Quick and Healthy Meal

Yesterday was a difficult day. Lots of work stress, plus I took on a new private yoga client. Needless to say, I found myself still working at 5:45pm (gasp!). By the time I left my desk to make dinner, I realized the kitchen was still in disarray from this morning (and last night's) activity. Oye. I hate cooking in a messy kitchen. So I decide to take a breath and just clean while listening to my podcast (loving the new Serial podcast!). It turns out this is quite pleasant.

So then comes the task of deciding what to make. By then it was 6:20, quite late to start planning and cooking. You see, usually I have a plan. Each Sunday I plan my meals and groceries for the week. But last Sunday I didn't have it in me so I just purchased standard groceries.

So I open the pantry, desperate for an idea. I see quinoa (great - because it cooks in 15 minutes), and beans! Then the fridge has an array of veggies and I grab kale, carrots, cabbage and garlic. I decide to make the quinoa more flavorful by sautéing shallot and garlic in the oil before toasting the grains. Once that cooks, I cook down the kale stems in bacon fat (we need flavor, people!) then add the rest of the veggies and some seasoning. By the end (about 20 minutes later) I have a surprisingly delicious meal that is super nutrient dense. For an extra healthy fat boost, I add a pad of butter to each quinoa pile before topping with hot veggies.

So under pressure, I was able to make a great dinner! This is super flexible too, and could be seasoned to be Asian (add soy sauce, tofu, green onions and siracha) or Mexican (add peppers, black beans, cilantro and chili power/cumin) along with other flavors. So add this to your "desperate quick dinner" plan and you'll be set.

Quinoa and Veggie Delight
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients (for quinoa)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tlb oil/fat of choice
1 small shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 tsp salt
2 cups water

Ingredients (for veggie topping)
2 cups kale, stemmed (reserve stems)
2 carrots, chopped
¼ small red cabbage, chopped
2 tsp salt
2 Tlb bacon fat (or fat of choice)
1 tsp all purpose seasoning of choice

To Prepare Quinoa

  1. Saute 1 shallot with oil
  2. Add quinoa to pan and saute for 1 minute
  3. Add water and bring to a boil
  4. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes
  5. After 15 minutes, take pot off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes
  6. Fluff with fork and add salt to taste

To Prepare Meal

  1. Add fat to pan and toss in carrots, cook for 3 minutes
  2. Add cabbage, kale, salt and seasoning
  3. Cook until cabbage softens
  4. Add quinoa to bowl with 1 tlb butter
  5. Top with veggies and serve!