Wish Upon A Dish: Moroccan-Style Quinoa and Kale

March 11, 2016

Moroccan-Style Quinoa and Kale

This is the first recipe I am posting since I have started my new "rest of my life"-style diet.
I now have a comprehensive list of foods that I can eat and those I should not.

At the top of the GOOD list is high fiber foods. Fiber is instrumental in keeping those cravings from popping up. No bad snacking for me and instead of grabbing that bag of chips or cheese and crackers, I can take the time to plan everything I eat.

I will save the particulars for a later post because right now I want to talk about this dish I made the other night that was sooooo good that I just had to snap a few pics and share with you. It didn't hurt that it was a most beautiful day and the lighting was perfect.

One diet must was to only prepare two servings for dinner. No more leftovers for lunch.
I invested in America's Test Kitchen Complete Cooking For Two cookbook. 650 recipes for anything I could possibly want to make and then some.

When I saw this recipe as written I knew I could make it work to fit into my new diet. I would put this into a main dish category and by adding an extra 1/2 cup of quinoa, I had enough leftover to use as a stuffing for two beautiful artichokes. Tomorrow night's dinner is already in the bag.

I almost subbed in farro for the quinoa but at the last minute I changed my mind (farro was more wheat than I wanted). I think most of us are tired of quinoa recipes, but I had to trust the staff at America's Test Kitchen and the quinoa won out. I was happy I did.
Two protein-packed vegetarian staples in one pot for a pilaf-style dish. I added red pepper and asparagus to the mix and instead of pine nuts, I used sliced almonds.

Need a dish for a pot luck picnic, this is it!
Can be eaten hot or at room temperature, making it perfect for a buffet.
I loved that it did not use a vinegar based dressing, only spices, citrus and stock. It is so simple, I was blown away at the flavors.

If your family won't eat chickpeas but loves black beans, add those with some corn and use taco seasoning instead of the Moroccan spices, along with queso fresco or Pepper Jack for a complete Tex Mex transformation.

Let's get cooking.....

Moroccan-Style Quinoa and Kale with Chickpeas, Currants and Feta Cheese
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Serves 2 (I made extra for another dish)

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 small white onion finely chopped
* 1 large carrot, cut into 1/4" cubes
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
* 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
* 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
* 3/4 can chickpeas, drained
* 2 tablespoons currants, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm white wine
* Salt and pepper
* 6 ounces Dinosaur kale, stemmed and chopped into 1" pieces
* 6 asparagus spears, bottoms peeled and cut into 1" pieces
* 1/2 red pepper cut into 1" strips
* 3 tablespoons roasted sliced almonds
* Zest of one lemon plus juice of half
* 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. You are looking for color on the onions. Add coriander and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Stir in quinoa and lightly toast.
2. Stir in stock, chickpeas, currants and salt. Place kale & peppers on top and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add asparagus and stir. Add lemon zest and juice, along with the almonds and ground pepper. Remove from the heat and add the feta. Let the quinoa mixture sit for a few minutes before stirring and serving. 

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