I don’t cook meat much.
My diet consists largely of veggies and seafood for reasons that likely won’t interest you.
So on the rare occasion that I do eat or cook meat, I am very selective about its quality and preparation.
As I browsed through Granville Island Public Market, I picked up some Red Quinoa and robust organic Black Kale. Dinner’s all set… or so I thought.
When I gazed dreamily over the tantalizing meat selection, a gorgeous hunk of aged, grass-fed rib-eye tugged at my heartstrings.
I must bring him home.
I once converted a vegetarian of 10 years with my lamb at a picnic so I’ll certainly do my juicy heartthrob justice.
But before that, allow me to present its accompaniment: a satisfying and healthy textural-sensation of Thyme- Infused Quinoa with Lemon- Mustard Kale.
The lemon’s floral tartness and the mustard’s acidic heat counterbalances with the kale’s slight bitterness. The sweet fennel provides creamy texture and accentuates the thyme’s perfume.
For those unfamiliar with quinoa, it is an ancient crop originally cultivated in South America. The grains are actually seeds and are very high in protein and fiber and is also gluten-free. Yellow quinoa works just as well here but reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.
Steak Love 2: Meat Smut is posted!
Thyme- Infused Red Quinoa with Lemon- Mustard Black Kale
- 2 cups red quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 bunches of kale, aprox 1.5 lbs.
- 1 fennel bulb, white parts only, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup grainy mustard
- 1 bunch thyme
- Olive Oil, S&P
- Quinoa: Place in a fine sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Initial red and foamy water is normal.
- Thyme: Tie the sprigs together with twine or spend 10 minutes picking them out like I did.
- Stock: Bring to a boil.
- Kale: Strip the leaves from the stalk by grabbing the stalk by the bottom and pulling the leaves towards the tip. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
In a large pot, sweat the fennel on medium heat with the garlic in some olive oil. When the fennel is tender, add the quinoa and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Add the hot stock, 2 tsp. of salt, and thyme bundle, cover with a lid, and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
The quinoa is done when all the liquid is absorbed and little white curls are released. When ready, remove the thyme, fluff through with a fork, cover, and keep warm.
In a deep skillet, heat up some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the kale in by handfuls and welt it down for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Unlike other leafy greens, kale does not release much liquid.)
When the kale is tender, stir in the mustard and lemon zest + juice.
Toss the kale into the warm quinoa.
Serve with roasted vegetables, fish, or meat as I will in the next post.
Serves 4 as main-dish, or 6 as side-dish