Up until recently, the only recipe I ever made that included the trendy quinoa grain was this scrumdiddly-umptious dish that I found on Allrecipes.com. It's SO good. Make it immediately if not sooner.
Quinoa is one of those ancient grains that, I guess, fell out of favor in this country (except in the hippie circles maybe) for one reason or another along with grains like spelt, millet, and bulgur. I had never even heard of quinoa until a couple of years ago and now it seems like it's everywhere.
Quinoa is a pseudograin from South America that's uber-healthy.
From the Wiki: "Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights."
So I found the following recipe a while ago and just hadn't gotten around to making it until recently. Not only does it have the superfood quinoa in it, but also kale and sweet potato. It's kind of like a Justice League Superfriends recipe. Lots of heavy-hitters, nutritionally speaking. Plus it has onion and a bit of bacon. Mmmmm...bacon. But if you don't do bacon, this recipe could be easily modified and still be very delicious.
2 to 4 slices of bacon, diced
1/4 of a large onion, sliced thin
1 cup of quinoa
1 1/2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of salt, divided
1 medium sweet potato (about 10 oz.), cut into 1/4" cubes
1 small bunch of kale (about 8 oz.), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F.
2. In a medium saucepan with a tight fitting lid, cook the bacon over medium heat until extra super crispy - about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon (you want to retain the bacon grease in the pan) and set aside.
3. Drop the onions into the hot bacon fat (obviously if you want to skip the bacon portion of this recipe, you could just heat up a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil), and saute, stirring occasionally until the onions soften - about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and toss until coated with the fat and slightly toasted - about 2 minutes. Add the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil, stir once, cover, reduce heat to low and let cook undisturbed until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender - about 15 minutes.
4. While the quinoa is cooking, toss the sweet potatoes and kale with the olive oil and the remaining salt and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes and kale begin to brown in places and the potatoes are tender - about 15minutes. (Watch this step closely because I had some seriously burned portions of kale that I ended up tossing.)
Then just mix it all up in a bowl and dig in!
In retrospect, I would not mix in all of the bacon unless the entire recipe was going to be consumed immediately. When we ate the leftovers over the next couple of days, the bacon got soggy (and kinda gross). So maybe I'd just sprinkle on the bacon bits per portion.