Quinoa is a great protein source for vegetarians and vegans. Roughly 1 serving (1 cup) has 24 grams of protein!! I am always looking for ways to incorporate this grain into my meals to make sure that I am eating enough protein throughout the day. For this particular recipe, I decided to cook the quinoa in vegetable stock instead of water. I realized that the stock adds a tremendous amount of flavor and really brings out the the other ingredients in the dish. Allowing the cranberries to soak in the quinoa and vegetable stock while it is simmering over the stove really enhances the flavor of the entire meal and because of this, the quinoa salad did not need a dressing, salt, or any other spice to add flavor!
I decided to pair the quinoa with cranberries because it balances out the nuttiness and pairs well with the tartness of the kale, added a sweet element to the meal. Feel free to substitute with raisins or even dates.
This dish makes a great main dish as it is packed with antioxidants, vegetables, protein, and fiber, but can also be enjoyed as a side! It also keeps well the next day making it the perfect lunch.
Under 30 minutes.
*Depending if it is served as a side or main dish
2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red colored quinoa
½ cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups kale, torn
1 cup almonds
1 handful of pumpkin seeds
Over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the almonds and stir continuously until the almonds brown. Roughly 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the almonds. Set aside, away from the heat.
Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pot over the stove. Add the minced garlic and cook until tender. Roughly 4 minutes. Add the cranberries and the quinoa to the pan and mix well. Once incorporated add the vegetable broth. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes.
Once the vegetable stock has been full absorbed, add the torn pieces of kale. Mix over the heat (turn down to low) until the kale has become tender and wilted. This will only take a few minutes. Add the almonds and stir.
When you are ready to serve, top with the pumpkin seeds. This dish can be served either warm or cold.