Recipe of the Week: Quinoa "Sausage" Bites

The holidays are FAST approaching. If you are entertaining I know you are looking for great pick-up appetizers. But we are always on the lookout for something just a little different, just a little unique. Well this week's recipe is one of my favorites that fits the bill!

This week's Recipe of the Week is: Quinoa "Sausage" Bites. It's a recipe I uncovered a while back (and have made 3-4 times since then!) from Savory Spice Shop.

This vegetarian recipe is also gluten-free. But it is so good everyone's gonna love them!

This recipe takes about an hour. The quinoa cooks and cools for about 20-25 minutes. The spices get mixed in and the balls are made. It bakes for another 12-15 minutes. The glaze is relatively easy to make (and good enough that you'll be thinking about what else you can glaze or what else you can dip in it!). You can make them in advance and then serve warm or at room temp. And just glaze them when you are ready to serve 'em up.

And I must admit that this recipe got me hooked on Savory's Frying Pan Pork Sausage Spice. I use it on other things also. It's a blend of salt, honey powder (yes, honey powder), black pepper, sage, onion, garlic, rosemary, ginger, Mediterranean thyme, parsley, marjoram, red bell peppers, coriander, allspice, Greek oregano and savory. It's a little on the salty side, so I try not to use too much. But it's so flavorful you really don't need much to provide a nice flavor punch. And, no, I don't make sausage. I have sprinkled a little into rice, pasta, roasted spaghetti squash, and other foods.

Another very interesting ingredient that I discovered through this recipe is Tomato Powder. It's essentially just 100% dehydrated tomatoes. If you hate the waste of opening a can of tomato paste and then only using part of it, you'll love this. It lasts virtually forever in the refrigerator. Mix the tomato powder with some water to make an easy tomato paste (1 part tomato paste/2-3 parts water) or sauce (1 part tomato paste/4 parts water). Add some basil, oregano, or whatever spices and herbs you want and you're good to go - easy-peasy!

A quick word about Savory Spice Shop. They are a small (20-25 U.S. stores) chain of some of the best cooking spices I have run across. The business was founded in 2004 in Denver, CO. I have met the founders Mike and Janet Johnston personally. A really nice couple with a great sense for cooking, spices, and flavor. Three things I absolutely LOVE about Savory Spice Company is that (1) the selection is incredible - with new ones appearing all the time, (2) they are made extremely fresh, and (3) you can buy as much or as little as you need. Their 400+ spices and blends are available on-store or online.

If you are looking for a platter of really, really good little "bites" for your guests or family try this one!

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I truly hope your holiday season is humming along nicely! Remember to take some time to rest, relax, and catch your breath. Slip in a nice glass of wine or a single-malt when you get a chance. And when you're cooking don't forget to prepare in advance (remember your mise en place!), and cook with passion, cook with love.