Red Quinoa Pilaf with Kale and Corn

red quinoa pilaf with kale and corn

I love recipes that are impressive enough to serve guests, yet easy enough to make as an everyday dish. In Vegan Holiday Kitchen, this recipe is offered as a Thanksgiving side dish; it’s so hearty that the addition of a cup or two of  beans (yummy with black beans), can make it plentiful entree. Or, to dress it up even more, use it to stuff small squashes like golden acorn or delicata. Can’t find red quinoa? Regular is fine; it will taste just as good, even if it won’t be as photogenic. Photo by Susan Voisin, FatFree Vegan Kitchen.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
  • 3 cups prepared vegetable broth or 3 cups water with
    1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 bunch kale (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels
  • 2 jarred roasted red peppers, cut into strips,
    or 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the quinoa with 3 cups broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the broth is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the quinoa isn’t quite done, add an additional 1/2 cup broth (or water) and continue to cook until absorbed.

Strip the kale leaves away from the stems. Discard the stems, or slice them very thinly. Cut the kale leaves into narrow strips. Rinse well and set aside.

Red quinoa pilaf with kale and cornMeanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden.

Add the kale, stir together, and cover; raise the heat to medium and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently for 4 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving container and serve at once, or cover until needed.

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15 comments on “Red Quinoa Pilaf with Kale and Corn

  1. Tricia Bayer-Burkholder

    FABULOUS! Made this tonight as a main dish using the black bean suggestion (YUM!) and I loved it and my 5 year old boys at it up! Thanks!

  2. Mia

    I found a black quinoa at Wegman’s in the bulk section. Is this the same as the red? I am buying regular quinoa at my local co-op in the bulk section and trying to keep some cooked in the refrigerator every week to use as part of a quick meal. I have also found steaming it in the oven works out really well. It frees up stove top space right now that it is canning season.

  3. Nava Post author

    Wow, that says a lot for your 5-year-old boys, Tricia—adventurous eaters! And Mia, I do think black quinoa (and red) are pretty much the same as the regular. They taste similar, and sometimes I mix 2 or 3 of the colors just to make the dish look prettier. If you see this, do tell us more about oven-steaming quinoa. That sounds like such a great idea especially if other things are baking at the same time. What temperature? And for how long?

  4. Mia

    Nava, I found the recipe for oven cooking quina on the Beyond Salmon blog. The recipe is pretty simple. Preheat the oven to 375; rinse your quina and dump it into a 9×9 pan for 1 cup. (If you are doing 2 cups use a bigger pan.) She says to sprinkle a small amount of sea salt on top of the rinsed quina. Have ready 2 sheets of foil to cover the pan. Pour one cup of boiling water over the quina and immediately cover it with the double layer of foil. Bake for 20 minutes for white quina. She says 30 minutes for red quina. Take out of the oven and remove the double layer of foil & replace it with a layer of paper towels and 1 layer of the foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and it is ready. I have used this method the past few weeks and my quina turns out perfect every time. And since I have been doing a fair amount of canning, it means a burner free! The direct link to the recipe is http://www.beyondsalmon.com/2011/03/how-to-cook-quinoa.html

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  6. Sarah

    I made this as a side dish on Thanksgiving – even the in-laws who eat an unhealthy ‘standard’ diet loved it!

  7. Nava Post author

    As I always say, Sarah, it seems more effective to convince people with yummy food rather than speeches! Glad you and yours enjoyed it.

  8. Courtney

    Nava

    How do you think this would work as a make ahead dish? Does it store well? If I were to make it a day (or two) in advance, is this something that gets better with time or should I hold off on making it til it is needed?

    Thanks so much!
    Courtney

  9. Nava Post author

    Courtney, what would happen is that the kale and parsley would lose their vivid color. What would be better is if you could make a couple of components ahead. A couple of days before, you can cook the quinoa and the corn. Then just before serving the dish will come together in a snap and retain its bright colors and toothsome texture.

  10. Alice

    I am trying to incorporate more meatless meals in our diet, and this sounds really good.
    We are not fans of cumin. Is there any other spice that could be substituted,
    or could I just leave the cumin out without affecting the taste too much? Thanks for any input.

  11. Nava Post author

    Alice, you can simply substitute any seasoning you’d like. A mild chili powder would go with this; or a more herbal seasoning or blend. My recipes are eminently flexible; I encourage readers to tailor them to their liking!

  12. Erika

    This is sooo, one of my top 5 favorite dishes now. i added more kale but otherwise followed the recipe to the T! thanks for sharing, it is delish!

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