Turkey Quinoa-tto

Yes, I made that word up. The technique is the same as for making risotto or orzotto, but the end result here is not creamy, as quinoa is a sturdy little seed without loose surface starch. Nevertheless, we thought this was very good. It was certainly quick and easy, and I will definitely do it again with other leftover poultry. The nice thing about leftover turkey though, is there does tend to be a lot of turkey stock sitting around at the same time; this makes good use of some of it.

By the way, the packaging on quinoa always seems to say it cooks in 15 minutes. That is, in my experience, quite incorrect. I allow a bit over 20 minutes here; that seems to me to be the minimum time, and allows for the fact that it is spread out fairly thinly in the pan and thus cooks a bit more quickly than usual. You may want to test it just before you add the vegetables and turkey at the end, and make sure it is getting close to done. Otherwise, cook it a few more minutes first.

I used beans from the garden, but they will be getting harder to find. Broccoli would work just as well. I also used some corn I dried when it was in season, but frozen corn would work fine. And I'm still putting peppers into everything...

2 servings
30 minutes prep time

1 large onion
2 medium sweet peppers
1 cup diced fresh green beans or broccoli
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
2/3 cup quinoa
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon flaked hot chile (depends on their heat and your taste)
5 to 6 cups turkey stock
1/2 teaspoon salt, about
1 cup diced cooked turkey
1 cup frozen corn (1/2 cup dried corn)

Peel and chop the onion. Core, deseed and chop the peppers. Trim and chop the green beans or broccoli.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the onion and peppers until soft and slightly coloured. Add the quinoa, fennel seed and chile flakes, and mix in well. Add 3 cups of the turkey stock.

Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add more turkey stock if it looks like it is all about to be absorbed.

Add the cooked turkey, beans (broccoli) and corn, and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes, stirring regularly and adding more turkey stock as needed. The end result should be a little soft and soupy in texture, but the broth should be completely absorbed.

- Jennifer Sanders, Seasonal Ontario Food blogger

For more inspiring, local recipes visit Jennifer Sanders' blog, Seasonal Ontario Food.