Quinoa and kale seem to be appearing everywhere on menus these days. You can usually find a variation of a "quinoa bowl" at any salad restaurant, but they run you at least $8. I sometimes get them at a local restaurant chain and shell out about $10 for a healthy and satisfying meal when I'm too lazy to cook. However, making your own quinoa bowl is so easy, and with a little preparation, you can throw one together in just a few minutes.
1. The first step to making a quinoa bowl is to cook the quinoa. Having cooked quinoa on hand cuts down on prep time and you can use the leftovers to make more quinoa bowls or other recipes such as quinoa fried rice.
Cook quinoa in a 1 to 2 ratio of quinoa and water (1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water). Add a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down low to simmer until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, about 20 minutes.
2. Next, prepare the kale by removing the tough stems and tearing the leaves into small pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste, then massage the kale to rub in the oil and distribute the salt. You will notice a change in the appearance; the kale will look more "cooked" and tender. Place kale in your serving bowl and top with a serving of cooked quinoa.
3. Add whatever veggies, proteins, and garnishes you like. Below is a list of things I like to add to my bowls for some ideas, but this is where you can customize your bowl to your own preferences. Prepping these ingredients beforehand, like chopping veggies and roasting veggies, can also cut down on prep time.
4. Finish the bowl with your favorite dressing or sauce. In the one I made above, I made a quick spicy hummus dressing with sun-dried tomato hummus thinned with water and some sriracha sauce. Stir it all together and enjoy a nutritious and delicious meal!
shredded kale massaged with a drizzle of olive oil and salt to taste
roasted veggies (brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, sweet potato)
hard boiled egg
toasted walnuts, almonds, pecans
dried cranberries, raisins, figs (chopped)
fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, chives)
shredded cheese, blue cheese crumbles
What are you favorite flavor combinations?