Recently I was craving pasta, but after traveling and eating a lot of take out I figured it was probably not the best idea for my body. I got to thinking why not make a pasta sauce, and just serve it over quinoa?

Quinoa is so full of fibre and protein, and I never feel that lump in my stomach after eating it the way I do with traditional pasta dishes. I was winging it at best, but I added some ground chicken I had in the freezer, and then also a bag of frozen veggies (I almost always have these staples on hand) and I through it all together. It was SO delicious, and I’ll definitively be making it again.

Don’t be alarmed by this ingredient list it’s really just a lot of spices, and if you don’t have them all it’s okay! Don’t stress about it too much it’s really just a suggestion, your sauce will still be good I promise. 


1.5 cups of quinoa (+/- depending on how many people you want to serve)
1 package of ground Chicken or Turkey
1 bag of frozen veggies
1/4 cup of olives pitted
1 can of San Marazano Tomatoes (amazingly cheap at Cost-co)
1-2 TBS rooster sauce
1 cup of chunky salsa
1/4 – 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS basil
1 TBS oregano (I probably would double this)
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 pinch of chili powder
1 pinch of paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (for topping)


Cook quinoa according to directions (typically its double water to quinoa). I use a rice cooker, and it’s seriously the most amazingly easy thing in the entire world. Once it’s cooked in the rice cooker it just stays warm until you’re ready to serve it! It’s a gem for weeknights.

Using a large pot add just slightly enough water to cover the bottom of your pot, and cook ground chicken with all the spices mentioned here over medium to high heat. Continue to cook until the meat is cooked all the way through. 
Once the water is mostly absorbed. Add your bag of veggies, and olives and allow the veggies to cook until  they are slightly cooked, but still
firm. Don’t bother trying to cut the olives up because if you just squeeze them the pits will come out quite easily! It also creates a great rugged texture, and it’s awesome when you bite into a great big hunk of olive (that is if you like olives). If your mixture dries out simply add a cooking oil of your choice.
Once veggies are nearly cooked. Add tomatoes (squishing them with your hand for a great texture), salsa, and rooster sauce. Feel free to add more basil, and oregano here as needed 🙂 I usually do.

Continue to cook your veggie, chicken sauce mixture over low heat until your veggies are cooked (el dente) and/or you’re ready to serve them.

When you’re ready you can go ahead and serve your sauce over the cooked quinoa and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese! You’ll most likely end up with extra sauce, but you can easily freeze it for another
day or eat it as left overs the following day for lunch or for dinner with a fresh batch of
quinoa. Make sure to store your sauce and/or quinoa in dish with minimal space between the food and the lid. Opt for smaller containers and pack the food in as much as possible; the more space in your container the more space there is for bacteria to grow— EEP. 

And that’s it! Pretty easy right? I have no idea how others make their own tomato sauce this is just what works for us. I like making my own sauce because these tomatoes are seriously amazing, but mostly because the bottled versions have SO much sugar in them! Once you get it down, it’s honestly super easy to make this yourself, and it’s much better for you. Just be careful with the rooster sauce as it is quite spicy, and is kind of high in sodium too so exercise your best judgement.
Hope you have a tasty Tuesday!
xx Short Presents

If you like this recipe you should also try this one “Healthier Cheesy Baked Ziti

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