Monday, July 25, 2011

Quinoa and Kale

I've posted this recipe before. I like it so much that I want to be sure everyone has seen it. If you're not familiar with Quinoa (keen-wah), let me catch you up.

Quinoa is a complete protein source with high levels of B vitamins, manganese, magnesium and iron. While the texture makes you think of eating a grain, quinoa really is a seed. Mixed with a phytonutrient-rich leafy green, you can't find a recipe that is much healthier! Then you add scallions, a little goat cheese or feta, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and zest, and pine nuts and you have a recipe filled with loads of complimenting flavors.
This recipe originated on the food blog Mostly Foodstuffs, and I think it's genius--one pot, twenty minutes total time, couldn't be easier or healthier, and it's really delicious!

I have substituted spinach and broccoli when kale isn't available, and it's equally as delicious and healthy.

Try it just once. I believe you'll enjoy it again and again!

Quinoa and Kale
(4 large servings, 7 Points Plus each)

1 cup quinoa
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped into 1" lengths
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese (for this Points Plus value, I used fat free feta)
salt and pepper
Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a 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.
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, olive oil, pine nuts, and cheese.

Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed -- the water should be 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 pilaf, 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.


  1. quinoa is really a good source of protein, I remember my mother used to cook quinoa for me because I am so thin and because it is a good source of Vit B , protein and iron it really good for growing kids.

  2. Quinoa is fairly new to me. I found quinoa flakes (very similar to oatmeal) that I use for breakfast.
    I love the texture of the whole quinoa in this recipe.
    Thank you for commenting!