One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

Kale is a fairly new vegetable to me and one that I do not use very often. The last time I used it, I made kale "chips" and they were delicious, so I was excited to try it out in this dish. The kale tasted very hearty against the millet and the zest and juice of the lemon added a nice zing to the dish. My favorite part about this recipe is that it lends itself well to substitution. Each time you make this, you can swap out the grain, veggies, or cheese with whatever you have on hand. If you're not a fan of kale, swiss chard would be a great substitute and feel free to swap out quinoa for couscous or millet like I did. Add a protein and you have an easy, perfect one pot meal. Best of all, you feel like you're eating a big bowl of healthy goodness!

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf
Recipe from Food 52
Serves 2-4

• 2 cups salted water or you can substitute half or all of water with chicken broth
• 1 cup quinoa
• 1 bunch kale (6 oz) washed and chopped into 1" lengths
• 1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced*
• 2 scallions, minced
• 1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil or olive oil
• 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds, chopped
• 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, feta, or cotija
• salt and pepper

1. Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, walnut oil (you can substitute olive oil if you desire), pine nuts, and goat cheese.
3. Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed -- the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the quinoa, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and lemon it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.

*If using regular lemon use only half the juice and add more to taste


Unknown said...

I am not a kale lover, but this looks fantastic

NuM NuM said...

Thanks Jennifurla - it really is a yummy healthy meal in a bowl

NuM NuM said...

Add a protein and make it a dinner