Quinoa With Kale And Walnuts


Nutrient rich kale, abundant in vitamins A, C and K as well as fiber and iron, is a leafy green vegetable with a slightly earthy flavor.  It is very low in calories, yet very high in nutrients.  I am trying to find creative ways to incorporate more of it into my diet.

I came up with this recipe as a spinoff of the chicken vegetable couscous dish I posted back on March 19th.  I love having dishes like this on hand in the fridge throughout the week.  It can serve it’s purpose as a last minute side dish for a quick meal or as a whole meal itself (which is usually how I eat it).  I knew I wanted to have kale in this dish so from that point on I tried to include other things to complement the kale in color, texture and flavor.   

Just thinking about how healthy this meal is can actually be overwhelming!  Quinoa, as many of you might already know is a superfood.  It is a protien containing all nine essential amino acids.  Kale, as I briefly mentioned above is very rich in vitamins and nutrients.  It is also one of the best sources of beta-carotene making it a warrior in the fight against different types of cancers.  And get this, it actually fights fat. 


Typically, I don’t create my own recipes, however, I think I did an ok job on this one.  I hope you think so as well.

Here’s what you will need to serve 3-4 people, as a side dish….


6 cups kale, stems removed, finely chopped (1 medium head)

1 cup quinoa

2 cups low sodium chicken stock

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 lemon, zested

juice of one large lemon

1/3 cup white wine

1/3 cup (heaping) chopped walnuts, toasted

1/3 cup (heaping) corn kernels

1/3 cup parsley

pinch freshly grated nutmeg

salt & pepper


Cook quinoa according to the package directions, using chicken stock in place of water.  (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of stock, bring to a boil, cover and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat olive oil, add onions and red pepper flakes and saute for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and lemon zest, cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add white wine, stir and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.   Add salt & pepper.

Add kale, 1/2 of the lemon juice and the pinch of nutmeg.  Stir to combine and allow to cook over a low flame for 5-7 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Now is the time to add those corn kernels.

Add the cooked quinoa to the kale mixture and gently combine.  Turn off the heat and add the remaining lemon juice, parsley and toasted walnuts.  Taste and add more salt & pepper, if needed.

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19 Responses to “Quinoa With Kale And Walnuts”

  1. April 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    i love the addition of walnuts!

    April 29, 2009 at 11:44 am


  3. May 1, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    This looks super tasty. We’re on a real quinoa kick over here. Just made these: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=1767 (quinoa stuffed peppers) this past week – also very good.

    I’m bookmarking this recipe!

  4. 4 Julie
    May 11, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    This is (was) absolutely delicious. I made it tonight and my partner and I had to stop ourselves. He is looking forward to lunch tomorrow. The flavors work beautifully. Thank you for this recipe.

  5. 5 John Linden
    February 3, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Made this tonight and it was great. We added a little bit of feta and cooked the quinoa with finely diced carrots that needed using up. Definitely bookmarking the recipe. Plus I feel great because it was so healthy!

  6. 6 Caroline
    May 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    So delicious! I really enjoyed this warm the night I made it, and cold the following day for lunch. Thanks for the great recipe.

  7. 7 Laura
    July 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Hands down the best quinoa-kale recipe I’ve tried yet, and I’ve tried a lot, for the same reasons the author listed above. This recipe stood up well to my obligatory modifications (I never have all the listed ingredients), such as lime instead of lemon, rice vinegar instead of white wine, and shallots instead of onion. Thank you for the great base!

  8. 8 Laura
    August 22, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I used a splash of fish sauce and a splash of soy sauce instead of wine.
    I used cashews (what I had on hand) instead of walnuts.
    I threw in 1/2 pound of pre-cooked shrimp.
    I used three cups quinoa (cooked in water in a rice steamer)
    no garlic (allergic to it!)

    Then when all the cooked ingredients were together I added in a chopped avocado and tomato.

    This was a huge hit. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  9. November 7, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I replaced the corn with diced apple- very good!

  10. November 7, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Oh- I also set aside the kale stems to eat with my hummus- a much tastier and more nutritious alternative to other dipping veggies.

  11. 11 Susan
    February 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I loved it and so did my family! Thank you for posting it.

  12. 12 terra
    August 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Wow, was this delicious. I added another 1/4 tsp red pepper because I like extra kick, but I imagine it’s pretty perfectly balanced with the given proportions (so, follow the recipe unless you want kick). I’m recommending this to a bunch of friends who are in a CSA with me. We get kale every week. A lot of it. This dish is equally tasty warm, room temp and cool.

  13. 13 Nat
    March 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

    yay! my first successful kale/quinoa/walnut combo. All other recipes have been less than appetizing but i knew this combo could be a hit. Thanks for the recipe. I really think it was your addition of white wine and red pepper that gave it the kick it was missing.(it is possilbe that i’m feeling the love due to having to finish the bottle of wine we opened for the 1/3 cup..but either way…..thanks!!) I didn’t have corn so used chick peas instead. Even more nutirtion! super yum

  14. 14 Anne
    March 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Yum! I used vegetable stock (only 1 1/4 cup needed), toasted the walnuts in a little walnut oil and used baked cubed sweet potato instead of corn… and a little less red pepper to make it palatable for the kids :) I served this as a main dish, following a pot of creamed cauliflower soup (Meatless Monday!)

  15. August 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    This recipe can be reinterpreted in so many ways, I’ve replaced onion with scallion, replaced corn with halved grape tomatoes, and doubled up on the walnuts in various incarnations. All delicious! As long as you stick to the white wine/lemon/red pepper flake combo you can practically do whatever you like after that!

  16. July 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Good blog post. I definitely love this website. Stick
    with it!

  17. 17 Amy
    August 15, 2013 at 3:23 am

    OMG delicious!! I used apple cider vinegar in place of the white wine and omitted the corn, nutmeg & red pepper flakes (didn’t have them on hand). But it turned out delicious and even better the next day cold with avacado!! Will make again!!!

  18. 18 beca
    January 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I have made this several times now- delicious! Thanks so much for this healthy recipe!

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