Sitting at my desk on Monday, thinking deeply about insurance and strategy and research like I’m paid to do, I had an epiphany: “Tomato-quinoa arancini! With olives!” Some of you might point out that this has nothing to do with insurance, and you would be correct, but I’ll take inspiration anytime, anyplace.
Now, I’ll be up front with you: I didn’t actually end up making quinoa arancini. But it was a jumping off point for what just might be the most successful and flavorful recipe I’ve ever come up with myself – quinoa puttanesca. Obviously, I didn’t come up with puttanesca sauce, nor am I the first person to have replaced spaghetti with the healthier quinoa in a classic Italian dish, but the proportions, timing, etc.? My doing. And I’m pretty proud.
The thought process that took me to this moment of triumph was as follows: “I need a recipe for my Greatist post this week. Hmmmm. I have a lot of cooked quinoa in the fridge because I’m vaguely following the Self Drop 10 plan this week and practically all the recipes call for quinoa. Like these quinoa-banana pancakes. And this quinoa edamame salad with carrot-ginger dressing. So I should definitely use quinoa for Greatist. Mmm, I haven’t had spaghetti sauce in ages. Tomato-quinoa arancini! With olives! [See above.] Yeah, I should definitely use up those olives. But tomatoes plus olives makes me think of anchovies, why is that? Oh, puttanesca! That could work. But it can only have 8 ingredients to fit within Greatist requirements…”
And so on, and so forth. I’m obviously no James Joyce, so I’ll spare you the rest of my stream of consciousness, at least for now. In the end, with only seven ingredients – quinoa, tomatoes, kalamata olives, garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes, and spinach – this recipe totally rocked. It’s packed full of flavor and richness, while still being healthy. I mean, it has two superfoods in it (although, let’s be honest, almost everything seems to be a “superfood” these days), no dairy, and no gluten, and the only real source of fat is the olives, so it’s healthy fat. Plus, it’s easy and satisfying and just the right amount of spicy. Head on over to Greatist to check out the recipe!0
You know, I don’t think I’ve ever made a Puttanesca sauce. Clearly I need to fix that right away. And if you’ve got a limited amount of ingredients to work with olives/garlic/anchovies is a great way to pack in the flavor!
I love Puttanesca and typically make it with whole wheat pasta because I think the sauce can stand up to the nuttiness. I cannot wait to dress up Quinoa with it!