Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Toasted Quinoa, Carrot, and Kale

I don't really know what to call this dish, because you can serve it as a whole hot meal, or chill overnight and serve as a salad the next day. Kind of magical, right?

Last week, I was hit with a wave of inexplicable depression (the sun setting as early 3:57 pm could do that to you), and I knew just what would cheer me up...LOBLAWS, WENCHES!

I blissfully stocked up on a colourful array of veggies and noticed some leafy greens on sale (kale, and collars, and chards, oh my!)...but it gets BETTER. When I got to the cash, the sale was not yet entered in the computers. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS: La loi d'exactitude des prix! I got a head of kale for FREE! I felt like an outlaw, first-class.

I marvelled, of course....immobilized and slightly hunched over in triumphant glee.

Then, I got home. My dad looked at me witheringly and said, "you better believe you're cooking some of that tonight, because the fridge is FULL." I set my jaw. Bring it, Dad.

I whizzed through several kale recipes, and this one looked the most appealing...and it's easy peasy.

What You'll Need:

-4-5 carrots, grated or coarsely chopped..whatever floats your boat, really
-1-2 cups quinoa, rinsed
-1/2 head yummy kale, chopped to bite-sized pieces
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 cup leek (or onion)
-2-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbsp grated ginger
-pepper, to taste
-1 cup water

What To Do:

1) Put a large frying pan on the stove at medium-high heat.

2) While the pan is heating up, rinse and chop your kale. Rinse your quinoa.

3) When the pan is hot, put the quinoa into the pan. TOAST for 10-15 minutes (trust me on this one) or until you see that the seeds turn a couple of shades darker and the kitchen is mm mm fragrant!

4) Once your quinoa is done toasting, pour in 1/2 cup water. Cover, keeping on medium heat. When the quinoa is almost cooked, reduce the heat, and move it to the edges of the pan and drizzle some olive oil in the free space, and toss the leek in. Sautée the leek gently--watch, because it burns easily! After 1-2 min, toss in minced ginger and your grated carrots. Cook for another minute or two, and serve HOT, with freshly ground pepper.


Yields a lot of servings.

NB: The only thing I would change about this recipe is that it is admittedly, a little bland. Up the ginger, pepper, or think about adding red pepper flakes, sage, or some other spices you think would make a good combination.

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