Fall Recipe of the Week: Superfood Quinoa Pilaf

As physical beings, food is not only how we nourish our bodies, it’s fuel to create the very best versions of ourselves and our lives.

Food is information we take in with some foods having the ability to turn on disease promoting genes, while others can help keep chronic disease and illness at bay. While many of us know this, sometimes this information isn’t enough to keep us consistently eating the highest quality nutrients available.

We may know what we need to do to be at our best (i.e. eat real, unprocessed foods and limit artificial, processed, chemical yielding junk) but often, life gets in the way…

We get busy,
We travel,
We feel stressed or lonely, or bored,
We experience difficult times in our lives and
Thus find ourselves consuming things that can leave us feeling heavy, dull, bloated, and less than the vibrant, powerful creatures we truly are.

But in reality, ONE meal has the ability to turn things around.
ONE day of healthy, nutrient-dense meals can begin to create shifts in your energy and mood…
ONE week of clean eating and you feel like a new woman– lighter, more vibrant and in tune with our surroundings…
Stretch that one day or week into ONE month or longer and Wonder Woman can’t hold a candle to you!

Imagine what life could be like if food choices, cooking and eating were easy parts of your life equation?

Imagine how you would feel with consistent nourishing choices that fueled your deepest desires for a healthy, radiant body…

Imagine how feeling amazing in your skin would ripple outward into your life– your relationships, your career, your desire to move and dance and even, how much you trusted yourself on the most fundamental level.

It can be as easy as taking things one meal, one day, at a time…

I often find my clients typically need just a little nudge in the right direction.  For example, having a resource for quick, healthy meals that they can feel good about and make on the fly.  This is true for me too.

When everything else in life feels like it’s spinning faster than we might like, sometimes going back to basics– eating well, sleeping well, breathing— is all we need to focus on.

With the basics in mind, we can make the most of our meals by incorporating superfoods, or foods that provide the highest nutrient content per calorie. Superfoods are highly nourishing for our bodies, while also being low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, macro and micronutrients.

Two of these delicious, health promoting, superfoods, include quinoa and kale.

Quinoa, a grain-like seed, is an ideal food for endurance making it a great food for increasing vitality. Containing all 8 amino acids, quinoa is considered a complete protein that is easy to digest, while strengthening to the kidneys, heart and lungs, making it an excellent choice for Fall and Winter cooking. Quinoa also packs high amounts of B vitamins that promote energy; iron to help carry oxygen throughout our bodies; zinc for brain function; potassium to keep electrolyte levels balanced; calcium and Vitamin E.

Kale helps strengthen the immune system, fight inflammation, purify the blood and assists the respiratory system by reducing congestion in the lungs. Also another great choice for Fall and Winter cooking, this leafy green is a highly alkaline food, which means that it helps the body’s pH level stay balanced. Kale is also high in calcium, magnesium, iron, and Vitamins A, C, E, and K.

This week’s recipe mixes kale and quinoa together with turmeric, an anti-inflammatory herb, lemon to promote digestion and liver function, and almonds for a healthy heart.

As I mentioned above, it’s a perfect dish for the colder months and is great reheated for lunch or leftovers. It’s a staple in our house because it’s quick and delicious. My guess is that you’ll love it too. 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Superfood Quinoa Pilaf

This is a super quick, easy and inexpensive recipe you can throw together after a long day. It makes enough for leftovers or the next day’s lunch. It’s also an excellent source of plant-based protein that will provide you with lots of energy, without weighing heavy on your stomach. Feel free to add animal protein as well.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: About six

1-2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 cup sliced almonds or pine nuts, optional
½ cup raisins

2 teaspoons mild curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups chopped kale
4 to 5 cups cooked and completely cooled quinoa (or brown rice)
Juice of 1 small lemon
Optional: animal protein of your choice (i.e. chicken, turkey, etc.)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Then add the sliced carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes. Adjust the temperature so as to allow the onions to still cook but not brown.

Add the almonds, currants, spices, and salt and sauté 5 minutes more.

Add the kale. Note: it is best if your kale is still dripping wet from rinsing when adding it to the pot. The extra water will help it to cook. Sauté about 5 minutes, or until kale is tender.
Then add cooked quinoa and stir together over low heat. Add a few tablespoons of water if the pilaf seems dry. An extra tablespoon of oil will also help prevent the quinoa from sticking to the pan.

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Stir together, taste, and adjust salt and seasonings if needed.

Let us know in the comments below: what are your favorite Fall recipes? Which superfoods do you love? What types of recipes would you like to see in the future? 

With love,
Stephanie

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