Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Almond Quinoa with Venison Maple Sausage

Some of the venison meat we got out of R.'s deer was made into maple sausage. R. likes eating it as is.  Me, I'm not much of a breakfast sausage kind of person, but he raved about it so much that I thawed a package of the maple sausage and cooked a little bit of it just to try, foolishly wondering if this was the wonder sausage that would turn me into a breakfast sausage kind of person.

Well, though tasty as it was - and boy, did it smell wonderful! - I thought the sausage was far too salty to stand on its own.

So no, this did not turn me into a breakfast sausage kind of person. Now what am I going to do with more than a pound of just-thawed venison maple sausage??

As per usual, I took to the internet, and found this recipe by Iowa Girl.

The original recipe calls for just 3 oz of maple sausage, so I had to multiply everything by 6 in order to use up all the venison maple sausage I had on hand. This means making a big batch with plenty of leftovers...but now we have another problem: Chopped raw apples turn brown quickly and don't last as a leftover dish.

So I made a slight modification by cooking the chopped apples in cinnamon butter. I also cooked the quinoa in a rice cooker rather than on the stovetop, as I find the consistency to be much better this way- probably a reflection of my subpar ability to cook grains or anything grain-like without a rice cooker.

Cinnamon Applie Quinoa with Venison Maple Sausage
Cinnamon Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Venison Sausage

So here is my version of the the Cinnamon Apple Almond Quinoa with Venison Maple Sausage:


  • 3 cups quinoa
  • 6 cups chicken broth (water is OK too)
  • 3 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 18 oz maple breakfast sausage
  • 12 green onions, sliced
  • 6 small apples, chopped
  • 1.5 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold, running water. Cook quinoa in rice cooker with chicken broth. When finished, transfer to a  large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add sausage then brown and drain, if necessary. In another skillet, melt butter on medium high heat.  Add cinnamon, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add apples and cook until the cinnamon butter is absorbed.
  3. Add cooked sausage, green onions, apples, almonds, and cranberries to the quinoa. Toss to combine then serve.
Yields about 9 hefty servings.

Recipe heavily adapted from:
Iowa Girl (get the original recipe here)