Photos by Alicia Sokol
With the dawn of a new year comes a shiny opportunity to become that person. You know the one. On the outside, she looks remarkably like the current self (minus ten pounds, appearing refreshed...and with better skin). Inside, there is zen-like patience, unending kindness, and improved organ function thanks to an uptick in vegetable, fruit, and whole grain consumption. And she has your dream job. Is this the year you are going to be that person?
No matter what grand plans await for the year ahead, it never hurts to start with a nutrient-rich meal on board. If it's simple to make and tasty, you've no reason to refuse. It's obvious why deensiebat's One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf won FOOD52’s contest for Your Best New Year's Resolution Dish. This perfectly balanced single-course meal provides a substantial serving of protein from quinoa, a diverse array of vitamins and antioxidants thanks to kale, and the deep satisfaction brought by a smartly constructed flavor profile. The creamy goat cheese lends just a touch of richness, which works well with the sharp tang of Meyer lemon juice and zest. Monounsaturated ("good") fat, a distinct nutty flavor, and a light crunch come with the welcome presence of toasted pine nuts. The highly efficient, one-pot cooking method creates ease and importantly, fewer dirty dishes.
Photo by Alicia Sokol
The dead of winter can seem like a dull time to commit to increasing produce consumption, but there is a bright side for those in search of it. Leafy greens, which provide immeasurable health benefits, are at their peak during the coldest months. Varieties of chard, kale, collard, and mustard greens can be added to soups, pasta or casseroles. In addition, vitamin C-rich citrus fruits are abundant, not to mention at their most flavorful, during this time. How do you plan to snag that snazzy new job if you have a cold, anyway? The Meyer lemon used in this dish is just one happily tart example. I'll be incorporating a wide array of winter produce into my cooking and this column in the coming weeks. I hope you’ll return to see what winter treasures I've found.
So, go on now. You can do it. Munch those greens, boost your whole grain intake, and get ready to conquer the world. Or at the very least, start off the new year with one big toe in the shoes of the (happier, smarter, healthier) person you're bound to become.
One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf by deensiebat
2 cups salted water
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and chopped into 1" lengths
1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Salt and pepper
Like this post? Read Alicia's previous post: Ginger Spiced Molasses Sugar Cookies.
Alicia writes the blog Weekly Greens, where she gives busy families healthy recipes for everyday farm-to-table eating.