February was somewhat of a tumultuous month for me. Personally there were a lot of things that recently came up in my life that challenged me. It caused me to reflect a lot on my character and values, and to re-evaluate what’s most important to me. As hard as times like these are in my life, I can’t help but be grateful for them. When I look back at the hardest moments of my life, I realize how much these moments have defined who I am today. I know that what I’ve been going through this past month will help define who I am in the future and it brings everything into perspective.
Also, during hard times I realize how much cooking brings a sense of calmness to my day. It allows me to break away from time-wasting distractions and just think and reflect on my day and how I’m feeling. Even though some days I don’t feel like putting in the time and energy, I’m always glad I did afterwards.
This meal is the ultimate comfort dinner, without the bad stuff! I’ve turned to it many times this winter and my favorite part is that I can make a giant batch and freeze portions to eat a few weeks later. It’s one of those meals that you can clean out your fridge with and it doesn’t really matter too much what goes in. You can’t really go wrong!
The spiciness of the chorizo sausage and the nutty flavour of the quinoa give this meal a lot of depth! You can crank up the spice with some added peppers and seasoning, or you can make it more mild with more vegetables and tomato sauce. I’ve never really measured the ingredients that I use for this recipe, except this last time I tried to take more careful notes. The biggest thing to keep consistent is your liquid to quinoa ratio. You don’t want your quinoa under or over cooked, so I would keep those ingredients fairly consistent. The rest you can play around with to your hearts content!
- 3 chorizo sausages, chopped
- 15-20 prawns
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 4 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 cups of cabbage, chopped
- 2 sweet peppers, diced
- 2 cans of 16oz stewed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of tomato paste
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- In a large dutch oven pot, saute the sausage, onions, garlic, and jalapeño on medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the celery, carrots, cabbage and peppers and saute for another 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, paste, broth and spices and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the quinoa and turn the heat to medium/low heat with the lid on and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked.
- Add the prawns and cilantro and heat until prawns are cooked.
- Remove from heat and mix thoroughly until quinoa is evenly distributed then serve!