Thursday, April 26, 2012

dinner with mom…

I’ve been on another kale and quinoa kick.  I think quinoa has made an appearance on my salads each night this week and I’m also lovin’ it as a simple side mixed with some black beans and avocado…easy peasy and ups the nutritional value of my meal! 

Kale is another one of those versatile veggies that has been popping up in a lot of our meals lately!  I’ve been mixing it up in our smoothies, switching out my regular mixed greens in salads for kale, and kale chips of course!!!

In the mix: filtered water, vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, spinach, kale, kiwi, strawberries, peaches, mangoes and pineapple.

While I’m good with eating the same thing morning, noon and night, the rest of the fam appreciates when I change things up every now and then!  So, last night I decided to try something new using the two things that I’ve been so familiar with lately….kale and quinoa!  And to top things off, I invited Grammy (my mom)to join us for dinner.  She’s a great guest to have when your trying out new dishes, especially when she’s home alone because Papa (my dad) is out of town for work!  She gladly accepted my offer and gave rave revues for the evening meal…thanks Mom!

I married some kale and colored quinoa together in, what I believe, to be one of the most divine side dishes to accompany a meal!!  There was definitely a “happy dance” goin’ on in my mouth!


Colored Quinoa and Kale Salad with Roasted Veggies

(inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod)

Yields 6 servings


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 medium sweet onion, sliced

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

3 cups kale, washed and leaves removed from the stem

4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided

1 cup colored quinoa, cooked according to package directions

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Parmesan cheese (optional to sprinkle on top)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place sweet potatoes and sweet onion slices in a medium bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat and then put them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking oil.  Bake for 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender (stir  a couple of times while baking).

Drizzle the kale with 2 Tbsp of the balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet when the potatoes and onions have been in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Bake for the remaining 15 minutes, until the kale is wilted and starting to get crispy.  Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!

While the vegetables are roasting, make the quinoa following the package directions.  After quinoa is cooked, allow it to cool to room temperature.

When the vegetables are done roasting, let them cool to room temperature.  Chop up the onion slices and potatoes into bite size pieces.  In a large bowl, combine the onions, potatoes, kale and quinoa.  Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar and add in the dried cranberries.  Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper if desired.  Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and serve!

 DSCN3890 I might even have to say it’s even better the next day!  Had some for lunch and sprinkled a few sliced almonds on top for some extra crunch (the roasted kale lost a bit of it’s crunchiness).  Oh-So-Good!

Happy Thursday!  Looking forward to leftovers tonight…it’s fun to have a “leftover buffet” at least one night a week.  It gives me a little break from cooking and the princesses have fun picking and choosing what ends up on their plate!  We just have one rule…at least one veggie must make an appearance as part of their meal.

DSCN3866This was my “leftover buffet” meal from last week: Mixed greens salad with cucumbers, carrots, green onion, red peppers, broccoli and sunflower seeds.  I topped that off with a homemade black bean burger, fire-roasted corn, homemade salsa and guacamole.  The end result sort of reminded me of a Chipotle Bowl!!  Yummy goodness!

Do you have a fun weekly family dinner tradition?



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