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Virtual Potluck Healthy New Year Challenge (Week 3!): Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa with Ribeye and Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Welcome to Week 3 of the Virtual Potluck Healthy New Year Challenge sponsored by Bob's Red Mill and California Olive Ranch

This week's theme is The Main Event. 

The ingredients used in this week's dish were Bob's Red Mill Organic Quinoa Grain and California Olive Ranch Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Virtual Potluck
So the idea this week is to use both products and produce an amazing, delicious, healthy main dish.  This week I went more traditional (at least for me) and did the meat, grain, and veggie all separate on the plate kind of meal.  This is the way I think many people that aren't foodie cooks like me probably cook every day.  I don't dislike this way of presenting a meal, but if I did it more than once in a while, I'd get very bored.  However, this presentation just worked for me this particular night and this dinner was SO. FREAKIN. GOOD. 

We got some big fat ribeye steaks from Costco a while back and since each one is over a pound, I just thawed one out for Mark and I to share.  Using Mark's grill-master-of-the-universe advice, I was able to "burn" a really good, juicy, medium-rare steak.  I was pretty proud of myself - just ask Mark.  He was making fun of my self-back patting all night that night. 

We had a bag of Brussels sprouts that I wanted use up, and I always make them the same way.  Cut off the little brown ends, cut each sprout in half (unless they're super tiny), put them all in a glass baking dish.  Hit them with a good extra virgin olive oil (hhhmmmm how about some California Olive Ranch Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil), and season them with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Toss them to coat them all with the goodness, then pop them in a 350 degree oven until they begin to brown a bit.  The only thing I did differently this time was I also added lemon zest and some lemon juice to the sprouts before I popped them in the oven and I highly recommend this.  Yum! 

But before I tell you how the rest of this meal was made...

Would you like to find out how you can win some Bob’s Red Mill Grains and California Olive Ranch Olive Oil? 
Here's how! 

Mandatory Entry:

To enter: You must visit the California Olive Ranch Facebook page and retrieve this week's Virtual Potluck Code Word. (You'll find it on the Virtual Potluck portion of their FB page.)  Then, use that code word in a sentence in the comment section below.

Additional Entries:

For extra entries, do any or all of the below and then come back here and leave a comment for each:

  1. Follow Bob's Red Mill on Twitter
  2. Follow California Olive Ranch on Twitter
  3. Follow Virtual Potluck on Twitter
  4. Tweet about the contest: “I just entered to win @Bobs_Red_Mill & @CA_EVOO products from @TaratheFoodie #virtualpotluck Enter here:“ Comment again, letting me know you've done so, by providing the link to your tweet.
  5. More Blogs, More Ways to Win: Get additional entries in each week's giveaways by visiting our host blog for this event, Groovy Foody, and finding other participating VP bloggers sites to comment on. You have 48 chances to win great products!
If you are chosen as the winner, you win BOTH products:
the California Olive Ranch Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil!

California Olive Ranch would also like to offer FOODIE readers a 10% discount by entering coupon code ‘BLOGFRIENDS’ upon checkout at their online store.   

Contest will end on Wednesday, January 25th at 6 pm EST and a winner will be chosen via

This contest is closed... and the winner is...

Follow her @cmouse01 on Twitter!


See how I used the quinoa and put this whole dish together after the jump!

Start by getting your quinoa going. Just like last week when we prepared the grande grains, and just how you prepare any rice, you put in 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid (I always use chicken stock). Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Then lower the heat to low and cover the pot allowing the quinoa to soak up all of the liquid. After the liquid has been absorbed (about 20 minutes or so), fluff up the quinoa with a fork and it's ready to go.

While you're quinoa is soaking in its hot tub, get your steak ready. On both sides, slather on some extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh minced garlic. Massage it all into the steak, then let the steak hang out on a plate so that it gets to room temperature and starts to soak up all of that garlicy, olive oil goodness. Remember, you never want to put a cold piece of meat onto a grill... unless you really want it to suck.

Next, saute some onions in the extra virgin olive oil. After a few minutes, add your minced garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant - only about 30 seconds and make sure your heat is med-low so you don't burn the garlic.

Next add a cup of diced up roasted red peppers (I just used canned - really no need to do it yourself unless you're just showing off), season with salt and pepper, and throw in 3 tablespoons of Goya sofrito (again, no need to make this yourself because this stuff is delicious and adds some flare to things like rice and of course quinoa).

Stir the mixture up and cook for a few minutes.

Ok, so now's the time to check on your quinoa. Take the lid off and when it looks like this... it's done.

Fluff it up with a fork and it's ready to add to your roasted red pepper/onion/garlic mixture.

Just add all of the quinoa to the pan and stir.

Then hit it with some grated Parmesan or Romano cheese - whichever your prefer or have on hand.

Ok, so by now, you're all done with your Brussels Sprouts and your quinoa side dish. Just let them hang out on your stove and we'll heat them back up when we're ready to serve dinner.

Now it's time to grill the steak. Since it was cold out, I decided to use my cast iron griddle (that I'm completely in love with and use constantly). Turn both burners on HIGH and let it heat up until you can see it start to smoke. It will seem like it's too hot and you'll feel like you're burning the hell out of your steak. If you feel this way, YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT. When the griddle is plenty hot, and since your steak is already slathered with olive oil, just place the steak right on the griddle. Scrape the rest of the goodness left on the plate onto the top of the steak. Don't waste any of that liquid gold.

Now for this steak's thickness, it ended up taking about 6 minutes per side to achieve a nice crust on the outside and a medium-rare doneness on the inside. If you want it more done than that (I don't know why you would exactly... but if you MUST), just leave it on a bit longer on each side. Press down on the steak with your finger and you can pretty much determine how done it is on the inside by how much give it has when you press down on it. Also remember, it will continue to cook a bit more when you take it off the griddle, so don't leave it on too long and ruin it. You can always put a steak back on the griddle, but you can't uncook it once you've screwed it up. Kay?

Once the steak is done, take it off the griddle and put it on your cutting board to rest. Let it rest for a good 10 minutes. Don't worry, it will stay hot, or at least warm. Just leave it alone. While the steak is resting, pop your quinoa and Brussels sprouts into the oven (350 degrees is fine) to heat back up.

After the steak has rested, cut it against the grain on the bias like so.... (in Emeril voice: ahhhh yeah babe). Cut off any extra fat at this point - it has done its job.

Take your side dishes out of the oven and plate everything up. Viola! I'm pretty sure even a picky meat and potatahs type of person would even like this dish, even though it doesn't have potatoes... but you get my drift. This was awesome and I thought a great way to show you how many uses a good olive oil has in your kitchen.


As for the healthy portion of this post, here's my tip of the week. You can still eat things like steak - even ribeye with all of it's fatty goodness! The key here is portion control. Mark and I SPLIT this steak. Not even, I think I had about 4 strips of the steak and he had the rest. Ladies: try and eat about half of what your man eats as often as possible. It's so easy to fall into the habit of eating as much as he does because you eat together every night. But you do that often enough and you're gonna be the same size - got it? Not the look you're going for, right?

My point is, when you're making something decadent and packed with flavor like this steak, enjoy a few strips of it rather than plopping a big fat steak on your plate and going to town on it. Then concentrate on filling the rest of your plate with healthy side dishes, which these two really are. Whole grains, veggies, and heart healthy olive oil. After we ate, we felt happy and not stuffed at all.

Portion control + eating slowly and enjoying your food + consistent working out (try for 5 times a week) = weight loss of about a pound a week.

I can attest to this as I have lost two pounds doing just that over the last two weeks. I have had about 5 beers over those two weeks, I have had a few pieces of chocolate, and have practiced portion control and smart choices while consistently getting my butt to the gym. I can definitely keep this way of life up and I'm very much looking forward to getting back down to my goal weight by the summer time.

I hope this has helped you in reaching your goals and/or has inspired you to make something like this for dinner in your house. Stay tuned because next week is Week 4 of the Healthy New Year Challenge and it's dessert week! How do you use olive oil in dessert??? Well you're just gonna have to stop back to find out! Make sure you're following me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. so you don't miss a thing! Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa with Ribeye and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

steak, ribeye, quinoa, roasted red peppers, brussels sprouts, sofrito

See Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa with Ribeye and Roasted Brussels Sprouts on Key Ingredient.


  1. I would love to try the Arbosana oil! And the quinoa!

  2. I follow Bob's Red Mill on Twitter

  3. I follow California Olive Ranch on Twitter.

  4. I tweeted your tweet:!/BoonieSooze/status/160843472943845376

  5. Rachel Blom1/21/12, 6:38 PM

    Would love to win the Bob's Red Mill Organic Quinoa Grain and
    the California Olive Ranch Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil!
    This meal looks like exactly what I'm craving for dinner. My 8 yo dd loves brussel sprouts and I've only boiled them so far so I will have to try roasting them next time.

  6. Good job with the Quinoa and Arbosana Olive oil. Your plate looks magnifico, I give it 5 stars. I like what you did with the quinoa, I am a huge fan of roasted peppers. The steak looks perfectly cooked and the brussel sprouts are a good accompaniment to the overall dish. Hats off to you, Great Job!

  7. I love quinoa. I would use the Arbosana olive oil and cook up some quinoa cakes.

    cereza25 at yahoo dot com

  8. tweeted:!/GoddessFoodie/status/160912739097776129

    cereza25 at yahoo dot com

  9. I follow BRM on Twitter.
    cereza25 at yahoo dot com

  10. I follow COR on Twitter @GoddessFoodie
    cereza25 at yahoo dot com

  11. I follow VP on Twitter @GoddessFoodie.

    cereza25 at yahoo dot com

  12. I follow Bob's Red Mill on Twitter

  13. I follow California Olive Ranch on Twitter.kj20082006

  14. I follow virtual potluck on Twitter. kj20082006

  15. Yum! Running out now to get a ribeye :)

  16. Sounds like a meal my meat-and-potatoes guy would love. I know it sounds amazing to me. Love to try it with Arbosana olive oil

  17. I follow Bob's Red Mill (@cmouse01)

  18. I follow @VirtualPotluck (cmouse01)

  19. Would love love to win the Arbosana! :) That's how I cook my brussel sprouts too (I actually just started eating them a couple of years ago after someone at grocery store told me how good sprouts were when roasted... never looked back since! :))

    sweepinpianista at gmail dot com

  20. I follow BRM on Twitter

  21. I follow COR on Twitter

  22. I follow VP on Twitter (as picatasi)

    sweepinpianista at gmail dot com

  23. I tweeted!!/picatasi/status/161981498088620032

  24. This looks SO yummy! Come cook it for my family and me tonight?

  25. I wanna share your post on my facebook,u know,the link,I like your post! is that ok?

  26. @beats headphones Of course! You can share any of my posts on FB or Google+. Thanks!


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If you are commenting to enter a giveaway, please do not comment as "Anonymous". If you choose to comment as "Name/URL", please use your Twitter handle as your Name or provide a URL that provides us a way to contact you in the even that you are the winner. Thank you! ~ FOODIE