Friday, August 29, 2014

Mushroom quinoa kale bowl

Now that I'm more familiar with the New Orleans area, I know where to do my grocery shopping and where to pick up specialty ingredients. I couldn't find my staple jasmine rice down here (though I must say I noticed that the rice selection here is much larger than it is up north), so I had to switch up my grains and opted for a box of quinoa and a bag of long grain brown rice. I also was just really craving a leafy green stir fry, and I figured before I venture into using collard greens and other local favorites, I might as well try out kale. 

I don't understand the kale hype. I don't get why people use such a rough vegetable in raw salads. It's gross. But I am so glad my grandmother convinced me to stir fry it instead because boy is kale naturally flavorful! Cooking it really helps break down its natural tough fiber and release a lot of its sweetness (when you use my recipe). So here's two recipes for you here. First I give you my super easy sesame oil mushroom quinoa that I promise you will make at least once a week, then it's my new favorite chicken and kale stir fry. 

Sesame oil mushroom quinoa (serves 3-4)
1 cup quinoa 
2 cups water
2 tsp olive oil
2 cups mushrooms (baby portabello or white button), chopped
1 tsp garlic powder 
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
optional: Cajun spice (because that's my life now)

1. In a rice cooker, mix together all ingredients except for the sesame oil. 
2. Start the rice cooker as usual. 
3. When it's done cooking, add the sesame oil and fluff the quinoa. 

✓ whole grains
✓ fiber
✓ vegetable
✓ unsaturated fats

Kale stir fry (serves 3-4)
1 bunch of kale, deribbed and chopped 
1 tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tbs balsamic vinegar  
2 chicken thighs, sliced and marinated*
3 cloves of garlic, chopped

*chicken marinade:
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil

1. In a deep pan, heat up 1 tsp of canola oil with the chopped garlic. Once garlic is browned, brown the chicken.
2. When chicken is about 70-80% cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. 
3. Add the rest of the oil onto the hot pan and carefully mix in the kale. 
4. Sautee the kale until it turns a darker shade of green and is softer. Sprinkle on the salt and add the balsamic vinegar. 
5. If kale does not soften, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and cover with a lid for several minutes at a time. Remove from pan when desired texture is reached. 

✓ vegetable
✓ fiber
✓ vitamin A
✓ vitamin K
✓ protein

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