Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quinoa and Greens

There's nothing terribly original about this recipe, but it's easy and healthy and a common concoction in our kitchen these days. I gobble it up and don't even feel guilty because it's so healthy. The Dude even likes it, and he's no real lover of greens, or healthy food, for that matter. He just slathers it with peanut sauce and goes to town.

I don't follow a specific recipe. I think this dish may have started from a recipe at some point, but now I do it from memory and the ingredients I have on hand. At minimum, you need:

1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
About 2 T. olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, depending on size and taste, minced (I like a lot of garlic)
A bunch of greens (my favorite is mustard because I like the spiciness, but I usually use kale because it's easier to find; Swiss chard's another good option, probably), washed, de-stemmed, and cut up

Greens, washed, destemmed, and cut up

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 c. peanut butter (I use natural, chunky peanut butter)
1 1/2 t. rice vinegar
2 t. Soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. chopped cilantro, if I happen to have it
Hot water

Ingredients for peanut sauce (I don't think light rice vinegar is necessary; it's just what my mother-in-law had in her kitchen)

Obviously, you cook the quinoa in the water. Follow the directions on the package.

Then, you heat the olive oil over medium heat in a deep skillet (or even Dutch oven, because the greens are hard to fit in), and add the garlic and saute briefly. I have a tendency to burn my garlic so I have to be careful here.

Then add the chopped up greens. If you're using a skillet, you might want to add them in a couple of batches to allow the first batch to cook down a bit and leave room for the next batch. I don't like the greens to get very soft so I don't cook them all that long. Probably somewhere between five and ten minutes. Salt them to taste at some point.

Cooking greens in two batches
Some people like to boil tough greens (like kale or collards) before sauteing. I always feel like that's more work, and I like texture.

Finished cooking
While the greens are sauteing, mix up the peanut sauce. I just pour all those ingredients in a bowl and whisk them with a fork. I am not 100% sure about the measurements I've written here so you'll probably want to taste and adjust. Add hot water at the end to thin it out to pouring consistency.

Peanut sauce before adding hot water
I know most people in the world like a little sweetness to their peanut sauce and so add sugar or honey. I have a horror of even the mildest sweetness in peanut sauce, so I never do. Use your judgement here. The garlic and cilantro are optional. Since I love garlic so much, I always put it in, but I don't have cilantro on hand that often so I don't use it much.

I am happy with the protein from the quinoa and peanut sauce in this dish, but I have, on occasion, made this dish with tofu or chicken. You just saute those in the olive oil and garlic before the greens. You need way more oil for tofu than for chicken.

Finally, mix the quinoa and greens in a large bowl. Drizzle the peanut sauce over individual servings. Eat up!


  1. Me too! I shared this with a foodie friend at work and she is giong to try it too. That same friend recommended this blog for cheap, healthy recipe:

  2. I keep trying quinoa...and kind of liking it. lol. Maybe I need to try this recipe. Cheers.


Make my day and leave me a comment!