If you’re trying to get the kids to eat a little more wholesome, quality carbohydrates and a little less of the refined white carbs like white rice and white noodles, quinoa might be just the high-fiber, nutrient-packed carb you’re looking for. After all, the quinoa-palooza seems to have officially begun as it’s the hot item on every menu and many kids seem to like it–and let’s face it, for us mom’s with picky kids, that’s a total win!
We’re fans of this healthy comfort food and love that it’s a high protein, high fiber, healthy carb that prevents your energy from dipping, so it prevents sugar cravings! The truth is, if you have a moderate portion (about 1/2 -3/4 cup cooked of a wholesome carb (hello quinoa!) you’ll avoid the nasty cravings for the unhealthy carbs because you’ll give your brain and muscles carbohydrates, the fuel they need, so you won’t crave energy! That means you won’t be looking for an energy boost or a quick pick-me-up—buh bye sugar cravings!
Quinoa is warm comfort food in the winter—and makes cool, comfort food in the summer.
And since summer days beg for a cool dish, this spiced summer bowl filled with summery greens like zucchini and kale and protein packed heroes like quinoa and chickpeas can be made ahead of time and only gets better as it waits. What more could you ask for!? And the best part is if the kids don’t love it as much as you, sprinkle a little cheese on top, and voila! You’ll have a super healthy and delicious comfort food that they’ll love!
Kale & Quinoa Power Bowl
Have one delicious serving as a side to grilled fish or chicken and veggies, or make a whole meal of it by having three servings.
Makes 5 servings (approximately 1/2 cup each)
Dressing: (2 tbsp added 48 calories/ serving)
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
small pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp minced garlic, plus ½ tsp for oil dressing (you may want to add more garlic if you’re a garlic lover!)
sea salt to taste
½ cup quinoa, cooked (we used a mix of red and white just for fun!)
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
1 medium zucchini, cut into evenly sized, small chunks
1 cup curly kale, leaves chopped into small pieces, stems removed (measure 1 cup of chopped kale leaves)
- Place olive oil in a small bowl and mix the cumin, turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes (optional), ½ tsp minced garlic and a pinch of salt into the olive oil, set aside to marinate.
- Before cooking the quinoa, we toasted ours slightly for 1 minute by lightly spritzing olive oil in a spray jar in a pan to bring out more flavor. You can omit the olive oil and toast briefly, too, just stirring over the heat for 1 minute. After toasting, cook the quinoa according to package directions.
- Next spritz the same pan you toasted the quinoa in with a little olive oil and sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, the 2 tsp minced garlic, chickpeas, zucchini and kale. Just until the garlic releases it aroma and the zucchini begins to sweat. Remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.
- Toss sautéed vegetables and chickpeas with quinoa. Let sit for a few minutes, the heat will further soften the kale.
- Give the oil and spice mix a stir, drizzle over the entire bowl and stir. . . Salt to taste.
This can be eaten immediately and also tastes great chilled– and if you put it covered in the fridge for a little while to chill, the flavors will also mingle and increase!
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 106 Calories, 3 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 21 mg Sodium, 16 g Carbohydrate, 4 g Fiber, 2 g Sugar, 5 g Protein