Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quinoa and kale stuffed sweet potato

I am always trying to find vegetarian fare that is pretty quick and easy, plus makes a bit so I can have lunches through at least part of the week.  I keep my ideas on my Pinterest board so I can easily find them!  As I was scrolling through that board this weekend I rediscovered this one.

Good choice, Mad Art Teacher, Good choice!

I WISH I had a pic of all the ingredients....  I was multitasking that day and neglected to photo everything. But you will get the idea if you read carefully!  :)

This topping for the sweet potatoes is so simple and so delicious that it is surprising.  It goes perfectly with the rich, red-orange sp, but would make a good combination with any sort of grain or even as a side  dish with any meal.  Just a thought!

First things first- throw those lovely sweet potatoes into the oven.  I wrap mine in foil and I use these Red Garnet Sweet Potatoes

The base of the topping is quinoa, a wonderful, high-protein grain.  I have a couple different sorts, but am partial to the look of the dark brown "red" quinoa.  Pretty!  Quinoa needs to be rinsed first (some kinds come sold as prerinsed, look at your box or bag first.  If in doubt, rinse it!)  It isn't a big deal to run water over it 3 or 4 times and let it drain

After rinsing, combine the quinoa with vegetable broth and cook on the stove.  In the meantime..... Saute your onions in a little oil (and butter according to the recipe).

HERE is where you need to pay attention!!!  After the onions are softened it says to add the rest of the ingredients, which includes slivered, toasted almonds.  So I didn't have toasted ones, I had raw almonds, and so I decided to just cut up my almonds and toss them in WITH the onion at the end.  Worked out perfectly!!

After the onion and almonds are sauteed, add the kale and dried cranberries.  Trust me, this is good stuff.

When the quinoa is ready, toss that in as well.  Stir it up, and have it warm for when the Sweet Potatoes are done.

This was divine and REALLY pretty.  I found that it reheats really well at work for lunch too!  WINNER here.  YUM

Something about the crunch of the almonds and the sweet of the cranberries melds with the rich sweet potato and slight texture of the quinoa......

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 8
What you'll need:
4 sweet potatoes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp. butter 
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cups kale, broken into 1 inch pieces (I used more than 2 cups)
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (I used chopped, raw almonds)
1/4 cup (plus) dried cranberries
salt and pepper
What you'll do:
Bake the sweet potatoes in a 350 degree oven for 1 hours or until fork tender.  While
they are cooking, make your filling.  Cook the quinoa (use prerinsed or be sure to rinse the quinoa a few times) in the vegetable broth.  And while
that is cooking, saute the onion in the butter and olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft. (Here is where I put in the almonds, about 1 - 2 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients)
Add in the kale, almonds, and cranberries and saute until the kale is soft, about 3
minutes.  Add the finished quinoa to the frying pan and mix together.

Top a halved sweet potato.  

Approximate calorie count:
250 calories for the full cup of topping, and about 150 calories for the sweet potato.

This was a fantastic find!!  YAY

And it definitely gives me a little lunch-time joy!

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