  Cassie is the host of Bake Your Day.  She and I started blogging around the same time, and have been followers of each other since the beginning.  Cassie guest posted for me last summer, but we have both come so far, I asked if she would help out again.  If you are not already a fan of Bake Your Day, then you really need to head over there.  Trust me you will NOT be disappointed.


Hey there everyone, I am Cassie from Bake Your Day and I am honored to be posting for Erin today.  I moved earlier this year and remember how hectic it was.

Erin and I met way, way back at the beginning of both of our blogging “careers” and I have loved watching Erin’s blog grow into what it is today.  She and her recipes are so real and honest, and we definitely share a love for curry!

I have a deep affinity for quinoa.  It is the staple of all staples in my house and I add it to lots of things like burgers, salads, quesadillas, etc.  I think I love it the most for its versatility.  I love that it picks up the flavors of whatever you pair it with.

I have found my new favorite quick-fix meal in these cakes.  So simple and quick and I can’t even begin to tell you how much flavor they have.  Fresh lemons and herbs shine through these.  If you don’t have sage, use any herb that you like.  They are fresh, light and summery!

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A Virtual Memorial Day Potluck with Celebrations

Quinoa Salad
We are only a week away from Memorial Day, are you ready?  If not, I have something for you today that will surely help!  A few of us have teamed up with Celebrations.com to bring you a Virtual Potluck, with a complete Memorial Day menu.  Be sure to check out the other great recipes at the end of this post.

I decided to bring a side dish to the party.  I wanted something light, but full of flavor, and perfect for this start of summer day.  I wasn’t in the mood for a lettuce salad or even a pasta salad.  Quinoa sounded like a fun alternative.   I have been trying new things with Quinoa lately, and I think this is my favorite so far.  It is great hot or cold, so it is perfect for a potluck.

I sauteed zucchini for this, but you could use just about any veggie you like.  For more color, and another veggie I also threw in some frozen corn, I thawed it first :) I would have loved some diced avocado in here as well, but I didn’t have any on hand.  The lime and cilantro vinaigrette was the perfect thing to tie it all together!

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Experimenting with Quinoa

I have wanted to try Quinoa for a long time now. It is on cooking shows and in magazines, and everyone raves about how good it is for you. The thing that has stopped me has been the price. A bag of it locally was almost $11. I finally mentioned it to my husband, and he used his deal seeking skills and scored me 4 bags of it for about $20 at Amazon. You can get White Quinoa for cheap at Amazon as well. It is Red Quinoa, I am not sure if there is much of a difference between the white and red. So last night was the night……

Let’s start with, it wasn’t what I hoped it would be. I am not giving up yet, I have 4 bags of it! I am not sure my recipe was a good one, and I may have made a mistake in cooking it. I followed my recipe for the water to Quinoa ratio, which may have been the problem. My husband came and looked in the pan when I had about 2 minutes left of cooking, and he said “apparently we aren’t eating for a long time, huh?” There was still a ton of water in the pan! So we looked at the package, and the ratio was way different! So I cooked until the 15 minutes as stated on both the recipe and the package, and then just drained the extra water. Who knows if that was what I should have done? It wasn’t bad, just not good. I will seek out a new recipe next time.

The pork chops I made with the quinoa turned out much better! Should have taken more pictures, so I could blog more about those!

Pork Chops
Pork Chops
Garlic Salt
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan over high heat. Sprinkle each side of the pork with garlic salt and pepper. Put pork in pan, and sear side 1 for about 3 minutes. Flip over, and put in the oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your pork chops are.

1 Tbls butter
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp thyme (1/2 Tbls fresh thyme)
1/4 salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 dash lemon juice

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa, and toast until lightly browned – about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, saute the onions and garlic until soft. Stir in the thyme and salt.

In a bowl, toss quinoa, onion and dash of lemon juice. Serve with delicious pork chops, and you have yourself a pretty quick and easy dinner.