I have made a new goal for myself- to stop being lazy when it comes to dinner. Or more specifically, put together a main dish that is not simply a snack plate or a salad composed of everything in the fridge at least 2 x per week. This may not seem like a big deal for all of you food bloggers extraordinaire out there, but for me this is going to be challenging. While I absolutely love dreaming up and making interesting breakfasts, desserts, snacks and sometimes even lunches, by the time it gets to dinner, I simply have no motivation or desire to get into the kitchen and create. Then before I know it, it’s 6 pm and I’m starving- leading to scrounging for leftovers or making a mish-mashed plate. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s still healthy, I miss eating good food at night! I miss truly enjoying my final meal of the day in the same way I enjoy the rest of my meals.
I will probably keep these meals simple (can’t expect me to go from 5 min meal prep to 1 hour can we?), but sometimes just putting a little thought into preparation can turn simple ingredients into a delicious meal!
So this (hopefully) will be the first of many main dish recipes coming from here!
Kale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For this recipe it all started with kale. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse! While it can be quite intimidating to work with at first, it’s actually super easy to incorporate into pretty much any dish. It is absolutely loaded with vitamins K, A and C, folic acid as well as loads of important minerals like iron and calcium. It is also very rich in glucosinates which have cancer-preventative benefits. Not to mention it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds meaning it is very important in maintaining whole body health and keeping stress-effects on your body, both nutritional and non-nutritional, down. I discussed the concept of nutritional stress in more detail here.
Also I just learned, courtesy of whfoods.com that cooking kale by steaming it can help fiber-related components of kale bind with bile acids in your digestive tract. This means the bile acids are more easily excreted which helps lower cholesterol! Go kale!
Anyway, I had some kale that was starting to wilt in my fridge and considering how awesome it is, I simply couldn’t allow it to go to waste. I decided to pair it with protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas for a meal that would keep me full for a few hours (because another one of my goals is to not snack after dinner unless I’m really hungry). I tossed some raisins in too because I am a huge fan of sweet and savoury components in meals.
I absolutely loved how this dish came out. It is a great combination of savoury, sweet, zesty and just a little heat which makes it incredibly satisfying. It comes together really quickly (about 20-30 min) and includes greens, a grain (or psuedograin in this case) and a protein. Not too shabby for my first attempt eh? ;)
Quinoa with Kale, Raisins and Chickpeas (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)
- 2/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 1/3 cup vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon and water to equal 1 1/3 cups
- 4 cups packed kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- one 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup raisins, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp good quality sea salt
- 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- nutritional yeast and chopped walnuts for serving (optional)
Place the quinoa and broth in a large pot, bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. In the last couple minutes add the kale on top and give a quick stir. Cover and let cook for 2 more minutes. Set aside.
While waiting for the quinoa to cook heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and once hot add the garlic and chilli flakes. Sauté until starting to brown and are fragrant (a couple minutes. Add the chickpeas and lemon zest and cook until warm, about 2 min. Add the quinoa, kale, raisins and salt and stir to mix well. Add the cherry tomatoes last stir over the heat for 1 minute. Serve with some nutritional yeast and chopped walnuts sprinkled on top.
This dish is best eaten the day made, although is good as leftovers as well. If you are planning on saving some for a later date, I suggest sprinkling it with some lemon juice and maybe a drizzle of olive oil before serving.
With that, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
What would you like to see more of here? More main dish recipes? Desserts? Other topics besides recipes?
I love creating and writing about a lot of topics so I’d be open to suggestions
Is there a meal you guys seem to slack on more than others? How do you overcome this? Any tips?
I slack on dinner as I explained above and I’m not sure how to motivate myself at night- maybe doing more meal planning?
Plans for the Weekend?
Heading to Montreal for a family get-together, then Canada’s Wonderland on Monday!
Have a great Thursday everyone! Weekend is almost here!