Dedicated to Juan

Last summer Paul and I had the honor of hiking the four-day Inka Trail to Machu Picchu with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.  Only one of them spoke English and most of them were extremely shy, especially around this Irish/English/Welsh, blue eyed, blond woman from California.  But by the end of the trip we were all able to laugh together, despite the language barrier, and I cried saying goodbye to them.

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One of the men, Juan, was our cook.  He could easily be a head chef in a 4 star restaurant here in the United States.  His food was crazy, wicked good.  He literally cooked incredible meals for us while sitting on an upside-down bucket in his kitchen tent, with a cutting boards on his knees.  The ingredients were extraorinarily fresh and flavorful, chopped to perfection, and beautifully served.  To this day I still can’t dice things as precisely as he did and I have an entire kitchen to work in.  It’s tremendously frustrating.

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The reason I’m telling you all of this is because Peru has a love affair with quinoa.  Now, I know you’re gonna say, “What’s the big deal?  We have tons of dishes here that call for quinoa.”  But you’ve never had quinoa like Peru does it.  It’s just light and lovely, no matter what way they include it in their recipes.  Go and see for yourself.

So when Paul and I were in Arizona, we both kept ordering the same breakfast protein bowl from the Wildflower Bread Company.  It was simple and delicious, well, you don’t stray from a dish that you dig it that much.  The dish inspired me to try it at home and here is my version, although I think Juan would’ve made it much better.

Protein Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (recipe inspired by Wildflower Bread Company)

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INGREDIENTS:  whatever kind of quinoa you like, whatever kind of chicken sausage you like (I used spicy), chicken broth or water to cook the quinoa (I feel like chicken broth gives it more flavor), garlic, roasted peppers, baby spinach (I used one bag), eggs

DIRECTIONS:  Make the quinoa according to the package.  Meanwhile, mince the garlic and sauté in a bit of olive oil (stirring frequently so the garlic won’t burn).  Slice the peppers into thin strips along with the sausage.  Add them to the garlic and stir so that everything heats up together.  Add spinach in one layer over the pepper mixture then pour cooked quinoa over the spinach.  Turn off the heat and place lid on pan allowing  heat to wilt the spinach.  As that warms, poach eggs (this was a huge challenge to me as I’ve never poached an egg before, you should’ve seen the concentration on our faces, it was funny!).  As the eggs poach, remove the lid from the pepper mixture, season with salt and pepper, and give it a good stir to mix everything up.  Divide into bowls and place the poached eggs on top.  Dive in and enjoy!

 

Protein Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (recipe inspired by Wildflower Bread Company)

Protein Bowl.jpg

INGREDIENTS:  whatever kind of quinoa you like, whatever kind of chicken sausage you like (I used spicy), chicken broth or water to cook the quinoa (I feel like chicken broth gives it more flavor), garlic, roasted peppers, baby spinach (I used one bag), eggs

DIRECTIONS:  Make the quinoa according to the package.  Meanwhile, mince the garlic and sauté in a bit of olive oil (stirring frequently so the garlic won’t burn).  Slice the peppers into thin strips along with the sausage.  Add them to the garlic and stir so that everything heats up together.  Add spinach in one layer over the pepper mixture then pour cooked quinoa over the spinach.  Turn off the heat and place lid on pan allowing  heat to wilt the spinach.  As that warms, poach eggs (this was a huge challenge to me as I’ve never poached an egg before, you should’ve seen the concentration on our faces, it was funny!).  As the eggs poach, remove the lid from the pepper mixture, season with salt and pepper, and give it a good stir to mix everything up.  Divide into bowls and place the poached eggs on top.  Dive in and enjoy!

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