April 11th, 2011
I don’t usually hop on the food trend bandwagon (sorry, no cookie stuffed cookies here), but I couldn’t resist this One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf from Food52 that everyone’s been buzzing about. Honestly, it had me at “one pot,” but then throw in two nutritionally dense ingredients, some cheese and a WHOLE lot of people in praise and it’s a no-brainer.
I bookmarked this recipe in February, but it’s taken until now to give it a go. With so much happening on Peko Peko (read an update here!), I’m especially desperate for quick and healthy dinners like this pilaf. And there’s nothing like desperation to motivate new solutions… and really put a recipe through the family dinner test.
How did this uber healthy pilaf fare?
Let’s just say that this recipe is family food gold. It’s way tastier than you think it’ll be. I’m even talking to you (three) people who think that plain steamed kale and quinoa sounds tasty. Seriously: this is Tasty with a capital “T.” Both of my kids gobbled it up, even the kale, which they usually find too tough. There’s something about the way it steams and cooks into the quinoa that makes it easier to manage than a side of wilted kale.
In addition to being delicious, it’s easy to make and turns into a power dinner served alongside simply prepared chicken or seafood — think a 10 minute saute or broil — or even just two fried eggs. I’ve made this twice already and doubled the second batch to have leftovers. I’d planned on freezing some, as well, but we ate it up before I could.
Do yourself a favor and bookmark this one. It’s brilliant.
One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf, barely adapted from Food52
(can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*
2 c salted water
1 c quinoa
1 bunch lacinato kale, washed, ribs removed and chopped into 1″ pieces
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 Tbsp walnut oil (you can substitute another nut oil or olive oil)
1/4 cup crumbed feta cheese
3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
salt and pepper
1. Bring salted water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add kale to the pot, piling the leaves on top of the quinoa. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, leaving the covered pot on the stove. Allow the kale and quinoa to steam for another 5 minutes. It’s done when all of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa and kale are tender. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, add a little bit of water and steam longer.
3. In the meantime, in a large serving bowl combine lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, oil, feta, pine nuts and scallions.
4. Fluff the quinoa and kale pilaf and add it to the bowl with the zest, juice, oil and other ingredients. Toss to combine. Add remaining lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve!
*Note: This healthful dish is great to share with first time eaters. Just be sure to puree to an age-appropraite consistency; you may need to add water. Also, be sure to use pasteurized feta cheese.