Supreme Pizza Quinoa Bake (and The Dude Diet Dinnertime Cover Reveal!)
SURPRISE!! It’s cover reveal day, friends!!!
The Dude Diet Dinnertime does, in fact, have a cover, and this is it!!!!
Sorry for yelling. I’m excited. I’ve been sitting on this cover for months now, and since I hate/am very bad at secrets, I’m both thrilled and relieved to finally share it with you. I might dig this cover even more than The Dude Diet’s nacho cover, and I’d like to thank Marian Cooper Cairns, food stylist extraordinaire, for conceptualizing it.
Cover reveal day means that The Dude Diet Dinnertime pre-launch has officially begun, and shit is getting very real. The release date is October 29, so we’ve still got just shy of 3 months until the book hits shelves, but if you think I’m not about to spend the next 84 days fluffing you for DDD Day, you are sorely mistaken. I’ve got all kinds of fun stuff coming your way over the next few months—behind-the-scenes footage of the book launch process, recipe sneak peeks, contests, giveaways, and so much more—to pump you up. I can’t wait.
But in the meantime, I thought I’d take some time to tackle the most frequently asked questions about The Dude Diet Dinnertime.
The Dude Diet Dinnertime FAQs:
What should I expect in the book? How is it different from the first one?
This bad boy was written to help you hack the daily dinner dilemma and its pages are filled with my very best dinnertime ideas. The recipes are made with mostly good-for-you ingredients, and there’s a little something for every type of occasion and Dude Diet chef. Unlike the original DD, there’s no cocktails, desserts, or snacks. To give you a better idea of what’s in store, The Dude Diet Dinnertime contains the following chapters:
- Introduction. This is where I recap The Dude Diet’s birth story and principles, catch you up on what’s been going on since the first book was released, and give you a little update on everyone’s favorite diet ambassador (aka Logan).
- Step Up To The Dinner Plate. In this chapter, I run down the ingredients and equipment used most frequently throughout the book (it’s a slightly paired back list from the OG Dude Diet) and hit you with my top tips for dinnertime domination.
- Bomb Burgers and Sandwiches. For days you’re craving some classic, handheld comfort.
- One-Pan Wonders. From game-day staples to entertaining favorites, these meals create minimal mess.
- Kickass Casseroles. Exactly what it sounds like.
- Fingers, Wings, and Other Things. A chapter conceptualized by Logan (and slimmed down by me) for fellow enthusiasts of “the danks.” Think Dude Diet Meatball Subs, Buffalo Chicken Taquitos, Honey-Chipotle BBQ Wings, Pulled Pork Tostadas…
- Serious Salads. Hearty dinner salads made with both leafy green lovers and haters in mind.
- Meaty Mains. A wide array of leaner offerings for ze meat lovers.
- Plenty Of Fish In The Sea. Foolproof fish recipes!
- Black Tie Optional. Should you have a hot date or choose to host a dinner party, this chapter serves up slightly elevated Dude Diet fare.
- Sexy Sides. Meant to be mixed and matched with your favorite meat and seafood mains to create an endless variety of epic feasts.
- Breakfast for Dinner. From hearty pancakes to sheet pan hash, these recipes are perfect for “brinner.”
Are those torsos on the cover you and Logan?
YES. We’ve made it, people!
But why aren’t your heads on the cover?
Look, this is a step up process, okay? First book: only food with one hand (not ours). Second book: mostly food but with our torsos. Third book: less prominent food with heads!!
Wait…I don’t want to get overexcited. I’ll probably only get one head for book three. My vote is for Logan because of the whole muse thing. Plus, people like his chest hair.
Will there be nutrition info printed for the recipes in this book?
Nope. I know this angers some of you. As a people pleaser, that’s tough for me, but I’m sticking to my guns on this. I firmly support counting calories and macros if that works for you, but I created The Dude Diet with those seeking an alternative to counting calories and wanting a more flexible approach to healthy eating in mind. I also find calorie counts to be confusing for some, as not all calories are created equal. A salad loaded with healthy fats like avocado or walnuts and lean protein or a quinoa bake may have as many calories as a Big Mac, but they are not created equal in terms of nutrition. I never want people to throw in the towel on a healthy meal because it has a high calorie count. (If you do need calorie counts, many Dude Dieters have had great success calculating them using myfitnesspal.)
Are you doing a book tour?
YASSSSSS. Patty and I have been hard at work planning a rather epic DDD tour since early spring, and I can’t wait to hit the road and hopefully meet/hug/party with you.
Bitch, are you coming to my city??!!!
I hope so! I won’t be announcing the official tour dates and event specifics until late September/early October, but tour stops are locked in, and I will be visiting the cities below. If your city isn’t on this list and you wanted it to be, please forgive me!! I would hit every requested city if I could, but a weird blog lady only has so much mental/physical/financial bandwidth.
Dude Diet Dinnertime Tour Stops:
New York City, NY
Kansas City, MO
San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Palm Beach, FL
Are you going to be on my TV?
Fingies crossed!! I promise to keep you abreast of any/all on cam-ah-rah appearances via Instagram.
When can I pre-order?
Now! Right NOW!! You can pre-order your copy of The Dude Diet Dinnertime on:
But, like, why should I pre-order?
A few reasons. First off, you’ll receive your book on the day it’s released! That means you’ll be able to get cooking as soon as humanly possible. You’ll also have a leg up on some of the cooking contests/giveaways that I’m planning for you. (Also, if you pre-order today, you might forget about it by October 29th, so it will be a super fun surprise when it arrives!)
Second, pre-orders help my publisher gauge interest in the book and decide whether the initial print run will satisfy demand, or if they’ll need to print more copies. For many booksellers (from Amazon to independent bookstores), pre-order numbers can help them decide whether to stock the book and how many copies they’ll carry. Pre-ordering makes a huge difference in terms of helping me get the book out there and making it available to people who may want it (/prevent the dreaded “Out Of Stock” sticker on Amazon come the holidays).
Finally, pre-orders count towards my first week of book sales. So if everyone pre-orders, then there’s a remote chance that The Dude Diet Dinnertime will snag a spot on the New York Times Best Seller List. If that happens, more people will find out about the book and The Dude Diet in general. And if more people find out about the book/me/The Dud eDiet, then I might get to drink wine with Hoda on TV, finally pose for Maxim in a classy way, and convince Yeti to sponsor me! I would be eternally grateful for your support in following my dreams.
Will you be sending out signed book plates again if I pre-order?
Unfortunately, I’m not. I’m sorry! I wanted so badly to send these out again (the fact that some people want my autograph legit makes me giddy), but I spent the better part of two weeks addressing and mailing book plates for The Dude Diet, and it nearly destroyed me. And my apartment. This time around, I want to repurpose the time I’d spend mailing book plates to cook through the book with you on Instagram, execute fabulous book events (where I’ll gleefully sign your book!!), and show up here with surprises and new recipes! There will also be several giveaways of signed copies, I promise.
How you feeling, girl?
Equal parts excited and terrified? Sweaty, as per usual. My roommate told me I “cried so much less with this book!!” so I feel pretty good about that.
Whew. I think we’ve tackled the most important things, but if you have any other questions, please hit me with them in the comments or drop me a line. Thank you so much for supporting your weird blog lady during this insane book process. (Special shout out to the DDD recipe testing family and my badass Instagram community!) You were/are a huge part of making this book a reality, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to fully express my gratitude. I really hope you like it.
Shit, I almost forgot! I made an insanely delicious quinoa bake to celebrate DDD’s pre-launch!! Please allow me to introduce the Supreme Pizza Quinoa Bake.
Given the length of this post, I’ll keep the quinoa bake gushing tight, friends. This whole-grain casserole does, in fact, taste like pizza, and it’s worthy of all my favorite adjectives: mind-blowing, life-changing, dank, etc. I have a feeling it may join Cheeseburger and Buffalo Chicken in the quinoa bake hall of fame, and I need you to get on it ASAFP. That is all.
Supreme Quinoa Bake Serves 4 generously
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
¼ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs (optional but recommended)
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ pound uncooked Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced (Any color will do.)
2 cups thinly sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup cauliflower “rice” (aka very finely chopped cauliflower florets)
¼ cup pickled jalapeños, finely chopped (Optional. You can also sub black olives if you like.)
1¾ cups marinara sauce, divided (I strongly recommend Rao’s brand.)
1½ cups part-skim mozzarella, divided
For serving: (optional)
Crushed red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese
-Combine the quinoa and chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, and cook for 14 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
-In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, oregano and garlic powder. Briefly set aside.
-Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a large (12-inch) ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the sausage and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces with a spatula, until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and briefly set aside. (I forgot to photograph the sausage. Forgive me.)
-Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. Transfer half a cup of the cooked vegetables to a small bowl. (You’re going to use them for the top of the quinoa bake.)
-Stir in the cauliflower rice and cook for about 2 minutes until just tender.
-Turn off the heat and fold in the quinoa, 2/3 of the sausage, most of the jalapeños (if using), 1¼ cup of marinara sauce, and ¾ cup of the cheese. Taste the filling and season with a little salt if needed. Gently smooth the top of the quinoa bake with a spatula.
-Spread the remaining ½ cup of tomato sauce on top of the filling then sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup cheese. Top with the remaining sausage, the reserved vegetables and jalapeños (if using), and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.
-Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the top is very lightly browned.
-Let your delicious quinoa bake cool for a few minutes. (It will remove your taste buds if you cheat.) Serve with crushed red pepper and grated Parmesan cheese if you’re feeling festive.
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
- 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
- ¼ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs optional but recommended
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- ½ pound uncooked Italian turkey or chicken sausage casings removed
- 1 bell pepper seeded and diced (Any color will do.)
- 2 cups thinly sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 cup cauliflower “rice” aka very finely chopped cauliflower florets
- ¼ cup pickled jalapeños finely chopped (optional)
- 1¾ cups marinara sauce divided (I strongly recommend Rao’s brand.)
- 1½ cups part-skim mozzarella divided
For serving: (optional)
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the quinoa and chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, and cook for 14 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, oregano and garlic powder. Briefly set aside.
Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a large (12-inch) ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the sausage and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces with a spatula, until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and briefly set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. Transfer half a cup of the cooked vegetables to a small bowl. (You’re going to use them for the top of the quinoa bake.)
Stir in the cauliflower rice and cook for about 2 minutes until just tender.
Turn off the heat and fold in the quinoa, 2/3 of the sausage, most of the jalapeños (if using), 1¼ cup of marinara sauce, and ¾ cup of the cheese. Taste the filling and season with a little salt if needed. Gently smooth the top of the quinoa bake with a spatula.
Spread the remaining ½ cup of tomato sauce on top of the filling then sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup cheese. Top with the remaining sausage, the reserved vegetables and jalapeños (if using), and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the top is very lightly browned.
Let your delicious quinoa bake cool for a few minutes. (It will remove your taste buds if you cheat.) Serve with crushed red pepper and grated Parmesan cheese if you’re feeling festive.
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