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.