March 24, 2011 § 3 Comments
Late start for dinner as usual. Tonight I got sucked into youtube, allmusic.com and pandora looking for some unique additions to a playlist mix for an Eighties party that I’m heading to this weekend. Instead of late night cereal-for-dinner routine when I forget to eat, I had to make something good, and warm.
Recently I’d come across this online and had nearly all of the ingredients, so I went for it. Quinoa is a new pantry item for me. I added it because it is super easy to prepare and super healthy. It’s packed with protein, even though most would think it would be only a carbohydrate. I’ve tried a couple of quinoa recipes and this dish is my favorite by far. I used mostly red quinoa with a small amount of the regular variety.
It’s a bowl of happiness. Because it tastes wonderful and also because it takes less than thirty minutes to make. only about 10 minutes chopping and preparing.
Lacinato kale (Dino or tuscan) gives it a firm crunchy, chewy texture. Packed full of goodness too. It essentially gets steamed along with the fast cooking quinoa. Similarly, the quinoa has a chewiness as well, so I think you burn a few calories eating this!
Ultimately it’s the unique combination of flavors that makes this a great dish: tangy, earthy, salty. The Meyer lemon (thanks Li and Berndt) adds a nice fresh backing flavor. My variation was to stray from the “one pot recipe” by adding a shallot and garlic, which were sauteed in a small skillet. The recipe calls for toasted pine nuts which I pan toast anyway. Toasted pine nuts are a favorite of mine, reminds me of bacon bits–addictive.
I can see this recipe being the basis of many variations of happiness bowls-add any fresh vegetables which are in season–those that can cook by steaming within 10 minutes.
Happiness recipe after the jump…
Quinoa Happiness Bowl
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Quinoa
1 Shallot, thinly sliced (I used about 1 Tablespoon)
1 Clove of Garlic, thinly sliced
1 Bunch Lacinato Kale, chopped into 1/2 inch strips
1 Meyer Lemon, zested and juiced (of course, a regular lemon will work as well)
1 Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil + 2 teaspoons, separated
3 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 Cup Goat cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot (4qt or larger) add water, quinoa, and a pinch of salt.
2. Bring to a boil. Then immediately reduce to a simmer, for 10 minutes covered.
3. Wash and chop kale. removing larger stems. Slice shallot and garlic.
4. In a small sauté pan, on medium heat saute shallots with two teaspoons of olive oil for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, sauté for only one additional minute. Remove from pan.
5. Add chopped kale to pot with quinoa, return to simmer for 5 minutes-covered.
6. Check quinoa: the quinoa will become slightly translucent around the edges and the curly bit pops out from the grain. Add the shallots and garlic to the pot, gently blend in. Remove pot from heat and let the rest 5 minutes covered (additional steaming). After the 5 minutes use a fork to separate and fluff the quinoa.
7. in a large bowl mix lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest and pine nuts.
8. Add the quinoa kale mixture to the large bowl and lightly toss. Season with salt and pepper The goat cheese can be added into the warm mixture or just crumbled on top after plating.
2 main servings or 4 side servings
Also thanks to deensiebat/52food.com for the creating the original recipe