January is the perfect month to reset eating habits for a healthy start to the New Year.  Rather than counting calories and dieting, I like a wellness approach that centers around nutrient dense foods. Choosing foods that are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals will naturally calm cravings.

Load your plates with nutrient dense foods by making simple switches.  Instead of pasta and white rice, opt for quinoa, a nutty little seed that contains a complete protein.  Select vitamin rich spinach or kale as a substitute for plain lettuce and choose beans in place of red meats.

In 2018, consider the nutrients and make every bite count.  My Quinoa and Kale, brimming with goodness from the earth, will help you do just that.

quinoa_kale

 Quinoa and Kale

1 cup white quinoa

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large or 2 small shallot finely sliced

2 cups (packed) kale finely chopped

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup prepared pesto

1/3 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup golden raisins

Salt to taste

In a small sauce pan set to medium heat, cook the chicken stock until it comes to a boil. Rinse quinoa under running water before adding it to the stock. Cook the quinoa uncovered until it blooms and is tender about 18-20 minutes and drain any remaining liquid. In a large chef’s pan set to medium heat, warm olive oil and cook shallot until it begins to brown. Add kale, corn and pumpkin seeds to the hot oil mixture and toss to heat through, 2-3 minutes.  Add pesto and allow it to melt into the other ingredients. Stir in quinoa and dried fruit and mix very well. Season to taste and serve warm or cold.

Tip:

Washing quinoa before cooking takes away the bitterness.

For more of Lorie’s recipes, visit our McKinney Kitchens page.

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