Dress That Salad!

By Katie Shernan
on February 19, 2017

Dress That Salad!

Sometimes the simplest combos are the most delicious! Here are a few of our favorite dressing recipes:


Yield for each dressing is approximately 1/4 cup. Pour ingredients into a jar, close the top, shake, and pour your delicious dressing!


Katie’s Classic

2 Tbsps Traditional Balsamic

3 Tbsps Garlic Olive Oil

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Salt & Pepper to taste


Sesame Ginger

2 Tbsps Honey Ginger Balsamic

2 ½ Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

½ tsp Grated Ginger 

Salt & Pepper to taste


Apple Walnut

2 Tbsps Red Apple Balsamic

3 Tbsps Roasted Walnut Oil


The Gloria

2 Tbsps Champagne Vinegar

2 Tbsps Lemon Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Basil Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste


Strawberry Basil

2 Tbsps Strawberry Balsamic

3 Tbsps Basil Olive Oil

1 tsp fresh basil, minced (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste

Port Plums Thumbprint Butter Cookies

By Katie Shernan
on November 19, 2016

Port Plums Thumbprint Butter Cookies

These are our FAVORITE cookies to make during the holidays. Every year during my childhood, my mom and I had a bake-a-thon that we called "Mrs. Claus's Kitchen" during which we baked ridiculous quantities of cookies to give away to everyone we knew. 

Katie & Karen in the kitchen circa 1995

These thumbprints are based on a butter cookie recipe from Gourmet Magazine. The basic butter cookie dough is extremely versatile (and freezes well!!). Add toasted coconut and dip in chocolate for coconut sticks, stir in some pumpkin spice for seasonal spice cookies, mix in crushed peppermint candies and make pinwheels! We've tried them all but it always comes back to the thumbprints. They are awesome with apricot or raspberry jam but nothing quite compares to the Port Plum Jam filling.

Port Plum Jam is made especially for us by RE Kimball of Amesbury. They combine the Wild Beach Plum Jam with a dash of Jewell Towne Vineyards Port Wine. The jam lends a lovely sweet-tart, almost cranberry flavor that compliments the rich, buttery cookie base. It's a must try recipe for the holiday season...trust me :) 


Port Plums Thumbprint Butter Cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks (6oz) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla

Port Plum Jam, for filling



In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated. Add flour 1 cup at a time, turning the mixer off while you do so. Blend until a uniform dough is formed.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Scoop dough onto a plate. (We use a 1 3/4" scoop.) Cut dough balls into 1/2 or 1/3 and roll to form a small sphere. If the dough is sticky and difficult to work with, chill for 1-4 hours. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart. Using the end of a wooden spoon or your thumb, make an indent in the middle of the dough ball. 

Stir jam to soften and spoon into a clear, plastic baggie. Cut a small piece off the corner to form a makeshift pastry bag. Squeeze a small amount of jam into each indent. 

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool. 

Award-Winning Turkey & Sweet Potato Chilli

By Katie Shernan
on October 15, 2016

Award-Winning Turkey & Sweet Potato Chilli

We were honored to participate in The Grog's 9th Annual Chilli Cook-Off on Saturday, October 8th. Not only did we get to share some yummy chilli with lots of attendees, we also helped raise money for several local food pantries!
To top off a fun day, we also won the Grand Prize after competing against
13 wonderful, local restaurants.
Here is our prized chilli recipe:

Award-Winning Turkey & Sweet Potato Chilli

Makes 6-8 servings



2 – 3 tbsp garlic or chipotle olive oil

1 head garlic (roasted per instructions below)

1lb – 1.5lbs ground turkey

1 large onion, peeled & diced

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & diced

2 8oz cans black beans, rinsed & drained

1 8oz can kidney beans, rinsed & drained

1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained

2 8oz cans fire roasted tomatoes

2 – 4 cups chicken stock

1-2 tsps garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1-2 tbsp smoked paprika

¾ tbsp. cumin

¼ tsp chipotle powder

¾ tsp smoked salt

¼ oz unsweeted baker’s chocolate – chopped

3 tbsp Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar

2 – 4 tbsp Boston Red Sauce


Optional for Serving:

sour cream

shredded cheese

chopped scallions

more hot sauce



  1. Cut off top of garlic head, drizzle with oil, wrap in aluminum foil, bake in oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 40 mins or until garlic becomes soft and squeezable
  2. Drizzle olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add ground turkey, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally so the meat browns evenly but does not cook completely. Set aside.
  3. Drizzle more olive oil in the pot and add onions. Sauté until they become translucent and soft. Then add turkey sweet potato, fire roasted tomatoes, 2 cups chicken stock, beans, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle powder, and smoked salt. If there isn't enough liquid to cover the beans & sweet potato, add more chicken stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the garlic is fully roasted, squeeze and mash then add to the chilli and stir. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, removed chilli from heat and stir in chocolate, maple balsamic, and hot sauce.
  4. At this point, the chilli is ready to be eaten but we recommend waiting until the next day (if you can stand it!) The flavors meld together deliciously when allowed to sit for several hours. This chili also does well in the slow cooker on low for several hours. Season to taste one more time before serving as the flavors change and develop over time.
  5. Serve & enjoy!



8 Ways to Use That Avocado

By Katie Shernan
on August 03, 2016

8 Ways to Use That Avocado

I LOVE avocados – especially in the summer. Something about the cool, creamy goodness just can’t be beat. And it’s good for you too! But if you are like me, as soon as the avocado is ripe (which lasts for what feels like 30 seconds) your mind goes blank! Now what do I do with this avocado before it goes bad? Here are 8 quick and easy recipes to help you make use of that avocado.


1. Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast has taken the social media world by storm. You’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of out there on the internet. This our favorite, simple, avocado toast recipe:


1 avocado

½ lemon

1 green onion

1 tbsp olive oil





Roughly mash avocado with spritz of lemon juice, good olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Spread on toast of your choice and sprinkle with green onion. It’s so easy and so delicious!


2. Salad Dressing


1 Avocado

1 clove Garlic, peeled

¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

¼ cup low-fat sour-cream or greek yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice (or white vinegar)

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper




Place all the ingredients In a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with about ⅓ cup water (give or take) until it reaches a desired consistency. Keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.


3. Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

This rich, creamy pasta sauce is one of my very favorites! And it couldn’t be easier to put together. This recipe makes enough sauce for 2-3 servings of pasta (unless you are me in which case it’s about 1.5 serving’s worth.) I also love it as a dip for roasted veggies and crackers – just omit the water for a thicker sauce. For a lighter entrée, serve over spiralized zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.



2 cloves garlic, to taste

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed

1 ripe medium avocado, pitted

1 tablespoon water

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste



In a food processor or good blender, combine the garlic and basil and pulse to mince. Add the lemon juice, oil, avocado, and 1 tablespoon water and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


4. Black Bean, Corn, and Mango Salad with Avocado

You’ll be the hit of the BBQ with this yummy salad! You can always sub out the frozen mango and corn for fresh but this recipe keeps it as simple as possible.



1 avocado, cubed

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen mango chunks

1 bell pepper, chopped

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup frozen sweet corn

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp chipotle powder



Combine black bean, mango, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, and with lime juice, chipotle powder, and salt to taste. Gently fold in cubed avocado. Let sit to marinade until the mango is no longer frozen. Serve on its own or as a side to grilled flank steak or chicken.


5. Rachel's Berry & Avocado Smoothie

Here is a great avocado smoothie recipe from our resident Health Science student, Rachel:



½ medium avocado

½ cup frozen or fresh kale or spinach

½ frrozen strawberries

½ frozen blueberries

Dollop plain greek yogurt

Water (to taste)



Blend avocado, kale or spinach, berries, and greek yogurt in blender or food processor until smooth. Add water to taste until you reach desired thickness. If you choose to use fresh berries over frozen, you may want to add a few ice cubes. Warm smoothies just don’t have the same appeal.


6. Avocado BLT

Smash some avocado on our BLT sandwich instead of mayo. It’s healthier, colorful, and delicious! The ingredients are rather self-explanatory but our favorite bacon comes from Tendercrop Farm


7. Avocado Chicken Salad


1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken

1 avocado

1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper



Mash avocado with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in chicken apple, and parsley. Serve on a bed of greens or on bread as a sandwich.


8. Simple Guacamole


3 avocados

1 lime, juiced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 medium onion, diced

1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced



In a large bowl, place the avocado and lime juice, toss to coat. Add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. For best flavor, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.


Speaking of guacamole, Molcajetes are 25% off at Port Plums now through August 7th or while supplies last.



Farmstand Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta & Dancing Goats Dairy

By Katie Shernan
on July 09, 2016

Farmstand Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta & Dancing Goats Dairy

Have you heard about Dancing Goat's Dairy? If not, you're missing out! We first met owner Erin Bligh at the Newburyport Farmer's Market (every Sunday 9am-1pm) and immediately fell into food love. Erin puts an incredible amount of love and care into her goats and her cheese! And just look at this sweet baby goat face:
We had the opportunity to visit with some friendly goatie friends too!
The amazingly clean, light, rich flavor of Dancing Goat's Sea Salt Chevre inspired me to make a yummy, veggie-packed pasta dinner. This filling dish features tangy, fresh, goat cheese in a rich sauce. There is ample opportunity to use up some of that CSA share by topping the pasta with lots of seasonal veggies. Use a high protein pasta or add some Tendercrop free-range chicken for a complete, easy, and healthy meal that is sure to please.
Farmstand Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta
Serves 4



2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped roughly

1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced

8oz Dancing Goat’s Dairy Sea Salt Chevre

1-2 cups chicken stock

4 cups cooked pasta of your choice


Optional: Garnish with fresh chopped parsley Top with other seasonal veggies such as the roasted broccoli, sautéed golden zucchini, and fresh sugar snap peas depicted below



Drizzle large sauté pan with olive oil and set heat to medium-high. Add chopped onions and cook until they start to soften and brown, about 10 minutes, adding 1 tablespoon of water if they being to burn. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until they start to release their juices; another 5 minutes or so. Turn heat down to low and stir in goat cheese until melted. Add ½ cup of chicken stock and stir until evenly mixed. Continue adding stock until the desired thickness is reached. Serve over pasta and top with fresh parsley and vegetables if desired. Enjoy!

Quick Summer Grilling Tips

By Karen Shernan
on June 08, 2016

Quick Summer Grilling Tips

It’s Grilling Season! Who is excited as we are? And we’re not talking about the same old hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad. There is nothing wrong with old favorites but let’s dive into something fresh and new!


In preparation, we wanted to review some safety tips and procedures to ensure an optimal grilling experience:

Grill Preparation & Safety

  • Is it in a safe spot, far enough from the house?
  • Is the drip tray clean?
  • Is your propane connection tight?
  • Scrape down any remaining residue from last year
  • Season liberally with oil
  • Keep fire proof oven mitts and a spray bottle of water nearby in case of flare-ups


Now for the good stuff…


Easy & Delicious Grilling Ideas

Brush on some oil for flavor!




Lemon EVOO


Tuscan Herb EVOO

New Potatoes

White Truffle Oil

Cherry Tomatoes

Basil EVOO


Garlic and/or Chipotle EVOO


Butter EVOO & Truffle Sea Salt

Baby Bok-Choy

Toasted Sesame Oil


Blood Orange EVOO



Marinate or glaze with balsamics* to turn up the volume on FLAVOR




Sweet Potatoes

Maple Balsamic

Skirt Steak

Green Chili Oil & Espresso Balsamic


Harissa EVOO & Pineapple Balsamic


Red Apple Balsamic


Rosemary EVOO & Traditional Balsamic


Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic

Fruit Kebabs

Chocolate Balsamic

Watermelon & Feta or Goat Cheese

Fig Balsamic

Pineapple w/ Cinnamon

Cara Cara Orange-Vanilla Balsamic


*When grilling with balsamics, be sure to apply the vinegar near the end of cooking. Otherwise, the naturally occurring sugars will burn and you’ll end up with charcoal instead of a delicious meal


Refreshing Infusions and Cocktails

For a thirst quenching and kid-friendly treat:

  • Add fresh fruit to water, and let stand overnight in the fridge
  • Freeze fruit and juice or water in an ice cube tray


For a light (not too sweet) cocktail…

  • 1oz of any fruit balsamic
  • 1oz Vodka or Gin
  • 2oz carbonated beverage (Seltzer, Perrier, Tonic, Ginger ale…)
  • Muddled or grilled fruit (optional)

Olive Oil Waffles: Too Good to Be True?

By Katie Shernan
on May 01, 2016

Olive Oil Waffles: Too Good to Be True?

Think it's too good to be true? It's not! You can replace butter with olive oil in most recipes. Here is a conversion chart to help you out:


Olive Oil

1 teaspoon

3/4 teaspoon

1 tablespoon

2 1/4 teaspoons

2 tablespoons

1 1/2 tablespoons

1/4 cup

3 tablespoons

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

2/3 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon

1 cup

3/4 cup


I received a Belgian Waffle Iron over the holidays and have had a blast playing with it. One of my favorite creations thus far is brownie waffles with peanut butter sauce. But that is a recipe for another time...

It takes about as much time and effort to put together a batch of waffles as any other breakfast staple at my house (i.e. French toast, eggs & toast, eggs & hash) so they are now a Sunday favorite. The following recipe is by far my favorite to use. Every time it produces a crisp, fluffy waffle that is just begging to be loaded with indulgent toppings like Wood’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup or some Chocolate Raspberry Jam. And the most surprising part? I made this with olive oil! In my recipe, I used a plain oil that I had around the house but it would also be delicious with the Butter Olive Oil, Blood Orange Olive Oil, or Eureka Lemon Olive Oil. Don't let the whipped egg white through you off - it's simple to do and makes a huge difference in the waffles.

For a fun brunch party or special event, build a waffle bar with creative toppings. Some of my favorites are coconut jam, toasted coconut, pistachios, fresh berries, and Dark Chocolate Balsamic soaked strawberries.


Makes 4 Waffles



1 cup flour

2 tsps baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

1 egg, separated

¼ cup oil

1 cup milk 

1 tsp vanilla extract



  • Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Separate the egg. In a small bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. You can do this by hand with a fork or whisk or with an electric beater.
  • Stir together milk, oil, vanilla, and the egg yolk until mostly combined.
  • Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Fold in egg whites, careful not to over mix.
  • Pour batter into preheated waffle iron and cook according to directions.




A Few of Our Favorite Pairings

By Katie Shernan
on April 26, 2016

A Few of Our Favorite Pairings

So you walk into Newburyport Olive Oil and are immediately faced with 70+ oils and vinegars.


What now? After asking our friendly and knowledgeable staff for a tasting tour, you can consult this list of recommended pairings. There are countless options so don't limit yourself to those on this list. Have a favorite pairing that you don't see here? Share it in the comments below! Happy Tasting!


A Few of Our Favorite Pairings…..

  • Lemon White Balsamic + Tuscan Herb EVOO
  • Strawberry Balsamic + Basil EVOO
  • Peach White Balsamic + Tuscan Herb EVOO
  • Grapefruit White Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
  • Blackberry Ginger Balsamic + Persian Lime EVOO
  • Dark Chocolate Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
  • Tangerine Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
  • Mushroom Sage EVOO + Lemon Balsamic
  • Blueberry Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
  • Dark Chocolate Balsamic + Chipotle EVOO
  • Fig Balsamic + Garlic EVOO
  • Grapefruit White Balsamic + Herbs de Provence EVOO
  • Strawberry Balsamic + Eureka Lemon EVOO
  • Red Apple Balsamic + Roasted Walnut Oil
  • Cherry Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
  • Espresso Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
  • Oregano White Balsamic + Garlic EVOO
  • Oregano White Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
  • Coconut White Balsamic + Butter EVOO = Coco-butter
  • Coconut White Balsamic + Lime EVOO
  • Garlic EVOO + Butter EVOO
  • Vanilla Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
  • Chocolate Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
  • Vanilla Balsamic + Chocolate Balsamic
  • Chocolate Balsamic + Espresso Balsamic
  • Chocolate Balsamic + Coconut White Balsamic
  • Coconut White Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
  • Raspberry Balsamic + Lime EVOO
  • Blueberry Balsamic + Basil EVOO
  • Blueberry Balsamic + Rosemary EVOO
  • Oregano Balsamic + Basil EVOO
  • Garlic EVOO + Basil EVOO
  • Garlic EVOO + Traditional Balsamic
  • Dark Toasted Sesame Oil + Pineapple Balsamic
  • Pineapple White Balsamic & Chipotle EVOO
  • Pineapple White Balsamic & Harissa EVOO

 *Please note that we do not have every flavor on this list at all times. Some are rotated in and out for variety. Ask us if you do not see the flavor you are looking for. 

30 Minute Salmon with Lemon-Garlic Pan Sauce

By Katie Shernan
on April 25, 2016

30 Minute Salmon & Asparagus with Lemon-Garlic Pan Sauce


Calling all millennials: are you having a hard time adulting? Yeah I know the feeling. I recently made the revelation “if I clean the house more often, it will go faster each time" only to be laughed at by my boyfriend. “I could have told you that 3 years ago,” he told me.

Well, some things you just have to figure out for yourself! Like cooking a real dinner that you would be proud to feed your parents. Seriously, you can do it! Here is a quick, easy, and healthy recipe to start you off on the right foot. Pair it with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc (my go-to is Oyster Bay) for a sophisticated and summery meal. (And a good excuse to drink wine…not that you needed one…)

Of course you don’t have to be a millennial or a cooking novice to create and enjoy this meal!

A few notes before we get started:

  • You don’t have to use lemon olive oil – you could use garlic or a non-flavored olive oil. However, it is important to use good quality olive oil in this recipe. Many of the oils you find in the grocery store are already rancid or mixed with other types of oil. Unfortunately, the olive oil market is extremely corrupt! More on this here. Due to its low acidity, the high quality oil that we sell has a much higher smoke point (405 degrees F rather than 320 degrees F) and therefore can be cooked at higher temperatures such as those used in the recipe below.
  • You can nix the minced garlic if you replace the lemon olive oil with garlic olive oil. The flavor will be milder but you won’t have to worry about burning any garlic.


Serves 4


4 6oz Salmon Filets (Here is a helpful buying guide for salmon)

1 lemon, juiced

2 Tbsps. butter

1 Tbsp. lemon olive oil + more for drizzling

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 bunches asparagus

1 cup dry white wine or chicken stock

8 oz dry pasta


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Bring water to a boil and cook/drain pasta according to directions on the package.
  3. Rinse asparagus and snap off the bottoms. These ends can be tough but naturally snap off where to stalks become tender.
  4. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet. (*Quick tip – line with tin foil for easy clean up). Drizzle with lemon olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Roast 8-10 minutes in the oven or until the stalks are al-dente. They should still be bright green with a snappy texture but not overly chewy or fibrous.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and a drizzle of lemon olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. (*Quick tip – Butter allows for browning while oil slows the process down and prevents burning). Pat salmon dry on both sides and then place skin side down in the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping in between. Remove from pan and set aside.
  6. Add minced garlic to the pan for about 30 seconds, being careful not to let it burn. Then add lemon juice and 1/2 cup chicken stock or wine. Simmer until sauce reduces and at salt/pepper to taste.
  7. Plate and serve with your head held high!

Apple Bacon Quinoa Bowls with Red Apple Balsamic

By Katie Shernan
on March 20, 2016

Apple Bacon Quinoa Bowls with Red Apple Balsamic 

Quinoa Bowls are my ultimate go-to dinner for just about any situation. They present a great opportunity to use up leftovers from the fridge or pantry. Plus, they are highly customizable which makes Quinoa Bowls a major crowd pleaser.

For those who are not familiar, quinoa is an ancient grain (ok, technically it’s a seed) that has become wildly popular over the last few years. But don’t let its pretentious reputation put you off. Quinoa is accessible and, in my opinion, should be a pantry staple. It packs in a solid 8 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa and is a complete protein. The texture falls somewhere between white and brown rice. I find that white quinoa is easier to make than rice because the grains become translucent when fully cooked. 

Simmering the quinoa in chicken stock helps build a flavorful base for your bowls and the options for toppings are endless! In addition, *hint hint* it makes a great healthy and savory breakfast bowl – try topping with a fried egg served over easy.

Here is the recipe for my favorite variation:


Apple Bacon Quinoa Bowls

Serves 4

1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa (pre-rinsed is preferable)

3 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 lg white onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

8oz  baby spinach

8oz mushrooms, sliced

4 slices thick-cup bacon

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tart, crunchy apple, roughly chopped

4 oz goat cheese crumbles

Handful of pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)

Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar


Bring 3 cups chicken stock to a boil over medium-high heat. In the meantime, rinse your quinoa in cold water if it is not pre-rinsed.

When the stock comes to a boil, add quinoa, ¼ of the chopped onion, and minced garlic. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. When the center of the quinoa is translucent, it’s done. Most of the liquid should absorb into the grains.

While the quinoa is cooking, fry the bacon on the stovetop over medium-high heat. When cooked, place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess fat and set aside. When cool, chop roughly. 

If you are feeling indulgent, reserve a small amount of the bacon fat to cook with the onions and mushrooms. Otherwise, drizzle just enough oil to coat a medium sized frying pan. Add the remaining chopped onion and cook until it starts to brown. Then add mushrooms and sauté until most of the moisture evaporates and set aside.

Once everything is cooked, you can either assemble the bowls yourself or set up the toppings in a bar and allow everyone to make their own! Either way, I highly recommend finishing with a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar. I like to use the Red Apple Balsamic or Vermont Maple Balsamic for this variation but go crazy with it! The creamy goat cheese and crunchy pepitas offer great texture and extra flavor. So much yum! What other toppings would you add to a quinoa bowl? Let me know in the comments!

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