• 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, about a pound
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini or "baby bella" mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (or veggie broth)
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Cost per serving: ~$3.50

Prep: Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks. Remove the stems from the kale by folding in half lengthwise and running a knife down the side of the stem. Tear the kale into 2 inch pieces and rinse in a strainer. Peel and chop the garlic.

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until most of the water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Don’t use a skillet here because you will never get all of the kale in there. Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms soften.
  3. Add the garlic and toss with the veggies, then add the kale, wine or broth and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the kale often and cook until it starts to wilt and soften, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve the quinoa in bowls topped with the veggies.

091219_infoI can’t believe how much vitamin A and C is in this dish, and check out the iron, protein and fiber content. What this label doesn’t show is the nice dose of the B vitamins and vitamin K you get, too. This one is going to stay in my repertoire for when I’m feeling the winter doldrums in Chicago.

I’m busy, I’m packing, blah, blah, blah. You get it by now. In spite of everything going on in my life, I must take time to feed myself nourishing meals. Fast food won’t cut it for me. Maybe I’m high maintenance or a bit snobby. I’m OK with that, because I get to eat lovely dishes like this hearty concoction of winter veggies.

091219_potatoesLast week at the market I came across no fewer than 5 types of sweet potato and I knew I had to do something with them. These beauties are high in vitamins A, B6, C and dietary fiber. Most sweet potato dishes I’m familiar with amp up the sweetness with brown sugar. I wanted to take a different approach, so I searched for a savory dish and found this recipe on Real Simple. That site ought to start paying me for advertising because I reference it here so often. It really is my go-to place for recipes when I’m keen on one ingredient.

091219_quinoaCombining the sweet potatoes with kale and quinoa make this dish a nutrition boon that includes good doses of iron and calcium. The wine adds a complexity to an otherwise simple dish, but if you don’t have any on hand you could substitute broth. I’d recommend skipping the broth and buying a nice bottle of wine that you can finish off with dinner :-)