i am happy to announce that this quinoa with grilled zucchini is officially beach picnic tested and approved. in a bid to, uh, actually get out and do things, um, ever, my husband and i have taken dinner to the beach twice recently. this dinner, to be precise. both times. if it ain’t broken (and it’s already half made using leftovers from tuesday’s recipe), right?
the first time we brought this quinoa to the beach, it was intentional. as in, i had been recipe testing for this post and planned to bring the leftovers to the beach for us. the second time (just a week later), we decided to go to the beach, then turned our attention to what we could possibly scrape together to bring with us for dinner.
my husband voted for bringing open flames and raw poultry to the beach. ever the wet blanket, i suggested that perhaps we could just throw this quinoa together again in our kitchen and then be on our way. you know, to take advantage of our countertops that, albeit ugly, are not made of sand. (is anyone else having flashbacks to eating sandy pb&js as a kid??)
not violating beach prohibitions on open flames/not eating sandy chicken/laziness won out and we threw this quinoa together in literally 17 minutes and then were on our way out the door. hooray for being on a throw-zucchini-and-onions-on-the-grill tear that makes this so super easy to put together in a quick minute!
all of this is to say, even if you’re not debating between eating sandy/raw (no open flames, ‘member?) chicken at this beach or this quinoa, i still think this quinoa is worth a spot on your summer menu. it’s easy, fast, portable, requires very little stove time (read: heating up the already insufferably hot kitchen), and makes for fantastic leftovers.
as written, the recipe contains chicken/turkey sausage but you could very easily leave that out and either just move on or toss in some olives or maybe charred corn or cherry tomatoes (oh my goodness, i want all of these variations now AND i just finished dinner! what is my deal?!). right, as i was saying, vegetarian or not, up to you. either way, quinoa with grilled zucchini will be delicious, and not just in a “better than sandy/raw chicken” kind of way, either.
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 1 precooked chicken or turkey roasted garlic sausage, sliced into coins
- 2 – 3 grilled zucchini, left over from grilled zucchini and onions with mint and feta and roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 – 1 ½ grilled onions, left over from grilled zucchini and onions with mint and feta and roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice from half a lemon
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup fresh mint, thinly sliced
- 4 oz. (1 cup / 113 g.) feta, crumbled
- cook quinoa according to package directions. when it’s done, spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool quickly (just enough so it doesn’t melt the feta).
- sauté the sausage pieces to warm them up (and give them a little golden brown color, if you like them that way).
- while the quinoa is cooking, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and oregano in a small jar with a lid.
- when the quinoa is cool enough, transfer it to a large bowl and add the chopped vegetables and sausage. shake the small jar to combine the ingredients then pour over the quinoa mixture. toss everything to combine. add the feta and mint, then toss gently once more to distribute the feta and mint without totally mashing them in.
- optional: pack into tupperware, grab forks, and head to the beach.