Friday, April 6, 2012

Turkey and Quinoa Pitas

Wow, it's been a while, eh? Well, that's because March has been quite the crazy month for me. Not only is this the time of year when tons of conference and research award proposals are due, but we also visited Arkansas over Spring Break to visit the university I'll be heading to for my new position in the fall (and for some vacationing). As soon as that was all wrapped up, I was home for a whole two days before I headed back to Georgia to defend my dissertation!

That's right, I'm -Doctor- Domesticated Professor now. Oh yeah.

Two tasty pitas, about to meet their fate as lunch for my mother and I.

Anyway, I'm finally back in the kitchen, and it feels good to be back! I've made a few things in the past week - a killer turtle cheesecake, for starters - but nothing that I really wanted to post about, until today. The budgetfood challenge for this week was for quinoa, something that I'd only had once in the past but liked. I was't even certain that I could find it in Alabama, but I did luck out at Publix last night and found some in its overpriced gluten-free, health-food section. After some thinking, I came up with what my mother and I agree was a very good lunch, and a nice grain that we'll be using from time to time. I will definitely be buying more of this at the Farmer's Market next time I'm Atlanta!

The sandwiches came to a total of only $2.15 apiece to make if you purchase the stock, which isn't bad at all considering how filling they are. Vegetarians can replace the turkey with some roasted butternut squash for an equally tasty and less expensive meal - something I meant to do as well, but I spaced, stared directly at the butternut squash at Publix, but didn't get one to take home. Ah, well.

Turkey and Quinoa Pitas
For the quinoa:
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1-1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 oz dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste
For the sandwiches:
Oat bran pita bread, cut into half pockets
Sliced muenster cheese (about .65 ozs per half-pita)
Sliced deli turkey breast (3 slices, or about 1.85 ozs)
Sliced avocado (1/4 per half-pita)
Diced red onion (about 1/3 oz per half-pita)
Romaine lettuce (about 1/4 oz per half-pita)

Add quinoa and stock to a pot and bring to a boil, then stir in cranberries. Reduce heat to low and cook 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then let cool. Stuff a pita pocket with cheese, lettuce, and turkey. Scoop in quinoa, then sprinkle on chopped red onion and top with avocado slices.

Total prep/cook time: 30 minutes
Happiness Rating: 8/10

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