Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quinoa & Kale

What’s the perfect side dish, that you can make ahead of time, refrigerate overnight, reheat the next day, and still tastes great? That was my challenge this weekend. My family was having an Easter cook-out, and I needed to make a dish-to-pass. Something that would travel well and require little tweaking.

I’ve been thinking about a warm, quinoa salad, for sometime now. I cannot say enough great things about quinoa. Not only is it gluten-free, it's also a complete protein, contains all 9 essential amino acids, and is full of calcium. It looks like a grain, cooks like rice, but it has a unique nutty flavor all its own. Plus, it’s fun to say. ;)

This dish is full of good things: quinoa, fresh kale, fresh lemon, onion, capers and a little bacon. Yummy, healthy and flavorful. I hope you LOVE it, as much as I do.

Quinoa & Kale
by Laura Friendly
start to finish: about 25 minutes
makes: about 8 cups

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (about 1⅓ cups dried quinoa)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • about 20 stems of kale, cleaned, stems removed, chopped (also chop up stems and set aside)
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 10 (or more) roasted garlic cloves, minced (or 3 to 5 fresh garlic cloves)
  • 4 pieces cooked gluten & dairy-free bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp capers

  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 4 to 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • zest of 1 lemon

Cook quinoa according to instructions. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, add olive oil, kale stems, onion, garlic, bacon and capers. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions are soft and transparent. Add in kale leaves, white wine and lemon juice. Mixing continually, cook until kale is slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.

Remove pan from heat and mix in cooked quinoa, toss well. Season with additional olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper (if desired). Before serving, top with freshly grated lemon zest.

See this recipe on

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