Entrees, Recipes, Vegetarian

Easy Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

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I thought that I had gotten through the cold-weather season without catching the flu. Or any of the bad viruses that were going around. After all, I was prepared: I had drank a ridiculous amount of orange juice and eaten yogurt everyday. Then recently, during a stressful work period, I stopped consuming the oj and yogurt, slept too little, and boom!  I got sick. Really really sick.

And I got every single symptom under the sun (I'll spare you the details.) For over a week, even getting myself up from bed has been a challenge. I'd try to do work but would find myself a short time later on the couch, shivering and wrapped up in a blanket. And I ordered too much takeout food. Soup, banh mi, noodles. I tried to go as healthy as I could, but pretty soon, I just got sick of the sodium, heavy sauces, and spending too much $$$ for subpar food. 

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And so, I've been trying to cook a bit here and there. But when you're this sick, all you can manage in the kitchen is about 20 minutes and 1 pot's worth of cooking.

This recipe for one pot kale and quinoa pilaf is adapted from Food52. It's easy to make even if your energy level is close to 0%. I made substitutions to fit what I had in the pantry and nixed the goat cheese (not good for the throat), and it still came out great. It was simple and just what I needed. And hopefully all those vitamins will help speed up the recovery process.

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Easy Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

Serves 2 to 4

  • 2 cups salted water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed and leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Zest and juice from 1 Meyer lemon
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers or slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Rinse the quinoa. In a pot, combine the water and quinoa. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.. Lower the heat to a bare simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kale, re-cover the pot, and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, scallions, olive oil, and almonds slivers.
  3. When the quinoa and kale are done, transfer to a large bowl. Add the lemon mixture and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed and serve.

Adapted from Food52