kale and quinoa pilaf


This is a nutritious, flavorful one-pot dish that will keep for days. Perfect for making ahead and packing for lunch!

Health benefits: 

Kale:  high in fiber, low in calories, and zero fat; high in iron and vitamin K; packed with antioxidants (carotenoids, flavonoids); anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids; high in Vitamins A & C and calcium. The list goes on and on... 

Quinoa: rich in protein; complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index; gluten-free; contains iron and lysine (essential for tissue growth and repair); rich in magnesium (relaxes blood vessels, alleviates migraines; may reduce type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control), Riboflavin (B2) (improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells), and manganese (an antioxidant) 

Goat cheese: low in fat and calories; rich in calcium; high in protein; suitable for those who are lactose intolerant (!); contains probiotics to aid in digestion; higher in Vitamins D and K compared to cow's cheese


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2 cups salted water
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch kale, chopped (about 4-6 large leaves)
1/4 lemon, zested and juiced
2 scallions, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoon toasted walnuts (or pine nuts or pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper 

serves 2-4

prep time: 10 min
cook time: 20 min
adapted from deensiebat at food52


1. Toast the walnuts or pine nuts (6-7 minutes at 350F). 

2. Bring the salted water to a boil in a pot.

3. Add the quinoa, cover the pot, and lower the heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes.



4. Add the kale, re-cover, and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest on the same burner for 5 minutes.



5. While the quinoa is cooking, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, scallions, olive oil, nuts, and goat cheese in a large bowl.



6. Check the quinoa and the kale once the cooking time is over. The water should be fully absorbed, the quinoa firm but tender, and the kale should be bright green and tender. If the quinoa is still hard, steam for a bit longer, adding more water.



7. Fluff the quinoa and pour into the bowl with the other ingredients. 



8. Toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper. If needed, add more lemon juice to taste.